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Worker wearing 3M™ Versaflo™ TR-800 Intrinsically Safe PAPR from the back

Safety Solutions for the Pharmaceutical Industry

3M's technical and sales teams can provide assistance as you work through product application and technical data requests, on-site product demos, hazard assessment and in the ever-changing environment of pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing processes and tasks

Protect your workforce with 3M personal protective equipment (PPE) solutions

  • Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient PPE
    Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Manufacturing (API)

    Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) are the primary, biologically active ingredients of a drug which produce the intended effects. They are manufactured from raw materials through both chemical and physical means to create an active ingredient. This complex process presents the worker with a series of high risk occupational hazards. For example, some highly potent API’s have very low WELs (Workplace Exposure Limits), which will often mean Personal Protective Equipment forms an essential part of an organisation’s risk assessment to keep workers safe. 

    Introduction to Pharma Regulations that Impact on PPE

  • Formulation and packaging PPE
    Formulation and Packaging

    Pharmaceutical drug manufacturing is composed of two core components: the API and the excipient. Excipients are the inactive ingredients such as fillers, binders, dyes and coating agents which are used to bind, coat and transport the API to the users system. The procedure for optimizing and compositing this mixture of components into the final form the drug takes is "formulation." Following this the drug needs to be packaged for sale. Both of these processes present workers with a complex system of hazards that will often require workers to be protected through PPE.

  • Maintenance and cleaning PPE
    Maintenance and Cleaning

    Ongoing maintenance activities including decontamination or cleaning of cleanrooms or production suites can often involve challenging cleaning agents such as peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. In these situations PPE is often crucial for protecting workers.

    3M Respiratory Protection for Hydrogen Peroxide, Peracetic Acid and Acetic Acid

Personal protective equipment and containment control strategies based on active pharmaceutical ingredient occupational exposure banding

Want to learn more about Pharmaceutical regulations, hazards & risks and containment control strategies combined with the usage of PPE?

Confined Spaces. Get in easily. Get out safely.

Confined Spaces. Get in easily. Get out safely.

From potentially toxic atmospheres, to physically hazardous conditions such as extreme temperatures, unstable materials, or the potential for falls, confined spaces often present unseen challenges.


Common Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Hazards

Personal protective equipment solutions for various occupational hazards found within the pharmaceutical industry

  • Airborne Hazards
    Airborne Hazards

    Airborne hazards are common in pharmaceutical production, especially when it comes to API production. Most of the processes are likely to generate dust or /and gases & vapours. Identifying the hazards and selection of the appropriate respiratory protective equipment are key determining factors for a safe working environment.




  • Ignition pharmaceutical manufacturing hazard
    Explosive Atmospheres

    Explosive atmospheres in the workplace can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts.
    Explosions can cause loss of life and serious injuries as well as significant damage.
    Make sure your Personal Protection Equipment is designed for workplace environments with a potential risk of fire or explosion.

    Discover the Intrinsically Safe 3M™ Versaflo™ TR-802E powered air respirator.

  • Working at Heights
    Working at Height

    Pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities can present a number of areas where workers may need to be at height. Regardless of distance, all work at height has the potential to cause serious or fatal injuries to workers should a fall or drop of objects occur. 3M Fall Protection offers the equipment, training, knowledge and expertise to help give pharmaceutical workers confidence to perform their work safely and efficiently.

    More information on Fall Protection


  • Skin Exposure
    Skin Exposure

    For most pharma production processes, protecting workers from hazardous particles, liquid splashes & sprays is essential. Avoiding contamination of the substances within the production process is also very important. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is used to create a barrier between people and products. In the pharmaceutical industry, often colorless and invisible dangerous substances can affect workers. Likewise human skin, by carrying germs and bacteria can affect the API Process.


  • EYE Injuries
    Eye Injuries

    Liquid splash, dust and flying particles can result in severe injuries that could cause permanent damage to the eyes. Helping to find the right protection in terms of hazards and fit is often a challenge.

    Try our eyewear selector tool

  • Noise Exposure
    Noise Exposure

    Noise in the workplace is a complex hazard. Harmful noises can endanger your workers' hearing or hinder their ability to communicate safely from a distance whilst working. In 2016, harmful noise was officially recognised as an irreversible health hazard within the revised PPE directive 89/686/EEC. This puts hearing protection in the same level of high risk categorization as respiratory protection and fall protection.

    Harmful Noise factsheet


Suggested PPE products for pharmaceutical manufacturing

  • This comfortable, easy-to-use powered air respirator gives your people a high level of protection and helps to minimise the risk of fire or explosion. The Versaflo TR800 platform is intrinsically safe and approved to zone 0 requirements, suitable for potentially explosive atmospheres. When combined with a 3M approved headtop, it forms a battery powered system for respiratory protection against particles, nuisance odours, gases and vapours.

  • 3M™ Aura™ 9300+ Series Disposable Respirators are the result of 3M’s continuous drive to improve comfort. The Ingenious 3-panel design fits a wide range of face shapes and sizes, also helps accommodate greater facial movement during speech making the respirator so much more comfortable to wear.

  • When handling active substances, it is essential to reliably protect the employee's respiratory tract.
    It is almost as important to ensure that the substances/active ingredients are not contaminated - e.g. by exhaled air.
    With the 3M Aura respirator Aura 1883+ we have the optimum solution that fulfills both of these requirements. The two-way breathing mask offers double approval & protection through the covered exhalation valve according to EN14683:2005: *Tested mouthguard type 2R according to EN14683:2005 - effect from inside to outside
    * Tested respiratory protection according to EN149:2001 FFP3 - protection from the outside to the inside

  • 3M™ Maintenance Free Half Mask 4000+ Series is a range of simple and ready-to-use respirators. A newly enhanced valve assembly helps to reduce exhalation breathing resistance for improved breathing comfort and the integrated cartridge and filters are maintenance free. Simply use until your change-out schedule indicates a replacement is needed or when the filters are full, and then discard.

  • 3M™ Protective Coverall 4530 has a specialist material treatment which offers fabric flame spread resistance to allow the garment to be worn over an Index 2/3 FR garment, enhancing the chemical splash and hazardous dust protection and extending the life cycle through reduced laundering. Certified to Cat III hazardous dust and splash type 5/6 protection and Antistatic EN 1149.

  • 3M™ Solus™ Safety Glasses 1000 Series have a slim frame with colour accented soft temple components for a stylish and modern look. A fogged lens can be frustrating and dangerous. Removing eyewear to wipe away fog can expose eyes to potentially dangerous workplace impact hazards and debris. 3M™ Scotchgard™ Anti-Fog Coating resists fogging longer than traditional anti-fog coatings, even after washing multiple times. Try 3M™ Solus™ Safety Glasses 1000 Series with 3M™ Scotchgard™ Anti-Fog Coating and see clearly, longer.

  • 3M™ Goggle Gear 501NSGAF Clear Scotchgard™ Anti-Fog Lens is suitable for autoclave applications with its adjustable neoprene strap. The modern, lightweight design with pivoting rachet ensures personal fit. 3M™ Scotchgard™ Anti-Fog Coating provides superior anti-fog and anti-scratch properties.

  • 3M™ DBI-SALA® Delta™ Comfort Rescue Harness is one of our most popular harnesses featuring comfortable padding, with an ergonomic fit and feel, lightweight buckles and high strength webbing. The water repellant and abrasion-resistant webbing can withstand the most severe demands, day in, day out. It has a no-tangle triangular pattern, which creates a frame that allows the harness to be easily donned by workers.