Case Study: Food and Beverage Industry Safety

| Jim Lanz

Food and Beverage Industry Safety

Each day, we get to work with our customers on ways to increase workplace safety. Below are two success stories that highlight food and beverage industry safety and the measures taken to make improvements.

Hand Protection Surveys Can Prevent Injuries

Food and Beverage Hand ProtectionWe did a complete hand protection survey for a customer recently. We looked at each task within their facility, made recommendations and provided a trial for cut resistant gloves. They implemented our suggested product. In one area of the plant, there was a handheld grinding task that required a 4-½” metal cutting wheel on a high-speed grinder. The worker applied lateral force to the wheel causing it to shatter. At high RPMs, a piece of the wheel struck the worker in the area between his thumb and palm. Prior to implementing our gloves, he would have suffered a permanent injury, if not the loss of his thumb. Wearing the hand protection gloves, this worker had only a minor bruise.

Re-engineering to Meet Safety Standards

Food and beverage production is one of the most difficult and demanding environments for workplace safety products and identification. In this particular situation, the customer wanted to implement a safer guarding system by combining both the physical guarding (AKA “guard fencing” or “hard guards”) and the electrical safety elements (AKA “control panels”). They needed to implement a safer guarding system by combining both the physical guarding and the electrical safety elements. We performed a comprehensive review of all aspects of the machinery and manufacturing environment.

Food and Beverage Industry Safety Machine GuardingOur Safety Specialists that focus on light curtains (a type of automated electrical presence sensor) and guard fencing, and engineers who integrate all the sub-systems into a control panel, performed a comprehensive review of all aspects of the customer’s machinery and manufacturing environment. We compiled all the required components and pre-built and pre-mounted assemblies for quick installation. This included the physical barrier guarding, door switches, light curtains, and e-stops and it was done to fit within the food and beverage customer's narrow window of time for actual on-site installation. We took into consideration the electrical design requirements needed to integrate all the new safety devices into the existing plant systems—this required the addition of safety relays, power supplies, and wiring changes.

Through a detailed review and analysis of machine and safety practices, the customer was able to address and integrate a safer guarding system. Raw materials are secure and safeguarded at each stage of the manufacturing process and batches now have additional security from accidental contamination. Workers are protected from automated machinery hazards such as pinch, crush, and entanglement hazards. The customer was able to minimize downtime while combining the right techniques with the industry-leading products they needed.

Everyone Wins with Food and Beverage Industry Safety

Focusing and ingraining safety into the culture of a company is not only a compliance measure but also provides you with tangible operational benefits. Safety not only ensures that all your workers return home safe and healthy every day – it increases brand reputation, improves efficiency, and ultimately saves your company money—everyone wins! If you’re looking for workplace safety success, contact a Safety Specialist today.

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