Maintaining a clean and orderly environment and employing good disinfection practices are vital for all laboratory environments.  A cluttered workspace and an area contaminated with biohazards threaten the safety of both employees and visitors.

Protocol:  Disinfection
Because of the nature of biohazardous materials used in laboratories, lab benches should not only be orderly, but they should be disinfected after every work shift and after any spill occurrence, with the use of an intermediate-level chemical germicide.  The CDC recommends the use of a 10% bleach solution as the disinfection standard.

Routinely wipe down chairs, telephones, computers, and other small items such as timers and pens.  These items can become contaminated when laboratorians handle them with gloves that were worn during patient sample handling.  While PPE is designed for staff protection, studies have shown that contaminated surfaces and items also can lead to lab-acquired infections.

Commercially Available Lab Cleaning Products
Other products that can be used in a lab setting, can be purchased in the form of pre-filled spray bottles, large containers of fluids, or even canisters of single-use wipes.  However, be careful when selecting any commercial product to make certain it is effective enough to eliminate most bacteria (including Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and all fungi and that it inactivates viruses.  Many products that are sold cannot perform all those disinfection functions, and labs that use insufficient products may inadvertently place their staff at risk for infection.   According to the CDC, some commercially available germicides can rapidly kill ordinary vegetative forms of bacteria such as staphylococci and streptococci, but only select brands are effective against more resistant organisms such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, non-lipid viruses, and most forms of fungi.  Check the information provided by the manufacturer to make sure that the disinfectant selected is potent enough for complete lab disinfection.

Accidents :  Being Prepared
Accidents and spills of chemicals or biohazardous materials do occur, and it is necessary to have adequate spill clean-up supplies ready.  Every laboratory should have materials ready in the event of a spill of blood or body fluids.   The spill kit should include absorbents, implements for handling broken glass, PPE, and disposal containers or bags.  Place signs indicating the location of spill kits and check kits periodically to make sure all needed supplies are present.  Chemical spill kits should also be available.   Make sure sufficient amounts of absorbents and neutralizers are kept, based on the amount of chemicals stored and used in the department.  All staff should also, be adept at spill clean-up procedures.  Regular training is necessary and conducting spill drills will enable staff to respond quickly and appropriately when an accident does occur. 

Scientific Instrument Center, Inc.
provides preventive maintenance, repair, and calibrations in Columbus for Private labs in the Ohio Valley Region.   Our technicians have been trained by the manufacturer to help you pass your inspections.  

If you have questions about our Preventive Maintenance Service,  contact us, or give us a call at (614) 771-4700.    
At Scientific Equipment Calibration in Ohio, we are here to answer any questions you may have.