Category: Safety & Personnel

Keeping Employee Safety Front of Mind

In April of this year, OSHA – Region V – WI published a Local Emphasis Program (LEP) established for the purpose of scheduling and conducting inspections within the Food Manufacturing Industry (click here for full details.)

The launch of the LEP allows for greater “outreach, education, training, and enforcement activities.” For many reading this, this specific LEP may not pertain to your facility. However, the rationale behind this special program is something that we can appreciate across the food industry. Reminders like this in our busy, hectic schedules can do a lot “to encourage employers to take steps to identify, reduce, and eliminate hazards associated with exposure to machine hazards during production activities, and off-shift sanitation, service, and maintenance tasks.”

Let’s face it, a food processing environment is a tough environment! Between assuring the quality and safety of products, keeping the pumps pumping, the conveyors conveying, and every other facet of running a food plant, another topic centrally unites everything we do—employee safety! This perpetual concern is one that doesn’t take any time off, doesn’t care if we’re having good or bad days, or if turnover has been tough. It’s there, it’s absolutely central, and it’s about actively protecting our people.

When it comes to manufacturing, the US Department of Labor/OSHA cites: “…that food manufacturing injury rates were consistently elevated when compared to the averages for all private Wisconsin companies engaged in manufacturing, with NAICS codes between 311xxx-339xxx.”

Though Wisconsin focused, familiarizing yourself with this LEP is a great opportunity to pause and think about safety in your own facility. What have you seen? Where can you apply more proactive solutions? Do your records reveal gaps that can be filled?

As you negotiate this persistent and central demand, know that we’re here to help.  We understand the challenges food manufacturers face, and have a selection of products and services to specifically address those needs. Worker safety is an area that we know well—From Lockout/Tagout products to dust mitigation, and PPE we’re here to be your partner in ensuring worker safety and well-being.


5S Lean Solutions for The Food Industry

5S is more than a program, it is a comprehensive system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. This system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which naturally promotes a safer workplace with more efficiency.

When implementing a 5S system, it is important to remember to start small. Start with a pilot project to get a feel for if/what employee training is needed—how to implement the system, how to track progress, and how to celebrate success.

5S IS A FIVE-STEP PROCESS:

  1. Sort: Separate the tools that are needed to get the job done.
    Remove everything else.
  2. Set in Order: Place all relevant tools within reach of operatives and reduce the need to be away from the workstation.
  3. Shine: Maintain safety and order in the workplace by keeping the tools clean and helping to reduce defects.
  4. Standardize: Create practices that will ensure maintenance of the steps you have already taken by introducing Shadow Boards with color-coded tools.
  5. Sustain: Stay consistent and constantly review standards.

For more information on 5S systems or how to get started, contact our Product Specialists or visit our Learning Center.

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It’s Getting Hot in this Processing Environment!

Summer is approaching and that means temperatures are rising and it’s going to start getting HOT! For most of us summer and warm temperatures correlate with going to the beach, having a picnic, or enjoying the outdoors for the few months of warm weather we have (at least here in Wisconsin!), but one idea we want to make sure doesn’t get forgotten is staying hydrated, and this includes during work hours too!

Fluids, electrolytes, and heat stress products are our friends all year round, but especially on those pesky, humid summer days at work. Depending on the processing facility, temperatures can easily reach 100°F+ on a hot summer day. These high-temperatures can be dangerous, and could lead to severe injury such as heatstroke and heat exhaustion, if a person is not properly hydrating. Hydrating regularly, and staying cool has many added health benefits associated with it that can help the body daily, this includes: keeping our skin healthy, optimum digestion, eliminates toxins in the body, and optimize the energy produced through our cells (Choi, pp. 6).

Many individuals are not aware of how important staying hydrated is, especially during the workday. A recent survey was conducted on how much financial loss is estimated in decreased productivity each year due to employee dehydration. The recorded amount was $2.5 billion (Choi, pp. 10). To avoid these situations, employers should take advantage of workplace hydration program for employees, and provide heat stress products when needed.

Nelson-Jameson offers a variety of products that can help your business stay running efficiently, and keep your employees hydrated and healthy. Sqwincher™ drink mixes provide the optimal combination of fluids and electrolytes to keep your employees hydrated. They are perfect for hot, humid food processing environments. In addition to thirst quenchers, we also have Heat Stress Products, which contain unique water-activated cooling crystals. All employees need to do is immerse the bandana, neck wrap, or hard hat liner in cold water for 5 to 15 minutes, and it will keep them cool all day. Another option is a cooling vest. The Radians Arctic Radwear® Cooling Vests are made with Advanced ARCTIC™ Technology that uses a unique 3-layer fabric system which absorbs, stores, and releases water to keep your body temperature cool and safe. You just immerse the vest for 1 to 2 minutes, wring, and wear.

Make sure to help keep your employees hydrated and cool this summer! With temperatures increasing everyday, it’s important to keep these products on hand, to help your employees stay safe and healthy.

Sources:

Choi, J. (2017, October 27). Why It’s Important To Drink More Water At Work. Lifehack. https://www.lifehack.org/639312/why-its-important-to-drink-more-water-at-work.

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Nelson-Jameson Does That, Too?

As an employee of Nelson-Jameson for seven years now, I am continuously impressed with the number of projects and developing capabilities that are in process. All of these undertakings are done with one aim in mind: to help our customers create safe, quality food in the most efficient way possible. With this in mind, we actively seek out services, above and beyond our products and programs, to holistically meet our customer’s needs. Here are just a few of the programs that we offer, that you may not be aware of: 

Lab Design & Furniture: Yes, you read that right! We partner with PSA Lab Furniture to offer lab design and lab furniture services. Through this partnership, we are able to offer free design plans and estimates for your next lab revamp or new lab construction. We’re talking hoods, surface tops, cabinets, etc. Coupled with our wide range of lab instrumentation, equipment, and suppliers, we can help you build a lab from the ground up. Our lab and sales team can help you learn more at lab@nelsonjameson.com.    

Biofilm Audit and Treatment: If you have recurring hygiene and contamination issues, biofilms could be the culprit. Well known for their tenacity, biofilms can cause major headaches for processors, not to mention serious potential food safety issues. We work with Realzyme to provide in-person biofilm audits in your facility of OPC and CIP installations. The pros at Realzyme will then create a customized curative treatment to combat any biofilms present. Finally, you’ll receive a preventative treatment program, ensuring productivity, product quality, and bonus, you’ll see extended shelf lives for your products. Talk to your Account Manager today to help check into availability and rates, or email us at p.puttkamer@nelsonjameson.com for more information! 

Hand Hygiene Training:  Working with one of our strategic partners, Best Sanitizers, we can help your employees learn more about a key frontline effort for ensuring food safety -proper handwashing techniques. Best Sanitizers does a phenomenal job educating and allowing your employees to see the realities of improper handwashing, including cross-contamination concerns. The comprehensive training includes an informational session, handwashing demonstration featuring Glo-Germ® products, a Q&A session, and a certification for those individuals taking part. Drop us an email at j.pankratz@nelsonjameson.com to check into training availabilities.

Kaestner Services: Our sister company, Kaestner is your go-to for preventative maintenance services for the food, dairy, and beverage processing industries. Specializing in sanitary valve and actuator services, sanitary gasket plate heat exchanger services, as well as sanitary pump services, Kaestner’s team is on the ground and keeps operations moving. Contact Kaestner at sales@kaestnerllc.com to check on availability in your area!

If any of the above services were a surprise to you, well, buckle up, because this is just the start! Nelson-Jameson can help you with color-coded program audits, ingredients selection, sanitation chemical optimization, packaging trials, and many other services. Touch base with us today and let’s find the right comprehensive solutions for your operation.

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NEW Color-Coded Catalog Available Now!

Springtime brings many new colors, from the flowers popping up in gardens to the spring and summer produce offerings at the grocery store. During this colorful time of year, it might be the perfect opportunity to take a look at color-coding in your facility, whether that means starting a new color-coded program or expanding an existing program.

Nelson-Jameson has expanded our color-coded program once again with the release of our 2021 Color-Coded Catalog. This year’s catalog has grown to 68 pages of products that are designed to help prevent allergen migration and cross-contamination. A complete color-coded program helps to lay the foundation for a solid food safety program, and can help minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

Why choose a color-coded system? A complete color-coded system helps promote organization and efficient workflow. Designating critical control areas and zones helps your sanitation program by ensuring that the tools stay in the areas in which they are meant to be used, doing jobs they are meant to do.

In addition to having the most extensive color-coded program in the industry, we also have the most color options to help meet all your color-coded needs. Our expanded catalog also includes new items like Carlisle Total Color Products, ColorCore Cleaning Tools, Vacuum Accessories, Cutlery, and more.

From the lab to the processing line, Nelson-Jameson has the color-coded products you need to produce safe, quality food. Download or request a copy of our new color-coded catalog today!

 

 

 

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