Safety performance assessment of food industry facilities using a fuzzy approach
AbstractThe latest EU policies focus on the issue of food safety with a view to assuring adequate and standard quality levels for the food produced and/or consumed within the EC. To that purpose, the environment where agricultural products are manufactured and processed plays a crucial role in achieving food hygiene. As a consequence, it is of the utmost importance to adopt proper building solutions which meet health and hygiene requirements and to use suitable tools to measure the levels achieved. Similarly, it is necessary to verify and evaluate the level of safety and welfare of the workers in their working environment. The safety of the workers has not only an ethical and social value but also an economic implication, since possible accidents or environmental stressors are the major causes of the lower efficiency and productivity of workers. However, the technical solutions adopted in the manufacturing facilities in order to achieve adequate levels of safety and welfare of the workers are not always consistent with the solutions aimed at achieving adequate levels of food hygiene, even if both of them comply with sectoral rules which are often unconnected with each other. Therefore, it is fundamental to design suitable models of analysis that allow assessing buildings as a whole, taking into account both health and hygiene safety as well as the safety and welfare of workers. Hence, this paper proposes an evaluation model that, based on an established study protocol and on the application of a fuzzy logic procedure, allows evaluating the global safety level of a building. The proposed model allows to obtain a synthetic and global value of the building performance in terms of food hygiene and safety and welfare of the workers as well as to highlight possible weaknesses. Though the model may be applied in either the design or the operational phase of a building, this paper focuses on its application to certain buildings already operational in a specific productive context.
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Copyright (c) 2013 F. Barreca, G. Cardinali, C.R. Fichera, L. Lamberto, G. Modica
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