The firm recognized the need to focus on improving new hire and workplace safety training.
It would not tell FoodQualityNews how many lost-time incidents it previously had or the number of those requiring medical aid but did reveal it has since had one lost-time incident after marking six years of using Alchemy systems.
Bonduelle has more than 10,000 frontline food workers, 500 varieties of vegetable products and 58 processing plants.
The Strathroy (Ontario, Canada) site has a packaging hall which runs all year and a processing hall usually active from June to December with full seasonal capacity of 200 people.
Moving from paper
Jodi Haggith, Bonduelle HR and training supervisor, said the Strathroy plant was the first in the North American division to take up the tools.
“Before we had no formal program and we did training with PowerPoint on an as needed basis,” she said.
“We had to be sure all employees – seasonal or permanent and regardless of their position – were following our policies and procedures. But we had a lot of challenges with creating and delivering consistent messages.
“Because we work with vegetables it is a cold environment, there is a lot of water due to sanitation, it is wet and cold so can be slippy and there is a lot of forklift traffic due to movement between the process hall and the freezers.”
Different training platforms
Bonduelle used Alchemy’s group-based training platform during orientation.
The platform includes hand-held remotes and tests comprehension in real time while providing electronic records for BRC audit readiness.
The firm also wanted to meet the standards of the Global Food Safety Initiative through certification with the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Staff are tested in real time on comprehension and are recorded to support BRC audits.
Alchemy’s measurement system means it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare for an audit when it used to take five days, said the firm.
“We can cover company policies and procedures and you can build on the program as soon as there are changes, you can modify the content on PowerPoint and Alchemy refreshes content regularly and monitors how often videos are used,” said Haggith.
“We have learning plans for new employees, a general one for all, and then it depends on what position and the learning plans filter off that. After two weeks we follow up to see that they are working safely and throughout the year we offer different training.”
Bonduelle also used Alchemy Coach, a mobile tablet application that allows supervisors to observe and ensure employees are applying training concepts on the floor.
Supervisors can conduct and document safety conditions and provide real-time mentoring and coaching to employees.
“If we’re not working safe, then we’re not working at all. If we’re not putting out a safe product, we’re not putting out product at all,” said Troy Duffenais, Packaging Operator.
Alchemy partners with ITI
Meanwhile, Alchemy Systems has partnered with Instructional Technologies, Inc. (ITI) to improve fleet safety, fuel efficiency, and compliance, safety, accountability (CSA) scores for food industry warehousing and transportation operators.
It enables food companies to improve driver safety, which lowers insurance rates and reduces lawsuits, said the firms.
Alchemy customers can use the training platform to train drivers, warehouse staff, and mechanics on the ITI-created PRO-TREAD courses.
The PRO-TREAD family of products has more than 100 courses covering 38 hours of training.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 87% of transportation crashes are due to driver performance.