Avoid These 4 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Pitfalls with Industrial Vacuum Solutions

January 30, 2021

Quality housekeeping equipment at your manufacturing plant does more than provide a safe environment. Thoroughly cleaned workspaces and machinery can ensure longevity of your operation and the integrity of your brand as you seek to maintain compliance. In this post, we’ve laid out four serious pitfalls that are sure to damage food and beverage manufacturing operations if not avoided with the help of dust collection or industrial vacuum systems designed to collect and contain potentially harmful materials.

1. Not Keeping an Eye out for Hazards That Lead to Employee Injuries and Diseases

Manufacturing plants are common locations for accident-related injuries and food and beverage manufacturers are no exception. According to OSHA, food manufacturing plants accounted for about 60,000 reported injuries and illnesses in 2019. And that’s not accounting for conditions that workers may develop over time while working in plants that have poor housekeeping systems.

The potential for disaster in food and beverage manufacturing is steep, and it may manifest as the following:

Slip and Fall Accidents

When everyday housekeeping is not kept up and debris is left along surfaces or clogging machinery, workers can seriously harm themselves and others in tripping, slipping, or general falling accidents. 

Respiratory Diseases and Silica-Related Conditions

Where there is material processing, there is the potential for hazardous dust. Particles small enough to breathe must be kept in check otherwise workers may develop conditions that cause damage to the lungs and other organs.  

Combustible Dust

Combustible dust represents a daily hazard for workers in food and beverage manufacturing. While safety managers should implement caution for breathable dusts for the sake of worker health, combustible dusts present a plantwide danger and puts your whole production at risk. Unsure if your plant houses combustible dust? Check out our educational resources

2. Being out of Worker Safety Compliance

While of course not every accident may be traced to poor housekeeping or management, prevention of these catastrophes starts with maintaining federal compliance. The following were among the most common OSHA violations for manufacturers in 2019:

Machine Guarding for Accident Prevention

All machines must be properly equipped with guards meant to protect workers and others within the area from material hazards.

Hazard Communication

Workers need to know what can harm them. When it comes to safety, nothing should be left to common sense. A safety manual and adequate, regular training will protect your workers and help you maintain compliance.

Respiratory Protection

Everyday housekeeping makes a big difference in the extent of breathable materials in the air and on surfaces. But that doesn’t mean your workers should be without a mask when working with dangerous particles.  

Fall Protection

Thorough fall protection training and preventative measures—like cleaning and handrails—must be in place to protect your operation.

Federal Compliance – How Industrial Vacuum Systems Can Help

Manufacturers should implement a comprehensive hazardous dust program to maintain federal compliance. Included in the program should be a housekeeping system that adheres to federal regulations for food industrial vacuums and dust collection systems. For example, when it comes to silica dust, OSHA requires an HEPA-filtered collection system with 99.97% efficiency or 0.3 micron trapping.

3. Not Maintaining Hygienic Standards

Food and beverage industries bear a unique responsibility due to the potential for bacteria build-up in their operations. The United States Food and Drug Administration enforces standards upon food manufacturers to maintain contaminant-controlled environments, this entails proper clean-up procedures and other efforts made to avoid issues like cross-contamination.

But maintaining food and beverage compliance is about more than avoiding fines and keeping workers safe from harm. Doing your part to keep a hygienic space is about maintaining integral relations with vendors, partner manufacturers, and, most importantly, customers who trust that the locations housing their food and beverages are kept sanitary.

4. Ignoring Regular Machine Upkeep

Don’t forget about your machines. Your food and beverage processes are only as efficient as the machines you use. Not performing daily quality checks and cleaning as recommended by the machine manufacturer can lead to machine breakdowns or worse. As materials accumulate or become lodged into your equipment, for example, it becomes less likely to perform to its potential and more likely to lose years from its expected lifespan. But there are material collection systems that are designed to help you maintain the quality of your machines and protect your long-term investment. Continuous duty systems like the EV AP dust collection line or the Direct X series. These systems are built for direct extraction of product or dust clouds on production lines. 

Delfin Dust Collection and Industrial Vacuum Systems

Delfin offers food and beverage vacuum and dust collection systems with NRTL certification and filters that trap and contain materials at .18 microns. From portable industrial vacuums for light-to-heavy uses to around-the-clock dust collection systems that collect harmful dusts suspended in the air, we offer a wide range of equipment that’s built to meet the needs of your industry. Call us today to find the solution that’s right for you.

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