Material Handling: An Important Issue in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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In this report we have been asked to investigate the material handling requirements for a proposed Aspirin process. Material handling is an important issue in the pharmaceutical industry. Material of use can be hazardous and dangerous to the environment as well as the people that have to handle the material. Hazardous material needs to be stored safely and transported safely. In this report we will look at options that are available to achieve this. When deciding on what measures that you want to apply for moving material from A to B, we first have to consider a number of issues: • Physical/Chemical Characteristics of the Product been transferred. • Health and safety issues such as the Exposure of the material to workers and to the environment • The cost of the transport of material

• Do you want a dedicated system (Closed Loop) in which is only suitable for one product or a flexible system in which can cater for different products. • Cleaning an maintaining the transport equipment

• The quantity of material been transported
• The legal and regulatory issues regarding the storing and transport of your product. • The Layout of your Plant
• Controlling the rate of transfer of material
• The storage requirements that apply to the material of use. All these issues have a part to play on the design of the storage and transport system of the material in the plant.
From the 1994 safety, health and welfare at work regulations, it is the duties of the employer to carry out risk assessments where exposure to hazardous agents is likely to occur. It is also the employer’s duty to control the exposure of employees to chemical agents by eliminating or substituting, by engineering and controls, by safe systems of work and by supplying PPE. The employer has to carry out monitoring to ensure operator exposure level (OEL) are not been exceeded and to carry out health surveillance where appropriate. When designing a system for chemical handling, it is important to first identify the hazards. Then complete a risk assessment on the hazard. Risks are assessed by how hazards are managed (storage, handling, processing, equipment design). The third step is to make the risk acceptable. With hazardous material, there is always going to be a risk, but it is up to the employer to make this an acceptable risk. This can involve how the material is stored, transported, quaintly of material etc. The higher the hazard is a risk, the higher the cost of reducing the risk. A chemical risk analysis would be required of the employer on all the chemical material that is at a site. This analysis should include: • Chemical agents

• Properties
• Supplier Information
• Level, type, duration of exposure
• Use
• OELV’s(occupational exposure limits and BLV’s (biological limit values • Health surveillance.
So in this report I will examine the chemical properties of the material that is used and produced in the process. From this I can determine the best method for transporting and storing the materials and what risk this material has on the employees.

Raw Materials:
To produce aspirin we require Salicylic Acid, Acetic Anhydride and Sulphuric Acid. The process is to produce 950,000 kg aspirin a year. Table one show the material required to produce this amount of aspirin. The plant is operational 8,000 hours a year, and takes 5 hours per batch. Then: No. of Batches a year = [pic] batches a year.

Size of each batch = [pic]
|Product Feed |Weight (kg) Annual |Weight (kg) Batch | |Salicylic Acid |764285 |477.6 | |Acetic Anhydride |568994 |355.6 | |Euphoric Acid |2640...
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