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Policy on Cell Phone and Wireless Earphones

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shirlince

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Posted 02 November 2021 - 10:14 PM

Hi All, 

 

Can I please kindly get some advice from people? 

 

I have a production operator that brings his cell phone into the production room and uses wireless earphones to listen to music. 

 

It would be a straightforward process of asking him not to do so, but it becomes confrontational process and the manager knows and allowed this to happen.

 

What can I do?  :unsure:

 

Thank you

 



Charles.C

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 07:15 AM

Hi All, 

 

Can I please kindly get some advice from people? 

 

I have a production operator that brings his cell phone into the production room and uses wireless earphones to listen to music. 

 

It would be a straightforward process of asking him not to do so, but it becomes confrontational process and the manager knows and allowed this to happen.

 

What can I do?  :unsure:

 

Thank you

Hi shirl,

 

Your specific, designated, responsibility is ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Setanta

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 12:03 PM

Charles has a point, are you the QA/Food Safety Manager?  Does this person report to you?

 

IS this a violation of your posted rules? Do you have the support of management to challenge this?

 

I would say that you could address it from a safety standpoint, If you are listening to music, you may be able to focus on the visual tasks in front of you, but you may not hear forklift or other traffic nearby.

 

From a Food safety standpoint, the wireless headphones cannot be cleaned and run the risk of falling into the product.  

 

IS this a violation of your posted rules? Do you have the support of management to challenge this?


-Setanta         

 

 

 


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kfromNE

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 01:16 PM

If I'm correct - this is QA/Food Safety Manager vs production manager. If so, try and talk to the next high-up. If it's the case of lack of management support - good luck. You'll find a few threads addressing this topic. Not a fun place to be.



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Scampi

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 02:11 PM

Agree with the others

without senior management backing, this is a battle you will inevitably lose

 

For the record, you're absolutely right, they shouldn't be on the production floor

 

At my current employer, if an employee is not following procedures that they have been trained (and signed off on), on first infractions, I ask why they are doing acde, on second infraction for the same issue, I do not proceed to the supervisor, I email HR the details, and HR disciplines the employee


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


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MDaleDDF

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 03:10 PM

Absolute no go in my plant as well.   Not even just in production for food safety reasons.   We have fork lifts driving around, etc.   You need your senses sharp and aware to safely do your job here.   That definitely means no phones, earbuds.



sqflady

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Posted 03 November 2021 - 06:27 PM

The earbuds also pose a foreign material hazard should they fall into the product.  Have you tried educating the production manager on why the earbuds are not acceptable?  



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shirlince

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Posted 07 November 2021 - 11:01 PM

Hi shirl,

 

Your specific, designated, responsibility is ?

 

QA Manager 



shirlince

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Posted 07 November 2021 - 11:18 PM

Hi shirl,

 

Your specific, designated, responsibility is ?

 

QA Manager - Responsible for GMP/Food Safety Compliances as well. 

 

Charles has a point, are you the QA/Food Safety Manager?  Does this person report to you?

 

IS this a violation of your posted rules? Do you have the support of management to challenge this?

 

I would say that you could address it from a safety standpoint, If you are listening to music, you may be able to focus on the visual tasks in front of you, but you may not hear forklift or other traffic nearby.

 

From a Food safety standpoint, the wireless headphones cannot be cleaned and run the risk of falling into the product.  

 

IS this a violation of your posted rules? Do you have the support of management to challenge this?

 

They report to the Production/Operations Manager, also the manager who allows it to happen.

 

It is a violation of GMP rules - that's a definite. Manager on site is closing one eye on the matter. 

 

Agreed, thank you for the points Setanta, will bring it up with the management team if this continues. 

 

The earbuds also pose a foreign material hazard should they fall into the product.  Have you tried educating the production manager on why the earbuds are not acceptable?  

 

 

Production/Operations Manager is aware of the risk. But I believe I could try and "educate" the manager further.  



TaraMcKinzie

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Posted 08 November 2021 - 09:31 PM

As someone who had to order a rework for 50k bottles of a product due to a packaging operator wearing (and losing one) earbuds I can totally relate.  I decided to go for the root of the problem, no cell phones on the floor = no earbuds to listen to music.  We had an onsite lab so I did a little hands on training with upper management and swabbed/plated their cell phones.  Once they realized how dirty their phones were they were quick to get behind a zero tolerance policy regarding cell phones on the production floor.  We did have to put in an emergency contact plan and buy two way radios for each production room but it was worth it in the long run.



pwoodworth

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Posted 21 October 2022 - 09:52 PM

Tara,

What was the criteria for use of the two way radios in GMP areas? We would like to implement a similar policy as it pertains to 'working alone' in a GMP area and we do not allow cell phones. Did you allow staff to wear them while working with open product,ior were the radios stationed somewhere within the facility close to staff? 

 

Thank you! 



stevenbernardino

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Posted 20 June 2023 - 04:05 PM

I'm in this same exact situation... So all wireless and wired headphones can be detected by my metal detector if they happen to fall in.... So why can't I have them on the production floor? If it's a risk I'm willing to take, and I have a protective measure (metal detector) to find it if it happens to fall into product, why can't I let my employees wear them? 

A happy employee is a happy production floor. Please let me know what you think!



Gelato Quality Lead

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Posted 20 June 2023 - 04:41 PM

That's just another hazard being introduced into your facility which should always be minimized. Is there any way that you can play music from speakers? We have one production room in charge of music in the morning and the other production room in charge of the music in the afternoon so everyone can choose music they like.

 

What would you do with the production run if your metal detector went off due to an earbud in the product?



Setanta

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Posted 20 June 2023 - 04:51 PM

I'm in this same exact situation... So all wireless and wired headphones can be detected by my metal detector if they happen to fall in.... So why can't I have them on the production floor? If it's a risk I'm willing to take, and I have a protective measure (metal detector) to find it if it happens to fall into product, why can't I let my employees wear them? 

A happy employee is a happy production floor. Please let me know what you think!


That happy but (distracted employee) could walk into the path of a forklift, another person, or miss a trip hazard on the floor. The company is paying you to pay attend, not groove to the music.

Get off my lawn...LOL

-Setanta         

 

 

 


G M

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Posted 20 June 2023 - 07:06 PM

I'm in this same exact situation... So all wireless and wired headphones can be detected by my metal detector if they happen to fall in.... So why can't I have them on the production floor? ...

 

Maybe you can metal detect the device, but they are also vectors for a variety of likely pathogenic bacteria.  (who washes and sanitizes their phone or earbuds regularly?)  Might as well drop product on the floor and put it back on the line.

 

You also have food defense and trade secret protection reasons to keep cameras and other recording devices out of the facility.



lynzy05

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Posted 21 June 2023 - 04:06 AM

My site has a "Site Standard" where we read and make all staff sign. It gets updated every year but it is reviewed by all department heads. Part of it is regarding cellphone and earbuds. Phones are allowed in the factory as long as the Production Manager is aware. Production Manager should be backing you up that he might allow it but you cannot use it for personal reason. Earbuds are a total NO for us. 1. Quality risk. 2. Safety risk. 

 

One way to shut them up is to create this piece of paper that all department managers agree on and they need to get their staff to sign. All documentation on site are a legal document. if the staff dont want to sign then the need to have a meeting with their manager and have an agreement. manager needs to add to that piece of paper that he allow these stuff to happen.

 

An example is that my Maintenance Manager does not allow phones inside the factory for his team so we cross it out and sign on the side (like a legal document), while Production Manager allows them with an added context of For Emergency Purposes ONLY. 



jfrey123

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Posted 21 June 2023 - 02:06 PM

I'm in this same exact situation... So all wireless and wired headphones can be detected by my metal detector if they happen to fall in.... So why can't I have them on the production floor? If it's a risk I'm willing to take, and I have a protective measure (metal detector) to find it if it happens to fall into product, why can't I let my employees wear them? 

A happy employee is a happy production floor. Please let me know what you think!

 

No go for any GFSI scheme as personal items are prohibited by code.  Not to mention you show USA in your bio, and personal items are mentioned under Title 21 CFR Part 117 Subpart B 117.10(b)(7):  "Cleanliness. All persons working in direct contact with food, food-contact surfaces, and food-packaging materials must conform to hygienic practices while on duty to the extent necessary to protect against allergen cross-contact and against contamination of food. The methods for maintaining cleanliness include: Storing clothing or other personal belongings in areas other than where food is exposed or where equipment or utensils are washed."

 

So GFSI code, US Federal law prohibit them as personal items for sanitary reasons.   And while OSHA doesn't have a prohibition codified in law, they recommend prohibiting them for two reasons:  First, the user usually can't hear what's happening around them and it poses a safety risk in an operation (can't hear a forklift coming, can't hear when an employee calls for help or their attention in a emergency).  Secondly, if your plant struggles with permissible noise limits already, that employee probably has to jack their earbuds to hear the content, and earbuds are loud enough on their own to cause hearing damage.  You as the employer are required to maintain safe noise levels, and they could turn around and claim hearing damage from their earbuds on duty is something you failed to control.





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