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Laboratory Safety Audit Information
During some recent laboratory audits, EHS noted these common laboratory safety deficiencies regarding biosafety cabinets.:
Past due certification on Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC's). All cabinets need to be certified annually.
Recommendation: The contractor for cabinet certification needs to be contacted. Suggested sources for certification of BSC's are available on the EHS web site
Use of Bunsen burners in the BSC's.
Recommendation: Bunsen burners should not be used in BSC's. If onemustbe used, then one with a pilot light should be chosen because the continuous flame of other models can produce turbulence and the heat produced can damage the filter.
Excessive Equipment in cabinet & blocking front intake grill. This can create excessive turbulence which can put the technician at risk. Keep cabinet free of unnecessary equipment. Do not use cabinet for storage.
Recommendation: Do not place items over front grill (work 6" back) and do not block back grill.
Follow these additional guidelines to improve safe work with BSC's:
- Do not allow others to walk rapidly behind you.
- Be aware of drafts from ventilation systems, doors, windows, fans, etc.
- Plan procedures carefully. Work should travel in one direction, L-R or R-L.
- Minimize movement of contaminated items over clean items (work from clean to dirty).
- Start-up and decontaminate with Wescodyne or suitable disinfectant. Let cabinet run at least 5 minutes to purge. Wipe each piece of equipment or apparatus.
- Separate clean and contaminated items.
- Hold tubes, bottles, and other vessels as horizontal as possible.
- Use horizontal pipette discard pan with disinfectant. Do not use vertical canisters in or outside of cabinet.
- Wrap ampule with alcohol swab when breaking open.
- Ultraviolet lights are not needed if good technique is followed.
- Do not overload cabinet. Nothing should pass out of cabinet until work is complete.
- Place clean items toward front, contaminated to rear.
- Use disposable loops, swabs, needles, syringes, etc. whenever possible.
- Equipment that causes turbulence (centrifuge, blender, etc.) should be placed in back 1/3 of work surface. All other work should stop while apparatus is running.
- Decontaminate after work is complete, purge 5 minutes.
- Use 1:10 bleach solution, and/or Wescodyne for decontamination of work surfaces.
- Wash hands and arms before and after work. Wear clean lab coat or gown and gloves.
- Do not move arms in-out-across cabinet work area.
Never work with biohazardous materials in a clean air bench.