Foreign Material Exclusion Basics

Managing limited resources effectively is the basis for a successful business. Lean operations, total quality management, customer resource management and the like, all focus on getting the best results on a limited budget. Foreign Material Exclusion is no different. In order to manage a prevention program effectively and to gain the maximum benefit from such a program, a company must focus on streamlining the basics. It is only after this has been done that the company can move on to the more complex aspects of FME.

A closeup of a brick wall representing the basic building blocks of an ideaEmployees must also have a foundation in the basics of the FOD Control program. Understanding is the key to developing a safety culture in the workplace. The following fundamentals of Foreign Material Exclusion will help develop an understanding of the program and help management to properly delegate limited resources where they are most needed. Each link will take you to a detailed article about the concept and list links to related articles that discuss the concept in one way or another.

The basics concepts or fundamentals of an FME program include:


The chemical makeup of articles used in a foreign material zone can have an impact on the zone, and the environment.


A housekeeping mentality and equipment made from easily cleanable material are key in many FME jobs

Human Element

Human beings will always be prone to making mistakes. They can be minimized through workplace culture and proper management techniques.

Equipment Inspection

It’s important that the equipment used in FME programs is inspected with the proper frequency.


Making it impossible for a mistake to occur is the best way to prevent an incident.


How easy something is to retrieve can sometimes determine if it’s suitable for use in protected areas

Asset Tracking

A good tracking program is essential in detecting and learning from loss of prevention controls.


If it’s easy to see, it’s easy to locate and retrieve, or more importantly, faster to retrieve. Visibility is very important because time is money.

Explore each topic to learn how to improve the aspects of your current Foreign Material Exclusion program, or to learn how to start a new program.