The key to high production and efficiency is automation. But did you know automation can also be used to optimize training in manufacturing? Many companies have seen success automating their training programs, but that doesn’t mean “set it and forget it.” Rather, using automation for training can enable continuous learning, where important safety and knowledge concepts get reinforced every shift, every day, to every worker, for a greater impact.
As a member of the National Safety Council (NSC), I was excited to attend NSC’s annual Southern Safety Conference & Expo. We got to showcase our newest workplace safety products that feature what we’ve been working on — and where we’re headed in the future. It was a fun chance to catch up with industry partners and show Alchemy’s support to the safety industry!
Topics: Industry Conferences
Food safety training has made great strides in the last several years, especially in onboarding, as more companies recognize the role strong employee engagement plays in successful training programs. Yet, a big opportunity still exists to increase engagement and ensure initial training is applied long after onboarding is finished: refresher trainings. These reinforcements can be delivered in several ways, and should be designed to maximize effectiveness and minimize time off the floor.
What do people mean by “clean label?” The industry refers to "clean label," but the reality is consumers don't often use that term. What consumers are looking for in food products is transparency, and that includes simple ingredient lists with recognizable ingredients. After all, how many of you have heard this advice in health magazines and lifestyle blogs: "Don't eat it if it has something in it that you can't pronounce."
An effective food industry training program is the cornerstone of a high performing food production or manufacturing facility. Providing the basic knowledge and reinforcing concepts for frontline workers are just two critically important facets of a well-thought-out training system. Here are ten ideas to round out an integrated training program and fully engage your workforce:
It may not be edible, but packaging has a major impact on keeping food safe and displaying to customers the care with which your product is produced. Comprehensive food safety training is just as important for employees in the packaging industry as it is for those in food manufacturing facilities.
Topics: Food Safety
Research suggests that the average human attention span has shrunk to an astonishing 8.3 seconds,1 and people forget 90% of newly learned information within one week.2 Perhaps not surprisingly, 62% of food industry employees aren’t adhering to their food or workplace safety programs on the floor,3 which raises a big red flag because it increases the likelihood of safety incidents occurring. So how can we overcome this tendency to forget and boost employee knowledge retention to support correct and safe behaviors on the floor?
Organizational change and the concept of continuous improvement should go hand in hand. Any continuous improvement journey is just that – a journey, not an end-point. Successful programs will continuously change to meet the needs of the business and stakeholders. Change can bring lots of speed bumps, road blocks, and yield signs if not managed from a positive perspective, and it’s important to remember that faster is not always better. Here are a few helpful hints in managing the change that accompanies continuous improvement:
Alignment of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) with the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule (PCHF) under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) sounds like a giant bowl of alphabet soup once you get all the letters into the mix. The upshot of all these acronyms coming together is an awesome opportunity for dairy food safety professionals to roll up their sleeves and turn their programs from plain old soup to the cream of the crop.
1,700 attendees and nearly 200 exhibitors converged on suburban Chicago’s Stevens Convention Center May 8–11 for the 2017 Food Safety Summit. Alchemy participated in force, meeting with fellow food safety advocates to emphasize the need for food companies to provide their employees with the knowledge and confidence to take smart action and prevent food safety incidents.
Although publicity around food safety incidents sometimes seems to show the food industry in a bad light, the ongoing prominence of food safety in the national news should be viewed positively by food processors if for no other reason than this: our employees—including our frontline food workers—pay attention to the news, too.
Navigating the grocery store aisles when you or a family member suffers from a food allergy can be a daunting task. Having to read the ingredient statement on every product you put in your basket when you shop takes an extraordinarily patient effort. No running in quickly to pick up a few things. You must be diligent in checking every ingredient every time you make a purchase.
Topics: Food Safety
When new hires walk through the door, you want them on the plant floor as soon as possible. Many food companies have some sort of formal onboarding process, which may or may not include a few days of classroom training, after which they expect new employees to hit the ground running.
Let’s think about this for a minute.
It’s a truism in the food industry that one of the keys to ensuring food safety is a focused, well-trained frontline workforce. And employee training in the food industry generally adheres to the following model: workers receive classroom instruction via slide presentation or, if they’re lucky, interactive technology, followed by quizzes or tests to confirm that the desired information has stuck.
About 130 years ago, a German psychologist named Hermann Ebbinghaus was doing research on human memory, using himself as the primary guinea pig. His experiments proved what many people strongly suspected: that newly learned information is quickly forgotten—sometimes by as much as 90% within a few days or weeks—unless a specific effort is made to revisit the information and refresh the memory.