If you work in manufacturing, you’re no stranger to compliance. And while you understand how important different regulations are for safety and security, some guidelines can be a little murky.
One such case is how to handle your facility’s visitors.
So, when it comes to compliance and visitors, we’ve done the work for you. In this article, we explain how visitors pose various compliance risks, what you can do to mitigate those risks, and the benefits of doing so.
Understanding Visitor Compliance for Manufacturers
Manufacturing visitor compliance broadly refers to adhering to legal and safety regulations when managing visitor access within your facility. However, the specifics depend on what your company produces and what regulations your facility must abide by.
At a high level, compliance encompasses various aspects of visitor management like ID verification, training, monitoring access activity, and record-keeping. It makes sense that visitor compliance is a top priority to effectively mitigate risks, avoid penalties, and uphold operational integrity.
Legal and Safety Obligations
Manufacturing facilities must comply with industry-specific regulations and specific manufacturing safety standards. Visitor compliance helps manufacturers meet these obligations, protecting the well-being of visitors and reducing potential liabilities. For example:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): OSHA sets standards and regulations to protect against hazards and ensure workplace safety for employees and visitors. Manufacturers must comply with OSHA regulations related to safety training, hazard communication, emergency response plans, and more.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA regulates environmental compliance in manufacturing facilities to protect the environment and public health. Manufacturers must comply with EPA regulations related to hazardous waste management, air emissions, water discharges, and other environmental concerns that impact visitors.
Data Privacy and Security
Visitor compliance also extends to data privacy and security. Manufacturers must handle visitors in accordance with applicable data protection regulations. And while it isn’t a comprehensive list, the most common are:
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): If the manufacturing facility operates in the European Union or handles personal data of EU citizens, it must comply with GDPR. GDPR regulates the collection, storage, and processing of personal data, including visitor information. Manufacturers must ensure visitor data is handled securely, obtain necessary consent, and comply with data subject rights.
- Export Administration Regulation (EAR): Manufacturers of dual-use items that have both commercial and military applications, as well as items that are purely for commercial use, are subject to EAR. Visitors to such facilities require special clearance and compliance measures to ensure sensitive information and technologies are protected.
- International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR): If the manufacturing facility engages in defense-related production, ITAR applies. ITAR controls the export and import of defense-related articles, services, and technical data. Visitors to such facilities require special clearance and compliance measures to ensure sensitive information and technologies are protected. Because ITAR is so similar to EAR, the same visitor compliance guidelines apply.
- Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS): CFATS applies to facilities that handle certain chemicals. And if they fall under CFATS, they must comply with regulations related to visitor access control, screening, identification, and reporting.
- Industry-Specific Regulations: Certain manufacturing industries have specific compliance regulations. For example, the food manufacturing industry must adhere to food safety regulations like the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). This requires these specific manufacturers to enforce measures for controlled visitor access, training, monitoring and supervision, and appropriate documentation.
- State-Specific Regulations: Just like different industries have different guidelines, states may also have their own set regulations relevant to facility visitors. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Under this regulation, manufacturers need to provide any visitor with a privacy notice, adhere to the appropriate collection and processing of personal information, maintain visitor rights pertaining to that information, and implement reasonable security measures.
The Trouble With Visitors And Manufacturing Compliance
Employees are well versed in safety training, security protocols, and procedures to follow in accordance with regulatory compliance. Visitors, on the other hand, are not. So, you need the right resources to help guide them safely through your facility.
Unauthorized Access and Security Concerns: Manufacturing facilities host valuable equipment, sensitive information, and trade secrets. If a visitor ends up somewhere they aren’t supposed to be, whether intentionally or unintentionally, it jeopardizes security.
Safety Hazards: And if a visitor does happen to find themselves somewhere they shouldn’t be, they compromise their safety as well. With manufacturing facilities often working with heavy machinery, dangerous chemicals, and high-risk processes, a visitor without proper education or training can go wrong quickly.
Compliance: For manufacturing, compliance comes with the territory. And visitors likely will not be aware of the regulations and standards manufacturers need to maintain. This can lead to unintentional violation during a visit or their presence alone without proper documentation can cause a violation.
Your One-Stop-Shop For Achieving Manufacturing Visitor Compliance
Leveraging visitor management software is the best, most comprehensive approach to achieving manufacturing visitor compliance. It lets you automate check-ins, monitor facility traffic in real-time, and manage data. These systems can also track visitor access, generate reports, and securely maintain data. Additionally, they offer the ability to manage other critical components of manufacturing visitor compliance:
- Pre-Registration: Pre-registration lets visitors provide necessary information before they get to the facility. And in doing so, IDs can be verified, background checks conducted, and specific regulations adhered to. Visitor management systems can pre-register visitors to streamline the check-in process once on-site.
- Document Management: Documents, like NDAs, often need to be signed by everyone coming into a facility. A visitor management system hosts these documents and allows visitors to e-sign them during the check-in process in addition to securely storing them.
- Safety Briefings and Training: Manufacturers may need to show visitors safety videos about potential hazards, emergency procedures, and other protocols specific to the facility. These videos can also be shown during the check-in process. In doing so, it’s guaranteed that every visitor has received the necessary information or training to enter the facility.
- Visitor Badges and ID Check: Issuing visitor badges is an easy way to identify authorized personnel, monitor visitor movements, and prevent unauthorized access. Verification of ID strengthens security and aids in compliance efforts. Issuing visitor badges or verifying IDs can both be done upon check-in.
Benefits of Manufacturing Visitor Compliance
The strength of your facility’s overall compliance is the obvious benefit to visitor compliance. By operating within compliance standards, you demonstrate your commitment to those guidelines, which reduces the risk of penalties, fines, legal consequences, audits, or inspections. But, the benefits go beyond just the obvious:
- Enhanced Safety: By prioritizing visitor compliance, manufacturers create a safer working environment for everyone in the facility. Compliance measures such as safety briefings and hazard awareness reduce the likelihood of accidents, injuries, and potential litigation.
- Improved Operational Efficiency: Efficient visitor compliance processes contribute to improved operational efficiency. By implementing automated check-in systems and digitized documentation, manufacturers reduce the time and effort spent on manual administrative tasks. Streamlining compliance procedures allows employees to focus on core responsibilities, optimizing productivity and contributing to value-add tasks.
- Creating a Positive Visitor Experience: A visitor can be a contractor, client, customer, or vendor. All of whom you’d want to create a positive experience at your facility to continue to build and improve your business overall. And a compliant visitor process is the best way to consistently guarantee a great visit.
Making sure you’re staying compliant must include a process for handling the visitors that come in and out of your facility. A visitor management system takes care of all the components that make up a manufacturing visitor compliance strategy. And adding one into your visitor protocol will benefit your facility beyond simply giving you the peace of mind that you’re compliant.
Learn more about visitor management for manufacturers by taking the product tour below.
Share this Post