For manufacturers, pharmacy laboratories, and other businesses, maintaining a sterilized environment is a key component of doing business. Without proper cleanroom equipment, businesses in many industries may find themselves out of compliance with various regulations. Making sure that these rooms are stocked is critical in keeping them sterile at all times.
Why Proper Cleanroom Equipment is Necessary
Laboratory technicians and other employees whose primary place of work is in the cleanroom enter from outside, bringing in contaminants on their shoes, clothing, and other personal items. Keeping these rooms stocked with these 10 pieces of necessary equipment keeps these contaminants from being carried into an environment that must remain sterile.
1. Waste Receptacles
One of the most critical components of a cleanroom is the waste receptacle. Keeping a separate waste bin on the "dirty" side of the room allows personnel to dispose of booties, hair nets, and other equipment prior to leaving the area, keeping contaminants contained.
For gowns and other items that can be laundered rather than thrown away, a hamper is a must. Not any hamper will do. For professions such as bioscience, in which hazardous materials are commonplace in the laboratory, a hamper needs to be sealed, free of cracks, and easy to sterilize. They should also have a foot pedal or similar mechanism to keep people from touching and infecting the lid.
3. Hand Washers and Dryers
Lab employees probably use this piece of cleanroom equipment more than any other, washing their hands frequently throughout the day. Making the hand washers and dryers easily accessible lets technicians and other employees keep their hands clean without having to decontaminate every time they need a sink.
Mirrors are a necessity for maintaining standards, as they allow employees to make sure that they have put on their equipment correctly and in compliance with standards. Wall mounted mirrors should be flush and free of cracks, making them easy to clean and sterilize.
To enable employees to work quickly and efficiently, dispensers are a must. A dispenser for items like face masks and gloves should be well-stocked and easily accessible, so employees can change them frequently throughout the day. Stainless steel dispensers are easy to clean and sanitize, and withstand harsh chemicals.
6. Bootie Racks
Any cleanroom needs a bootie rack that will allow employees to follow proper gowning procedures. These racks allow for clear organization of booties and keep the room sterile and free of contaminants. Bootie racks should be made of materials that do not allow for the growth of microbes and that can be cleaned and sanitized daily.
7. Garment Cabinets and Racks
Another component of proper gowning procedure is a sterile and organized garment cabinet. The cabinet should be easy to organize so workers can access gowns, full suits, and other garments. A necessary piece of cleanroom equipment, garment cabinets and racks effectively speed up the gowning process while allowing employees to meet safety protocols.
8. Gowning Benches
The next step in the gowning process involves a clean and sterile bench at which employees can dress quickly. These benches also help to divide the "dirty" area of the dressing room from the "clean" area. Placing dispensers for clean equipment and receptacles for dirty equipment on different sides of the room also makes the cleaning process more efficient without compromising quality.
9. Shoe Cleaners and Sticky Mats
In order to keep employees from dragging particles into and out of the cleanroom, shoe cleaners and sticky mats are a must. Newer models have automatic controls, ensuring that shoes are thoroughly cleaned during the decontamination process. For the budget minded, less expensive models are available that offer motorization and smart technology.
10. Stairs and Work Platforms
Storage is a critical part of any cleanroom, but not all storage spaces are easily accessible. Keeping stairs and work platforms in the room lets employees access hard-to-reach items without risking accidents.
Equipping a cleanroom correctly helps employees in any field follow protocol. This enhances the safety of everyone in the building, and keeps the integrity of every process from manufacturing to bio-testing.
For more information on how to keep your cleanroom safe and operational, download our free cleanroom cleaning guide >>.