PMMI’s Safety Conference came to Chicago in July, bringing technical insight on trends that are touching the packaging and processing industries in 2010.
“With updates coming to PMMI/ANSI standards, OSHA expanding fines and sanitation issues becoming a growing concern for machinery buyers, PMMI’s Safety Conference has never been more relevant,” said Fred Hayes, Director of Technical Services, PMMI
Food Safety in the Spotlight
According to presenter David Acheson, formerly of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food safety legislation is going through its biggest changes since 1938. For example, Hayes noted, inspection frequency is going to increase.
With the new rules, processors designated ‘high risk’ will be inspected up to twice a year,” Hayes added. “The FDA is doing everything it can do to ensure food safety, and these evolving requirements need to be reflected in machine design.”
Speaker Randy Porter of ConAgra Foods noted that ConAgra staff spends more than 20 percent of machine’s lifetime cleaning it.
“Over a 20-year life cycle, that’s 33,000 hours — nearly 4 years — cleaning,” Hayes said. “Sanitation is critical, and machine design needs to help users conduct sanitation processes as efficiently as possible.”
OSHA: Big Issues, Big Fines
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) was also a hot topic at the conference, with lawyer Tim Boe of the Rose Law Firm providing guidance on avoiding citation, while lawyer Kevin Owens & safety expert Bruce Main discussed the effect of the OSHA’s expectations for machine safety and legacy equipment.
“Kevin and Bruce noted OSHA is asking to see risk assessment documentation on equipment through a number of machinery generations and they’re looking for training documentation to ensure necessary steps were taken,” Hayes said. “These big issues could lead to big fines for both manufacturers and end users.”
ANSI, FBA Standards Public Comment Period Open
Also unveiled at PMMI’s Safety Conference was a progress report on the revisions and updates of the ANSI/PMMI B155.1 standard, which serves as PMMI’s guide to the risk assessment process for both manufacturers and end users.
The revised draft includes updates to the definition of “acceptable risk” and comments regarding deviation from prescribed standards. Public comment closes Sept. 14.
“This standard was last revised in 2006, and a lot has changed since then,” Hayes noted. “Risk assessment is one of the biggest issues facing manufacturers today, and the public comment period for this document gives the industry a chance to help determine how that term is interpreted and what considerations will be included in the next round of revisions.”
Additionally, the PMMI B155 TR2 standard, which is based on Fibre Box Association (FBA) guidelines, is accepting public comment on sections related to several corrugated issues. Public Comment on PMMI B155 TR2.1 closes Aug. 31.
Hayes Returns with Food Safety Webinar Sept. 21
Hayes will once again put the spotlight on food safety on Sept. 21 in PMMI U’s “Regulations & Standards Webinar: Food Safety Regulation & the Global Supply System.“
The webinar will review foreign supplier verification activities, voluntary qualified importer programs and the inspection of foreign facilities registered to import food.