Cleanroom environments are unlike any other. They come with challenges and requirements that are specific to their construction, classification, and purpose. Not only do you and your cleaning crew need to have a thorough understanding of the regulations specific to the controlled environment, but so does everyone who enters the room. You need to establish a clear set of rules to follow to limit the amount of particulate in the room, the disruption of particles, and general contamination.
Cleanroom Environment Protocols:
- Leave personal items outside the controlled environment.
If items such as keys, wallets, phones, etc. must be brought into the cleanroom for any reason, ensure they stay concealed beneath appropriate cleanroom garments.
- Do not eat, smoke, or chew gum inside the cleanroom.
- Do not wear makeup, perfume, etc. inside the cleanroom.
This introduces unnecessary contaminants into the room and compromises the integrity of the cleanroom.
- Do not run or move more quickly than necessary within the controlled environment.
Fast motions stir up particulate and lead to an increase in contamination of products.
- Do not enter the cleanroom if you’re unwell.
Germs and other issues associated with physical illness should not be allowed within the cleanroom environment.
- Adhere to proper gowning and ungowning procedures.
Don’t let anyone enter the cleanroom if they aren’t appropriately covered, with clean and gloved hands, face masks, covered shoes, safety glasses, etc.
- Practice good personal hygiene.
The people in the cleanroom must be clean; it’s a simple as that.
- Cover hair and facial hair.
You don’t need any stray hairs or hair oils making their way to your products.
- Do not smoke before entering the cleanroom.
Wait at least 20 minutes after smoking to enter the cleanroom to allow the residual smoke to leave your clothing and skin.
- Do not sit or lean on equipment or work surfaces.
When you or your garments touch one surface and then another, you transfer any contaminants between the two. Limit the surfaces you touch to only those that are necessary.
- Do not touch your face or hair with gloved hands.
If you need to tuck some hair under your bouffant or scratch an itch, properly exit the cleanroom to do so and replace your gloves before re-entering.
Why You Need a Cleanroom Protocol
People naturally produce contaminants. Flakes of skin, oils, sweat, and hair are all contaminants within the cleanroom environment and precautions must be taken to limit their reach. Human behavior also has a massive effect on the cleanliness of the cleanroom. Moving too quickly as well as sneezing or coughing in a controlled environment puts the entire environment at risk.
The above list is limited to what those who enter the cleanroom environment should and should not do once inside, but it is by no means an exhaustive list of all cleanroom guidelines and regulations. Simply following this list will help control contaminants in the cleanroom, but it will not actually clean the cleanroom. For help getting started with a thorough cleanroom cleaning process, download our free cleanroom cleaning process guide.