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Life Sciences

Life Sciences

Safety Considerations in Life Sciences

Companies within the Life Sciences industry are focused on research, development and the manufacture of products that enhance human well-being. Workers within this industry face a number of hazards not only to themselves but to their research and products. Laboratory workers and research facility workers who are exploring vital ideas for new drugs, vaccines, medical devices and other solutions face numerous serious hazards throughout their working day ranging from particulate, chemical, biological to heat and cut.

Once the research and clinical trials are completed and the vaccine, for example, is to be upscaled and mass produced there are strict protocols to take into consideration. The primary focus for protection shifts to the product to ensure there is no risk of contamination during the manufacturing process, with facilities either operating in clean or aseptic/sterile environments using PPE with validated sterility levels, cleanliness levels and chemical permeation levels. Identify hazards and reduce workplace injuries with a no cost AnsellGUARDIAN® assessment.

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INDUSTRY HAZARDS

Risks and hazards within the Life Sciences industry varies dependent on the environment, facility and the task being undertaken. Whether you are working with hazardous chemicals whilst compounding vital drugs and vaccines or handling hazardous chemicals during semiconductor/micro-electronic manufacturing, biological hazards in biomanufacturing or assembling medical devices which must be absolutely contamination free, the appropriate level of PPE is key. Life Sciences is highly regulated with many standards applicable to PPE and the environment, in particular cleanrooms and laboratories. Ansell has a solution to ensure workers, products and research is protected.

Ansell Solutions

For many life sciences applications the main purpose of PPE is to protect the product from contamination. Equipping workers with PPE that is compatible for use within strictly regulated cleanrooms and controlled environments is essential to reduce the risk of cross contamination, which can be in the form of particulates (dust, skin, hair), bioburden (bacteria, viruses, fungi) and chemicals (solvents, residues), to ensure the integrity of the products being manufactured or the research being undertaken.
To ensure the safety of workers within pharmaceutical manufacturing, compounding pharmacies, academic and R&D laboratories, biomanufacturing, micro-electronics and precision engineering who can be exposed to hazardous chemicals on a daily basis - whether when blending, compounding solids and/or liquids, transferring liquids, cleanroom cleaning and preparation or FAB equipment maintenance and cleaning - wearing the right PPE with the right level of chemical protection is paramount.
Biological hazards (often referred to as Biohazards) are biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily humans, including medical waste, micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi and viruses or toxins produced by micro-organisms. As a result of COVID-19, workplaces must consider the need to protect against the spread of illness and viral infection. Ansell offers a wide range of solutions that comply with the World Health Organization’s guidance regarding infection prevention and control. In order to make an informed decision, product purchasers and users should stay abreast of the latest and most complete information regarding appropriate PPE to protect against COVID-19 and other viruses in their specific environments and applications.
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) if not contained or controlled can be the cause of major disruption and damage to micro-electronic components or be the cause of ignition during powder processing, so it‘s imperative that the PPE worn by workers (carrying out applications with a risk of generating electrostatic discharge) are anti- static including garments, overshoes and gloves. Ansell have a range of solutions which have been tested to and pass anti-static standards.
Occasionally, wearing gloves can cause issues with the health of our skin. Skin allergies from adverse reactions to gloves are generally classified into three distinct types - immediate hypersensitivity/Type I, delayed hypersensitivity/Type IV or irritant contact dermatitis. Latex allergy also known as Type I allergy is the reaction to the residual allergenic protein present in natural rubber latex products. Type IV allergies mainly occur due to a reaction to chemical accelerators used in the glove manufacturing process. Ansell leaches and washes gloves to minimize the accelerator residue in the final products or eliminate the accelerator from the manufacturing process altogether if possible.
Workers within a Life Sciences environment usually wear gloves to protect either themselves, the research being carried out or products being manufactured from contamination. Prolonged muscle effort from spending hours carrying out repetitive tasks and small hand movements could cause muscle strain leading to glove induced hand fatigue and, over time, may increase the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

Tools & Resources

BioClean Anti-Fog Goggle Technology

The BioClean™ range of autoclavable goggles (BCAP, BCAH, BCAG) feature anti-fog technology which maintains a clear lens even after multiple autoclave cycles.
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Ansell Life Sciences Solutions

Our Life Sciences webpage is tailor-made to help you find the solution you need for the environment you work in. Along with helpful FAQs, valuable tools and resources providing a wealth of information on regulations, standards, testing methods and a quick link to certificates.
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