In food processing plants, worker safety concerns don’t stop when production stops. Sanitation is an equally high-risk process, especially when machines are kept running during the cleaning shift. This common practice is hazardous to employee safety.

To combat safety challenges and improve working environments for team members, PSSI has spent two years researching improved methods of cleaning equipment with reduced need to energize. With new methods, tools and technology, PSSI and its customers have reduced sanitation safety incidents associated with energized equipment.

Conveyor Safety Project

The company’s most recent focus is on conveyor safety. In 2017, PSSI implemented a four-stage project in 105 plants across the United States and Canada, aimed at reducing the run times of conveyers during cleaning.

PSSI will share results of its conveyor safety project during a National Provisioner webinar on Oct. 5 from 1 to 2 p.m. CST. The webinar, “Redefining clean: Minimizing conveyor run times for employee safety,” will offer insights on new approaches to cleaning conveyers. The presentation will share learnings from the 105 plants that have used these approaches and discuss how plants can implement changes in conveyer cleaning protocols.

You can learn more and sign up for the National Provisioner webinar by visiting

The Oct. 5 webinar is the second in a series by PSSI, stemming from a long-standing company policy to never treat sanitation safety improvements as trade secrets. Transparency with innovation makes the industry safer for all who work in it.

Safer Blender Sanitation

In a National Provisioner webinar last November, PSSI shared results of its project to improve safety when cleaning blenders. In 2016, PSSI set a goal to clean and sanitize blenders with reduced need to energize the equipment.

During this blender initiative, PSSI worked in 428 plants to develop safer methods of cleaning 1,411 blenders and mixers. PSSI technical services experts visited each plant to identify the different blender and mixer types, then worked with the PSSI equipment team to design tools to manually turn the blenders and mixers. By the end of the year, blenders were being cleaned without energizing the equipment or by using secondary guarding to keep team members safe throughout the process. PSSI hopes to see replicated safety success with the new conveyer initiative.

Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Goals

During both the conveyor and blender safety initiatives, the biggest challenge in implementing new, safer cleaning methods is simply changing the culture and the mindsets of team members and customers. Hands-on training and engaging videos are ways food processors can help overcome these obstacles.

When it comes to employee safety in the food processing industry, improvements don’t just mean better business. They mean employee welfare improved, lives saved and families kept whole. In our industry, safety improvements aren’t optional. They’re necessities. NP


For more information on PSSI, visit