Most industries have made big strides in employee safety – and the food industry is no exception – but there are still plenty of steps wholesale food producers can take to make their operations safer and more cost-efficient. Every accident and illness takes time and money away from employers and employees alike, but safer, healthier working conditions benefit everyone.
Food producers have to deal with a variety of unique, complex hazards, however, and managing employees' safety can become cumbersome. From chemical exposure to repetitive use injuries to trauma, the number of incidents, potential hazards and training requirements to keep track of can seem endless.
Fortunately, a comprehensive safety software suite can make the food industry safety manager's job far easier and more efficient. Following are a few of the food industry risks safety managers must mitigate, as well as the benefits they stand to realize by implementing safety software.
Lacerations. Cuts are all too common among workers who commonly use knives, box cutters and other sharp tools. In fact, OSHA has shown roughly 10 percent of all poultry processing injuries occur due to lacerations. These incidents usually occur when workers aren't properly using cut-resistant gloves and other personal protective equipment.
Hearing Loss. Like other mass production operations, food processing can be extremely loud, particularly when large mixers or cutting machinery are required. Quieter tools and large machinery can mitigate this issue, but a more cost-effective and long-term sustainable solution for most manufacturers is the proper use of ear protection.
Repetitive Use Injuries. Processing the same parts of the same animals day-in and day-out can easily lead to repetitive use injuries. Despite decades of safety studies in the food processing industry, carpal tunnel and other musculoskeletal disorders still affect a large majority of employees.
Eye and Respiratory Irritation. The strong cleaning agents commonly found in food processing plants can be extremely irritating to the eyes, ears and throat. While proper ventilation and minimal exposure can improve injury rates, safety managers need to know which chemicals are causing the most frequent problems to come up with effective solutions.
All of these risks and more can be mitigated more effectively and with less manual effort through the use of a comprehensive safety software suite. The benefits of such software include:
Incident Tracking. OSHA already requires injuries and illnesses to be recorded, but managing piles of paper records is of little help when it comes to preventing future incidents. With incident reporting and investigation software, safety managers can efficiently find the greatest sources of injury within their facilities – and create new training programs and safety policies accordingly.
Smooth Audits. Digital incident reporting also makes it a snap to fill out internal and OSHA-mandated forms. When audits occur, users can be ready to provide all information necessary and even show improvements in previous problem areas. Use an audit management software that works with your existing tools so you can seamlessly integrate audits with other procedures.
Training Management. When improper practices necessitate new training or re-training, training management tools allow approved personnel to create and update programs. It also makes it easier for employees to complete and record the results of these training sessions, and trainers themselves can go back into the system to see who still needs to complete each course.
Policy and Procedure Updates. Need a place to store the myriad documents your company keeps related to safety procedures, policies, personal protective equipment, materials and more? Our policies and procedures management tool helps to organize these files and make them easily accessible for updates and reprints.
BasicSafe offers a comprehensive suite of safety management software tools. Want to learn more about how our software works? Contact us today to request a free demo.