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3M develops PPE for food industry

31 January 2012

Diversified technology company 3M has developed a specialist range of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for the food and beverage manufacturing industry. The 3M range includes earmuffs, earplugs, disposable respirators and safety spectacles.

Anja Buchan of 3M’s Safety Solutions Division explained: “Health & Safety professionals working in the food and beverage sector face a particular set of challenges and it is vital to ensure both the protection of the worker against potential hazards and the maintenance of strict hygiene standards.

“The 3M Food and Beverage range combines the latest innovations in technology and design to offer the most advanced and appropriate solutions for a variety of applications.”

Respiratory protection
3M Aura 9400+ Disposable Respirators offer protection against particulate hazards related to food and beverage production, such as flour or grain dust. Designed to stand out, the new respirators are a highly visible bright blue colour and feature a concealed metal nose clip, which keeps the mask securely in place and also means it is metal-detectable in line with customer needs. It has also been designed without staples or small, detachable parts.

Anja added: “The new design offers a unique combination of features, making it ideal for use in a food manufacturing environment, where minimising contamination risks during production is crucial. For hygiene benefits, the respirators are also individually packaged to prevent contamination before use.”

The 3-Panel flat-fold design accommodates a wide range of face shapes and sizes and allows for easier facial movements, making the respirators easier to talk through. Additional features include a technically-advanced filter material that combines effective performance with low breathing resistance to allow the wearer to breathe more easily during the course of their working day. An embossed top panel also reduces airflow through the top of the respirator, which helps to minimise the fogging of eyewear.

Hearing protection
A high proportion of processes in the food and beverage industry – operations such as bottling and milling for example - exceed the Upper Exposure Action Value of 85dB(A)* for noise – when hearing protection must be provided.

A common issue for workers wearing protective earmuffs is that moisture can be absorbed and condensed water builds up in the cups and headband, leading to hygiene issues and discomfort for the wearer. The 3M Peltor Optime II Food Earmuff has been developed using a special foam and headband cushion design.

The foam is pre-moulded to give optimal fit to the ear cups and gives better thermal isolation, which prevents moisture and heat build-up whilst retaining the correct level of attenuation. Comfortable, hygienic and easy to clean, the earmuffs are white in colour to help increase visibility of cross contamination.

As part of the 3M E-A-R Passive Hearing Range, the new 3M E-A-R Tracer 20 Reusable Earplugs have been launched to include a robust, pocket-sized storage box, to allow for easier storage and reuse. Available in a non-food coloured blue, these top performing reusable corded earplugs are low attenuating, so ideal for processes where noise levels are below 95dB(A) or anywhere contamination needs to be considered. They are also fully metal detectable.

Eye protection
From particles in the air to water and chemical splashes, food-related activities can also pose potential eye hazards. The 3M Tora CCS (Cord Control System) Safety Spectacles have been designed to provide eye protection whilst keeping corded earplugs attached, untangled and ready for use at all times. This integrated system reduces the loss of both eyewear and earplugs that can not only reduce expenses for replacements but more importantly can help to avoid potential contamination issues.


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