An enzyme protection study was required to protect employees of a large manufacturer of powdered consumer products. They hired EPIC Systems, Inc. to appraise their powder blending and supersack filling operations. A thorough examination was performed with practical recommendations put in place to allow the manufacturer to quickly create a safe enzyme handling environment.
CLIENT: Fortune 100 Company
INDUSTRY: Consumer Products
- Complete enzyme handling line evaluation
- Preliminary visual inspection of powder blending and supersack operations
- Detailed list of conditions observed
- 30 actionable recommendations for better enzyme handling
- 11 engineered controls
- 12 operations changes
- 7 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) recommendations
- Appendix of general enzyme guidelines
- Follow-up visit with additional recommendations
- Dust containment
- Changes to standard operations procedures
- Balancing cost of engineering controls with frequency of employee exposure
An EPIC Evaluation
An EPIC enzyme specialist visited the customer’s manufacturing plant to evaluate their enzyme handling procedures. Prior to EPIC’s visit, the customer had implemented two major changes: An isolated room for enzyme storage (with dust collection system) and a dust collection system connected to all major equipment. Employees had been through a health screening, training and were wearing PPE as directed.
Powder products containing enzymes must not have visible dust outside of enclosed spaces. All dust must be treated as an enzyme. Powder solution that contains an enzyme must be treated as an enzyme. Production equipment must be treated as an enzyme exposure hazard.
Based on these assumptions, EPIC’s project manager and our industrial hygienist recommended 30 improvements. The following is a sample of the key action items:
- Improved Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) matrix and additional PPE recommendations for respirator use
- Adding plastic curtains and/or containment walls to separate enzyme and non-enzyme production areas
- Containing empty boxes/totes in plastic sacks to contain residual powder
- Confirming periodically dust collection system is working correctly and maintaining minimum face velocity
- Containing dust around dust collector by enclosing machine legs beneath fines barrel
- Verifying periodically storage room dust collector is keeping the room under negative pressure and dust collector is exhausted correctly
- Checking all equipment for leaks or cracks that powder can filter through and sealing all leak points
- Clearly labeling all items that come into contact with enzymes.
- Label equipment that does not come into contact with enzymes. This ensures proper separation of enzyme manufacturing and allows powder spills in the non-enzyme areas to be cleaned without using extra PPE.
- Keeping equipment doors closed during all powder additions
- Ensure all lids and containers are secure and tight
- Keeping all PPE equipment in safe, enzyme-free space when not in use
- Not using compressed air blow-off in areas where enzymes are present
- Transport waste with enzymes in a sealed container and disposing of waste properly, wearing proper PPE
- Treating rinse water as enzyme material
- Created a safe environment for all employees entering enzyme manufacturing area
- Reduced potential cost of safe enzyme handling equipment by using practical approach to recommendations with a mix of engineered controls, operational changes and personal protection equipment
- Provided a list of 30 actionable items with observational explanations to client for fast implementation
- Clearly separated enzyme and non-enzyme operations
Why EPIC? Because you want to Do It Better:
EPIC believes we provide a way for you to Do It Better when handling enzymes because of our pragmatic approach to balancing engineered controls with operational changes. Our list of clear recommendations and steps for moving forward with your enzyme handling plan will help you to quickly implement changes in your plant. There are several actions that EPIC executes with every project that contribute to helping you Do It Better:
- Thorough preliminary visual inspection of current operating state
- Front-End Engineering to ensure that the proper steps are taken during project scope development
- Applying our plant engineering experience to assist clients in identifying needs, pinpointing objectives and providing the most appropriate manufacturing equipment
- Maintaining an open door client policy to promote innovation. We invite clients to visit EPIC to experiment with new processes, technologies and techniques that push the limits of traditional engineering.
- Impart a transfer of knowledge (not just a basic training) for the systems and equipment we provide
- Appoint a single point of direct contact during the entirety of the project