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Arc Flash Assessment Helps Achieve OSHA and NFPA Compliance

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Graymont, a family owned company in operation for over 70 years, is a global leader in lime and limestone solutions. The company’s products address today’s environmental issues while supporting industrial processes and agricultural needs. Uses for Graymont’s products include the purification of air and water, and the production of essential items including steel, paper, and metals. The Genoa, Ohio Graymont location employs 48 and is primarily engaged in manufacturing quicklime, hydrated lime, and “dead-burned” dolomite from limestone, dolomite shells, or other substances.

In order to ensure their employees safety as well as to be compliant with OSHA, in cooperation with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requirements, Graymont needed to conduct an Arc Flash Assessment. An Arc Flash Assessment is a study of the facility’s power system to determine the incident energy available at specific electrical devices that employees would be exposed to while “interacting with” the electrical equipment at the facility.

OSHA 1910.132 requires that employers identify and protect their workers from workplace hazards. Every industrial/commercial power system includes inherent risks – specifically electrical shock and Arc Flash, anytime employees are “interacting with” electrical equipment while energized. Interacting with electrical equipment includes operation of fully enclosed switches and power circuit breakers as well as any exposure to energized equipment or circuit parts, including all energized testing or troubleshooting activities.

NFPA 70E – Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, Section 110.1 – requires “the employer shall implement and document an overall electrical safety program that directs activity appropriate to the risk of electrical hazards. The electrical safety program shall be implemented as part of the employer’s overall occupational health and safety management system, when one exists.” The section specifically includes identifying and quantifying the risks of both shock and arc flash hazards, before work begins.

CIFT, the northwest Ohio MEP, coordinated an Arc Flash Assessment for Graymont using Matrix Technologies, a service provider with expertise in this field. The project consisted of a short-circuit analysis and an Arc Flash analysis, to meet OSHA and NFPA 70E compliance standards. The requirements for an Arc Flash study were met by Matrix, and included field verification and audit, software modeling and design, short-circuit analysis, protective device coordination, and Arc Flash analysis. The Arc Flash labels provided by Matrix Technologies defined the incident energy values for the proper level of personal protective equipment (PPE) the employees at Graymont wear.

OSHA and NFPA requirements were achieved as a result of this Arc Flash Assessment conducted for Graymont and coordinated by CIFT/Ohio MEP.

“Working with Ohio MEP was a seamless process. Ohio MEP did most of the heavy lifting on the project. They established excellent lines of communication throughout the project, frequent updates, and worked well with our contractors through completion. I highly recommend Ohio MEP as a valuable resource if you are looking to invest in your process or operation.” — Greg Jess, Maintenance & Kiln Operations Supervisor at Graymont

Manufacturing Resources

CIFT offers a variety of manufacturing services from lean implementation to DOD support. For a complete list of our manufacturing services, please visit our manufacturing webpage.


How to Overcome Food Sanitation Challenges

A properly planned, executed and maintained food sanitation program is vital to the success of any operation. So why can sanitation be such a challenge for many organizations?

The challenges often occur because of these three main reasons.
(1) Sanitation responsibility usually falls under two different departments: Operations and food safety. Operations is normally responsible for the actual execution of cleaning and sanitizing while food safety is in charge of the verification and validation of the overall effectiveness of the sanitation program.
(2) Sanitation happens on an off shift or weekends and can be an area with the highest turnover of personnel within the organization.
(3) Sanitation managers usually have limited time and budget, so being as efficient and productive in their efforts is crucial.

How does one overcome these challenges? Since food sanitation is an essential prerequisite program for food safety and is a regulatory requirement [reference 9 CFR part 416 and 21 CFR Part 117.135 (c) 3], it is necessary to find solutions. An effective sanitation program is complex and based on science, not just a simple “does it look clean” inspection. Many elements such as waste management, facility and equipment sanitary design, master cleaning schedule, and proper cleaning tool/equipment play a role in the overall sanitation of the facility. However, a sanitation program is only effective if the people executing understand its importance and are willing to use it and make necessary adjustments as needed.

Develop and Document Procedures
Organizations must develop, document, implement and maintain procedures for cleaning every material in their facility on their master cleaning schedule. This includes every piece of equipment, utensils, floors, walls, ceilings, overheads, warehouse, etc. Then they must also determine at what frequency cleaning needs to be completed.

When developing procedures, validation needs to be conducted to ensure that potential health risk equipment is being cleaned and sanitized effectively. Particularly equipment that runs both allergen and non-allergen products to avoid allergen cross-contact.

Implement Food Sanitation Program
Once the policies and procedures are created, it is now time to implement. A critical part of implementation is spending the necessary time educating workers. Each worker must be educated on the documented procedures, how to properly clean (seven steps of sanitation), explaining where problems may exist and the whys behind sanitation. This is needed to encourage a desire in personnel to protect the consumer and company brand. Investing time in personnel that hold a valuable role in the overall organization’s health will aid in building a positive food safety culture and overall company culture. This in return can lead to better employee retention.

Conduct Verification
Lastly, an essential element of maintaining the food sanitation program is conducting verification activities. This will ensure the program stays on track and people continue to do what is defined in the written procedures. Conduct direct observations, evaluate and then make the necessary improvements. Oftentimes employees need continuous reminders of simple things they need to follow to ensure effective cleaning. It may be something as simple as not laying water or foamer nozzles on the floor or providing the right amount of mechanical action to loosen soils.

Sanitation Success
Sanitation must not be viewed as a disruption in the process, but as a fully planned, managed and measured activity that is viewed with the same structure as everyday production. If any part is conducted incorrectly or not fully completed, the consequences can be devastating to the company brand and potentially the consumers. But when sanitation is conducted properly, the end result is a safe and quality product and increased production uptime.

Food Sanitation Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about our food sanitation services and other food services, you can read more of our food processing blogs or visit our food processing webpage.

Get to know our food team! Read more about the author, Stacy Vernon, Project Manager and Food Safety Expert. 

industry 4.0

What is Industry 4.0?

Are you confused about what Industry 4.0 is? Many people are because it seems to be so similar to Industry 3.0, or the 3rd Industrial Revolution, an era that just recently ended. So what’s the difference?

Here’s the simplest way to put it:

Industry 4.0 is in fact the practices of Industry 3.0, but with an added use of smart technology which produces connectivity. So, devices communicate with each other and are able to even make decisions.

So what’s that mean?
You’re familiar with Industry 3.0 practices. These are the traditional manufacturing practices like Lean, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Automation, just to name a few. Now let’s add in the element of smart technology, or smart manufacturing. The entire production is connected and every single part, machine and employee are working in sync. Efficiencies are automatically captured and implemented. Inventory is always recorded which reduces waste. Because every machine or device is connected, real-time data is given which allows for data-based decision making on when to order materials, when to ship, when to reschedule a product and more. All this information makes it clear what the health of your organization is at any given moment. Information that is critical to the life and success of your company.

Endless possibilities with Industry 4.0

The potential and possibilities that come from implementing an Industry 4.0 production really are endless. If you free up workers in certain areas, they are then able to focus on new initiatives. If you reduce waste, you have new capital to use on new technology. Efficiencies open up the ability to expand and grow. And, let’s face it, you’ll have new leverage when it comes to recruiting new employees that want to be a part of smart technology.

If you’re interested in learning more about Industry 4.0, you can read more of our manufacturing blogs or visit our manufacturing services page.

Get to know our manufacturing team! Read about our Industrial 4.0 Project Manager, Joseph Schultz and our Business Development Specialist, Cathy Witte.

Rebecca Singer

Getting to Know Rebecca Singer, President & CEO

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.

This is a special edition of our Getting to Know CIFT blog series because we are highlighting our President and CEO, Rebecca Singer! Rebecca has always been a strong advocate for CIFT and began her journey with the company in 2001. She initially started with CIFT as the Associate Program Director, then climbed up the chain to Vice President and Director of Agricultural Programs and now is leading the company as President and CEO. We asked her some questions to get a glimpse into her role and what makes her so passionate about the work that CIFT does.

What do you do at CIFT?
I provide vision and strategic consideration as to how CIFT can continue to serve as a resource to our clients and stake holders while also exploring trends and anticipating future challenges. I have the pleasure of leading a team of exceptional individuals with unique skills and experience in directly engaging with companies within the food, agricultural, and manufacturing industries.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
I have always been a firm believer in spending time doing something that makes a difference and you are passionate about. Food is an industry that touches every person several times a day while supporting good health, social engagements, to family connectivity. Playing a role in delivering a basic need with such powerful implications is particularly rewarding. Enhancing the way in which this is done from field to package is inspiring.

What has been your favorite project so far?
I have been fortunate to participate in and deliver on numerous projects during my tenure with the organization. It is incredibly difficult to select a favorite when you consider the impacts associated with assisting companies develop safer, higher quality products, implementation of a technology that allows for no preservatives added for enhance market appeal, explore improvements to water quality issues, manufacturer items fulfilling immediate crisis response during the pandemic, or educating youth of the importance of contributing to a vibrant food system into the future. In saying all of this, working with the entrepreneurs with a recipe that has been passed down for generations to advancing it into the marketplace is refreshing and inspiring. The passion and dedication of all the individuals we work with, regardless of the type of company, makes each positive impact a highlight.

What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?
If you are within the food and agricultural industry, you will find genuine and valuable support from our team and if you manufacture a product in northwest Ohio your success is important to us and we are here to serve as trusted advisors willing to help.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I have been fortunate to travel to numerous countries to expand my knowledge and experiences professionally and encourage such exposure to anyone. Additionally, I spend my free time working on the family farm, volunteering for organizations such as 4-H, and find time spent on the water most relaxing and refreshing.

Get to know more of the team through the entire CIFT Team blog series.