Companies establish good manufacturing policies to meet quality standards and ensure they handle and manufacture products safely and consistently. These policies set the minimum requirements for the controls, facilities, equipment, packaging, product testing and processes. For example, in food manufacturing, employees with wounds or illnesses must secure clearances from management before returning to work.

Cleanliness is Critical

Manufacturing employees need to maintain appropriate personal cleanliness. In food manufacturing, for example, this involves wearing clean attire, gloves and protective clothing. Typically, companies prohibit employees from wearing jewelry in manufacturing areas. Health and safety is of primary concern, so employees must practice good hygiene when handling products. This includes washing hands before and after handling products. Restricting food in manufacturing areas is also good policy. For example, don't allow food handlers to eat or smoke when they handle products, because doing so can contaminate and compromise the safety of products. The same goes for those who work with hazardous materials.

Room To Work

Manufacturing buildings and facilities must be suitable for the processes involved in making products, particularly in terms of location and construction. For example, pharmaceutical companies that manufacture active ingredients need sufficient space to prevent ingredient mix-ups. The workspace must be organized so that the possibility of contamination is minimized. There should be designated areas for different processes such as sampling, production, storage, packaging and laboratory operations. Furthermore, employees must have access to clean washing and restroom facilities with hot and cold water, air driers, soap and towels.

Safety First, Quality Next

Good manufacturing policies also guide manufacturers in producing safe products. For example, in ready-to-eat manufacturing operations, there are specific guidelines for every process, including storage of raw materials, thawing of frozen materials, processing, handling, storage of finished product and delivering. Companies must make sure that materials they use in the process are in good sanitary condition and are approved for use. You can assess the quality of your processes by using strategies such as acceptance sampling or taking random samples from a batch of products for each process. You also can evaluate each production process through statistical process control wherein you use control charts as guides to determine processes that can affect quality.

What's In a Name?

Appropriate labeling is vital to prevent product misrepresentation. Aside from the name of the product, list the main contents in the product on the principal display panel. If the safety of a product has not been fully tested, make it your policy to include warning information on the label. Also make it your business to include directions for safe use along with the name and address of manufacturing company. Good policy also includes taking the extra step to place tamper-resistant packaging features such as tape seals, breakable caps or sealed carton on liquid products.