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What Is a Facility Audit Checklist?

What Is a Facility Audit Checklist?

Did you know that at least 20 states use their state plans approved by OSHA but that there are still high numbers of businesses that don’t have emergency plans or aren’t equipped to handle specific emergencies? Even half of the businesses that participated in the 2022 EHS Today survey admitted to not having an active sustainability program.

Business managers often wonder, “What is a facility audit checklist?” Unless you’re an EHS professional or a facility manager, chances are, you might not have had to use one in a real-world situation.

Auditing applies to all industries and businesses, regardless of their size. Keep reading to find out exactly what this checklist is, the difference it makes, and why it’s needed.

What is a Facility Audit Checklist?

So, what is a facility audit checklist? A facility audit checklist is essentially an improvement tool used to develop a baseline of the assets a company has. This isn’t limited to just physical and digital assets.

It also includes programs used to maintain those assets. This also includes their value, and all operations plans a company uses. A facility audit helps businesses identify what they have while addressing what they don’t.

It’s also a way to assess the compliance of a facility. This works by taking into account the standards specific to their industry.

This is essential considering some things facilities are required to have. This often depends on the type of building it is or the work that’s done on-site. A good example is medical facilities which are required by law to maintain up-to-date equipment surveys.

These requirements will often fall under the Department of Health Care Access and Information. Or formerly known as the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development or the Department of Health and Human Services.

The governing entity will depend on the type of company it is. FAs an example, this is the same for government buildings in this industry. They will often fall under the Department of Defense or specifically the Defense Health Agency.

Every type of facility will require an audit checklist. Not establishing that baseline of what you have could jeopardize a facility’s ability to respond in the case of an emergency or a general time of need.

Depending on the regulations of their specific industry, noncompliance with having and maintaining the quality and safety of certain equipment could result in fines, loss of reputation, imprisonment, or more than one of those repercussions.

Prevention Solutions Means Better Facility Management

An audit checklist can identify health and safety risks. It also helps to pinpoint potential hazards as well as areas in need of improvement. A well-designed checklist can help ensure that all aspects of a facility are audited consistently and thoroughly.

The issue is, there are less than 3% of companies have a crisis management professional or department on their payroll. This is often because many businesses have the mindset of a fix-it methodology. Instead, they should have a stronger focus on prevention.

The real problem is that many don’t until something happens. Companies are finding it more feasible to work with professional environmental health and safety consultants in this case.

Doing this allows them to bypass training phases and the worry of limited expertise. Overall, working with experienced and knowledgeable EHS consultants allows business and facility managers to be more hands-off. It also instills confidence in the prevention and implementation tactics their company will gain.

The Five Sections That Makeup an Audit Checklist

Every audit checklist consists of five specific sections. These sections help ensure optimal safety for the facility and all workers. They are;

  • Evidence collection
  • Audit testing
  • Analysis
  • Scope
  • Conclusion of all findings

For some facilities, this layout may vary. It will depend on the scope of the company’s work and the regulations specific to the company or industry.

Each section will allow for the development of a comprehensive report. That report will make it simpler to identify the procedures and policies a facility operates within and where they may need additional help.

Aside From the Requirement, There Are Additional Benefits Involved

The benefits of having a checklist to influence proper facility maintenance span beyond just compliance. Prevention tactics help to determine historical violations or operational problems concerning air emissions by using a facility audit checklist. By using this type of tool, organizations can:

  • Save time and money by identifying potential problems before they become costly incidents
  • Improve safety by identifying hazards and taking steps to mitigate them
  • Ensure compliance with regulations and standards
  • Avoid penalties or other negative consequences
  • Enhance the reputation of the organization
  • Demonstrate a commitment to safety and compliance

What Does It Cover?

This type of assessment goes by elements. This includes more than just equipment and the operations put in place to use them. Workplace safety checklists take into account all buildings to be covered and the entire grounds of those buildings.

The inventory that falls within those areas is the main point of focus. However, everything is included in any final report for a routine audit.
Overall, one area where facilities may need the most help is the implementation and sustainability phases.

Once the facility audit checklist has been completed, it’s crucial to set up an internal review process. This ensures that all findings are addressed and done effectively.

This also helps to identify better waste management practices and hazardous disposal practices. It will also reveal any concerns about wastewater discharges. The internal review process should be documented and communicated to all relevant personnel.

This helps to prepare for assessing the results of all solutions that were put in place. Using an EHS consultant would make this process significantly simpler.

Preparing Before Preparation Is Needed

Site managers often want to know, “what is a facility audit checklist?” This tool helps to ensure safety and guarantee improvement with regulation compliance. An effective facility checklist leaves little room for error.

This may seem complex and out of reach to do correctly, but with the right help, it’s simple. PHASE Associates specializes in curating practical EHS solutions for businesses…without the hassle. With comprehensive auditing processes, businesses can form clearer solutions to operational success.

Get in touch with our team at Phase Associates today to better protect yours. We service New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia.

Flavor and Fragrance Compound Monitoring

Flavor and Fragrance Compound Monitoring

There are over 3,000 different chemicals that are used to structure a variety of fragrances.

With many combinations that make up some of the most popular fragrances today, flavor and fragrance compound monitoring is even more of an essential step in the experimental and manufacturing processes. While flavor and fragrance analysis helps to create balanced and high-end products, it also helps to keep companies and the consumers that use their products safe.

While the fragrance industry dates back to 1370, it has since come a long way. Now, we can monitor different fragrances for potential contaminants. We can assess what goes into fragrances and what causes different reactions.

With technology in its current state, the importance and need for compound monitoring are still not fully understood. Continue reading as we talk about what it is, how it works, and why it’s vital to timely product release and success.

Identifying the Compounds That Makeup Fragrance Products

Perfume formulation analysis is vital to the outcome of a product. This applies to both the “safety for use” and aesthetic of that fragrance. In general, there are a variety of different fragrance compounds used in the F&F industry.

  • Eugenol
  • Cinnamaldehyde
  • Vanillin
  • Indole
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Citral
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Limonene

As mentioned, more than 3,000 chemicals are used to produce different fragrances. Like with anything, every ingredient presents different effects. They can also be reduced to different compounds. Citral, for example, can form aldehyde citronellal.

This can also be modified to produce isopulegol, an aromatic terpene in cannabis products. As another example, in high doses, indole can often induce higher chances of skin rashes. This is a good representation of a chemical that has multiple forms.

With indole, it’s something you’ll find that naturally occurs in human feces, yet, it’s put into perfumes. The smell is also very noticeable in its original state.

However, its scent profile changes when indole is present at a lower temperature. It will often give off a floral smell rather than a fecal scent. These are all reasons that compound monitoring is essential.

Flavor and Fragrance Compound Monitoring: Flavor Analysis

Different compounds can produce fluctuating flavor profiles. There are types of flavors that can’t be used in fragrances. The same goes for some fragrances that can’t be used in flavors.

When you are coordinating testing for fragrances, this is assessed. This might be a safeguard for manufacturers, but it’s also an excellent way to observe what goes into a product. In other cases, different flavoring agents are created with esters which form fruit-like scents.

Monitoring flavor compounds in perfumes allows you to perfect specific recipes. It’s not only a means of perfection, though.

Flavor analysis and compound monitoring are essential to combat problems like fragrance adulteration. This is basically when oils and perfumes get diluted with cheaper products. When synthetic products are used to cut costs, product quality is jeopardized.

One of the top goals of the perfume industry is to ensure no release of adulterated products. Working with experts in Diacetyl and all other compounds can help maintain this new standard. This is also an excellent way to prepare as the cosmetic industry moves to enforce regulations surrounding it.

Volatile perfume profiles are determined through different forms of analysis. As a good example, gas chromatography is a reliable way to assess compound identification. When you combine this with the use of mass spectrometry, you increase the reliability of this method.

GC is a way to separate and identify the contents of different fragrances. It’s also used to quantify what fragrances consist of.

MS works similarly and is mainly used as a form of quality control. It assists in isolating volatile components of fragrances and pairs well with GC applications.

Why Is Compound Monitoring Needed?

Flavor and fragrance compound monitoring provides more than just suitable perfume options. A form of art goes into structuring and stabilizing fragrance compositions. The compound monitoring process allows a company to identify the concentration levels of different products.

It helps monitor potency levels and match potential effects with the ingredients used in fragrant products. Perfume is a chemical compound made up of a mixture of different alcohols and oils. Other additives are used to form different fragrances along with a trace of water.

The truth is that with the variety of chemicals used to create an ideal fragrance, there is also a lot of thought that needs to go into the stability of that fragrance. Depending on the underlying makeup of a particular scent, the rate of alcohol evaporation could be faster or slower. Alcohol is used to help preserve the scent of perfume and cologne.

Additionally, alcohol, whether ethanol or isopropyl, is toxic. These two ingredients are the most toxic ingredients found in perfume and cologne options. With that, they are also the most essential.

It doesn’t only stabilize the scent and allows it to last longer. It also slows the process of oxidation.

This means that the different compounds that make up a fragrance can affect the shelf life of that product. Whether you are going for an alcohol-based or oil-based fragrance, the amount and type of ingredients you use will make a difference.

Overall, it allows you to know exactly how a fragrance is made. It’s a way to have transparency with consumers. It’s also a way to branch further properly with different fragrance recipes.

Optimizing Fragrance Products Before They Reach Consumers

Safe, stable, and quality products are the goal of fragrance companies. With the variety of compounds used to produce different fragrances, it’s not hard to make a wrong decision. Flavor and fragrance compound monitoring helps to ensure product safety, compound structure, and consumer satisfaction.

PHASE Associates specializes in comprehensive environmental health and safety. This extends to far more than the environment in which companies work and includes the products they create. To learn more, get in touch with our team today.

Our flavor and fragrance compounding services are offered to NJ, PA, DE, CT, NY, GA, VA and MD.

NJ Marijuana Industry Workplace Compliance

NJ Marijuana Industry Workplace Compliance

There are about 18 cannabis dispensaries in the state of New Jersey. Cannabis became legal in the U.S. in 1996 in California; however, it did not become legal in New Jersey until the start of 2021. With a small pool of competition, a newer ground of now-legalized products, and specific policies associated with proper selling, there is a lot of room to make mistakes.

Therefore, marijuana industry workplace compliance is vital when starting a cannabis business in the state. Cannabis is a billion-dollar industry, so it’s not hard to see why there is such an interest in starting a “grow” business. However, it’s not as simple as you might think, and there are some challenges that you can expect to face when starting a cannabis business legally.

It can be financially beneficial and a sustainable business option if done the right way. Keep reading as we break down marijuana laws throughout New Jersey and how to navigate compliance regulations in the state.

Marijuana Industry Workplace Compliance: How It Works in New Jersey

NJ marijuana industry workplace compliance refers to the rules and regulations that must be followed by cannabis businesses to stay within state standards. Compliance regulations are set to ensure all business operations are safe and legal and that they don’t negatively impact the community in any way.

All businesses that deal with cannabis must follow these policies. For New Jersey, this will apply to hiring and firing employees and how you run your operation. While it’s well known that by federal law, marijuana use is prohibited, there are exceptions for states that have legalized its use.

This means that it’s protected within New Jersey for medical and recreational use. This also means that using either type can’t result in adverse action against an employee you might hire or solely determine if you hire someone. However, some employment provisions, like any workplace, prohibit use when on the job or the premises of a job site.

What to Know About Testing

These safeguards were implemented to protect and ensure safe operations for those directly and indirectly affected by any onsite work, machines operated, or products used. This is a way to protect against potential impairment.

It’s also a top reason for the need for health and safety programs. With impairment, you must be aware that there isn’t a formal understanding of what level of THC equates to impairment. This comes from many unreliable observations compared to field sobriety test options.

This means that although it’s known that marijuana has psychoactive components, you cannot say that someone is in the same impaired state as another person that might fail a test for alcohol or other drugs. With this, you should also keep in mind that testing for marijuana is different than tests for other alternatives.

Different marijuana products may also present different effects, further complicating testing and observation. Additionally, these facts have stemmed from an ongoing debate throughout the industry.

Companies should avoid depending on drug tests as a means of detection. Instead, companies should start using tests to measure actual impairment based on work quality.

State Marijuana Laws: What You Need to Know

State marijuana laws can often come off as complicated. While its legal status isn’t the same everywhere, your business must comply with the fact that it isn’t legal for everyone, even in legalized states. In New Jersey, the legal age for marijuana possession and use is 21.

You will also have to ensure that you pay any associated fees as part of your legal distribution status. Also, suppose you plan on starting a cannabis business. In that case, you will need training in the cannabis and marijuana industry to ensure you comply with New Jersey policies and regulations.

What Are Some Initial Steps to Starting a Cannabis Business in NJ?

Getting started can seem like a large undertaking. You will be required to have proof of real estate acquisition. You will also have to present all required planning documents and approval from the municipality where you operate.

This is all associated with the standard licensing alone. This isn’t including mock blueprints or other associated fees. To give you an idea of the fees that will need to be paid, some of them would be:

  • Testing laboratory approval fee
  • Conditional conversion submission fee
  • Expanded ATC certification fee

Selling marijuana products in New Jersey can seem complex. With the proper guidance, it’s not as tricky as it would seem.

What to Keep In Mind as You Prepare to Start Your Business

Even though marijuana is legal in New Jersey, you must follow specific rules and regulations to open a cannabis business. There are two main types of cannabis licenses issued in New Jersey. They are cannabis cultivators and cannabis dispensaries. There are, however, six licenses that you can apply for:

  • Wholesaler
  • Retailer
  • Cultivator
  • Delivery service
  • Distributor
  • Manufacturer

If you want to apply for a cannabis growing license, you must have a New Jersey residence. In general, usually, all business owners would need to be residents.

However, if one owner is a resident and all owners pass a background check, this would qualify. To qualify as a resident, you must have resided in the state for at least two years.

Additionally, customers don’t only have to be New Jersey residents. They can be visitors to the state if they are 21 or older. You must also apply for a dispensary license in the county where you want to operate your business.

You must pay an application fee for a cannabis dispensary license. There is a fee schedule (non-refundable) created by the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission that all businesses must comply with. Also, keep in mind that there is a difference between medical and recreational marijuana.

The retail licensing fee will come out to $10,000. For a license as a cultivator, this will depend on your operations tier. For example, Tier 1 cultivation licenses are $5,000, while Tier III is $20,000.

These tiers mainly represent the size of the farm and its operation. It essentially evens the playing field for different-sized farms.

The Right Type of Guidance That Adapts to Your Business Goals

The cannabis industry is profitable. With it legalized in New Jersey, you can enter a market that hasn’t yet become too saturated.

Before starting, you must ensure product and consumer safety with marijuana industry workplace compliance. This will help to avoid legal issues and customer dissatisfaction.

PHASE Associates have designed workflows to provide quality outsourcing solutions for unique challenges. With extensive and reputable industry expertise, we aim to optimize how you prepare to operate your business. Get started by learning more about what we do in the cannabis industry.

Our NJ marijuana industry workplace compliance services are offered throughout the entire state of New Jersey.

Certified Microbial Consultants, Testing Services

Certified Microbial Consultants, Testing Services

Testing Services of Certified Microbial Consultants

While it’s true that only 1% of different types of microbes are harmful and can cause illness, there are still a variety of microbes that can cause severe harm and concern. The introduction of harmful toxins is a significant concern. The transformation of disease and even tooth decay can raise additional problems.

Microbes can present multiple adverse effects on health and production workflows. This is one of the main reasons why certified microbial consultants are in such high demand. Different industries can benefit from proper microbial testing.

For those in the food industry, bacteria can cause food to spoil as quickly as 20 minutes. For those in the construction industry, there are a few concerns. Bioagents used in construction technology can present harm.

Even microbes found in plumbing systems can raise more concern. This leaves companies wondering how microbial testing can enhance their business methods.

Keep reading as we discuss the importance of microbial consultancies. As well as why it’s an essential part of multi-industry management.

What Is Microbial Testing?

What is microbial testing? Microbiological testing is a vital process and analysis tactic. It helps to identify food, products, or processes that are more likely to pose the danger of disease or sickness.

It also helps identify areas where safety control is lacking and is more needed. This type of testing involves the combination of different testing methods, such as.

  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Biochemical
  • Molecular

These forms of microbial testing help to identify the levels of microorganism contamination. It’s a vital safeguard. It’s basically used to help produce the finest, safest, and highest-quality final products before they reach consumers.

The process was started due to the need for detecting Escherichia coli in beef products. The Food Safety and Inspection Service instituted the formal need for microbe testing on October 17, 1994.

Why Is Microbiological Testing Important?

Some companies may wonder, “why is microbiological testing important?”. They may also be concerned about whether that importance applies to what they do. Microbial testing methods don’t only relate to food services.

Microbes can be found in the air, in soil, in the ocean, and even on our skin. They can essentially be found everywhere. This makes microbial consulting services appropriate for any professional application.

We breathe in around one million different types of fungi daily. So, it’s safe to say that we are at risk of harm any time we inhale. However, there are some products and materials that produce harmful microorganisms. This is aside from what we are naturally exposed to in the air.

Industries that use or produce different air pollutants are at risk. Some could be lead, ozone, or particulate matter. This includes any processes that use or emit sulfur dioxide.

Some examples could be electric utility companies. Or it could be any company whose processes burn fossil fuels. Industries that cause the spread of nitrogen oxides are also included.

A good example of this could be the oil and gas industries or transportation services. Also, electric power plants that use fossil fuels are prime examples.

Microbe testing helps identify harmful and toxic pathogens in food products. A few examples of this would be E Coli and Salmonella. Food poisoning is the top cause of food contamination.

This is due to the ability of bacteria to multiply rapidly in food products. Across the U.S., every year, there are around 100 deaths associated with E-Coli exposure alone. This includes at least 265,000 illnesses.

Companies are working closely with certified microbial consultants. This helps with preventing consumer risk of contaminated products. This ensures product safety and proper compliance with food distribution standards and guidelines.

Microbial Testing Methods

The microbial testing method used will depend on the industry and application. There are a variety of testing processes. There are also at least five different laboratory techniques. There are, however, two primary methods of testing.
One option will assess indicator organisms.

The other form of analysis is designed to identify more specific pathogens. These two basic approaches to microbe detection are often used in food applications.

Other methods of testing and prevention could be more universal. This is a good tactic for adaptability. These options from a certified microbial consultant could include:

Testing is initiated differently for a variety of production workflows and manufacturing processes. The techniques used are designed to help study the structure of different microorganisms. This will include the function of that microorganism along with its genomics.

Part of this involves the genetic information associated with certain types of bacteria. Businesses must think about their exposure rates. They have to assess for they approach order fulfillment and product creation.

There are at least 500 foodborne illnesses every year. These 500 illnesses often derive from restaurants alone. Microbial consultant services are needed…to ensure public health and safety.

Microbial Consulting Services

Consulting services for microbe detection help with identification, verification, and solution development. The landscape of different companies varies. This makes consumer protection more critical than some operations managers might have thought.

Lawsuits constantly arise against businesses with harmful contaminants in their products. A decrease in customer trust also accompanies this.

The same goes for brand positivity. This means that microbial consultants don’t only ensure safety.

Additionally, they assist with protecting the manufacturing and production process. This is something that will benefit your products, services, and coverage areas.

Quality, Success, and Safety Assurance: Working with Certified Microbial Consultants

Working with certified microbial consultants can help with identifying harmful contaminants. This is beneficial at the beginning phase of any development process. PHASE Associates works to prepare companies to implement safeguards and reliable testing tactics.

This helps to prevent irreversible damage to both your company and your consumer. Get in touch with our team at Phase Associates today to learn more about how we optimize business safety and reliability. Our Certified Microbial consultants offer testing services to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Sustainability Consulting, Auditing, and Assessments

Sustainability Consulting, Auditing, and Assessments

Sustainability Consulting: The Importance of Regular Air Quality Assessments

Are your employees experiencing headaches? Do you often hear complaints about how tired someone feels on the job? Are your employees struggling to concentrate?

If your answer to these questions were yes, you could have poor air quality in the workplace. Poor air quality can cause various unpleasant, sometimes even dangerous, health problems. Yet, there is a simple way to improve the air quality of your business.

The first step is to understand the importance of regular air quality assessments. Regular air quality assessments will help ensure that your employees’ air is safe. Let’s examine what an air quality assessment involves and why it matters.

What Does an Air Quality Assessment Involve?

An air quality assessment typically involves testing the levels of several common air pollutants. Pollutants like carbon dioxide, ozone, and nitrogen oxide can reduce air quality. Depending on the type of facility being assessed, other pollutants may be tested as well.

For example, a common warehouse air pollutant hydrocarbon. While in a manufacturing plant may experience air pollutants like mold.

During the assessment process, indoor and outdoor air samples are taken. This is needed to determine which pollutants are present. The pollutants found in high concentrations are noted.

The next step is creating a plan on how they can be safely removed or reduced. In addition to measuring pollutant levels, an assessment may include ventilation system inspections. There are also other measures to ensure that you meet all safety requirements.

Those measures may include performing air contaminant monitoring. You could also perform evaluations for volatile organic chemicals (VOCs).

The Benefits of Regular Air Quality Assessments

Regularly assessing the quality of the air in your workplace has numerous benefits. It helps protect both workers and visitors from exposure to hazardous pollutants.

Studies have shown that air pollutants can cause severe illnesses over time. This could expose your business to a lawsuit. Yet, you can avoid this with regular air quality assessments.

Another benefit of an air quality assessment is it helps reduce odors. Poor ventilation systems tend to cause a foul smell in the workplace. The cause is sometimes inadequate vent cleaning procedures.

The last thing you want is your business to have unpleasant working conditions. Testing your air quality often can help ensure a more pleasant work experience.

Finally, regular air quality assessments can save money. Conducting regular air quality assessments helps you identify problems in ventilation systems. If your system runs inefficiently, it can cost your business more money.

Replacing equipment due to wear-and-tear caused by poor maintenance can reduce energy costs.

How Often Should You Conduct an Air Quality Assessment?

Employers should conduct regular air quality assessments at least once every two years. This is a good practice to ensure that their workspace remains safe for their employees. Yet, it’s important to note that there are cases when you should test more often.

For instance, if new materials are being introduced into the workspace. You will want to conduct an air quality assessment every few months to a year. Another case requiring more frequent testing is if changes have been made to ventilation systems.

More frequent testing may be necessary on other equipment too. If it could affect air quality, you want to test it. You should also test the air quality more often if any workers report health issues or concerns.

Employers must take these concerns seriously. Taking immediate action by conducting an air quality assessment is critical.

What Can You Do to Improve Air Quality?

Besides conducting regular air quality assessments, there are several steps you can take to improve air quality.

One of the best ways to improve the indoor air quality of your business is to seek sustainability consulting. Sustainability consulting firms can offer an indoor air quality assessment.

They can also create a sustainability audit checklist to help your business focus on safety goals. Since auditing is one of the steps to ensure indoor air quality, this may be the best approach for your business.

Other steps to improve indoor air quality include regularly maintaining ventilation systems. Using HEPA-filtered vacuums when cleaning up dust or debris is another way to improve air quality.

You can also consider conducting a general facility air quality survey. Partnering with a company such as Phase Associates can help you continuously check indoor air conditions.

Keeping airborne pollutants from exceeding safe levels is how your business can improve its air quality.

Benefits of Sustainability Consulting

There are many benefits to working with a sustainability consultant. They can help you outline your goals to become more eco-focused. Creating an action plan for sustainable changes in your work environment is a step in the right direction.

They can also provide ongoing support. Sustainability consultants are there throughout the process of reducing health and safety challenges.

Hiring a sustainability consulting firm will give you access to years of experience. Firms like Phase Associates can be your trusted assessments sustainability, reporting consultant.

They will be able to provide you with solutions that will help you improve your indoor air quality. They have worked with other companies to achieve better air quality too.

The Importance of Regular Air Quality Assessments

A regular air quality assessment is essential for protecting employees. In any business setting, reducing potentially harmful airborne contaminants is a must.

Understanding the importance of regular air quality assessments is beneficial to your business. You want to ensure that your workplace meets all safety regulations. If you are concerned about the indoor air standards of your business, don’t worry!

Phase Associates can help. You can rest assured that everyone who enters your facility is safe from potential harm. Contact us today and improve your indoor air quality now! Our clients come from NJ, PA, NY, CT, DE, VA, GA and MD. We would love to add you to our long list of happy customers.