It is very important that you look after your lab environment, keeping it tidy and cleaning it on a regular basis. Failing to do so can cause injuries, inaccurate results in your work and overall no organisation within the workplace. As lab relocation specialists, we want to offer you the best advice on taking care of your environment. So, here are 9 essential things to remember when cleaning your laboratory…
1. How often should items be cleaned?
Find out how often each of your equipment should be cleaned, as some may need to be cleaned after every use, or maybe just once a month! In laboratories, you have got a number of different items at different weights, sizes, fragility and uses meaning there should be specific times each individual needs cleaning. A good idea, to keep the whole team updated and on the same page, would be to set up a cleaning rota for regular cleaning. This will not only keep your lab sterilised and clean but organised too.
2. Do you have a secure protocol in place in case of an emergency?
In case of any damage to big/fragile equipment, or any spillage of hazardous chemicals, it is important you have a secure, well-known and efficient protocol in place for when the need arises. This keeps the team aware of the danger and how to manage the issue, continuing the professionalism and safety of the workplace environment. Furthermore, this shouldn’t necessarily be placed down due to a cleaning session, but for everyday use of the laboratory.
3. Ensure all staff are “cleaning trained”
By “cleaning trained”, we mean that all staff understand the dangers and fragility of lab equipment, and how to manage the required procedures we should go through. Anyone that works in the lab industry should be aware of how to keep the work environment clean, as failure to do this can cause inaccurate results, an accidental reaction of disagreeing chemicals, disorganisation and potential harm to the lab and the staff in it. As lab relocation specialists, we are trained to keep the environment clean and safe for those involved in the relocation, and we highly encourage you to do the same.
4. Ensure you have the right equipment
Due to the chemicals in the lab, it’s important you use the specific and correct equipment when cleaning your lab. This is because cleaning chemicals could potentially react badly with something found in the lab. Furthermore, this point goes for wherever you decide to clean – whether it is your bedroom, kitchen or the workplace etc. it is absolutely vital you clean with the right liquids and items in order to prevent any damage to the surface.
5. Health & Safety
If you decide to have a complete clean out of your lab, things could get messy and therefore, potentially dangerous. For example, when cleaning out the cupboards you obviously need to empty all of the contents, and with fragile equipment and the rest of the team working in the environment simultaneously, there is a large risk that something could get broken or someone can get hurt. To prevent this, you could organise a day where everyone is out of the office and you can concentrate on cleaning and you should dispose and organise each individual cupboard as you go along. Keeping the workplace organised will also ensure safety.
6. Where should you dispose of rubbish and waste?
Due to the fragile equipment and hazardous chemicals, disposing waste incorrectly is not only against the law, but it can seriously impact the surrounding environment. As lab relocation specialists, we understand that working in this industry is no cup of tea, so you can’t just put everything in a bag and dump it in your local bin. As a result of this, all staff should be trained and properly aware of the correct way to dispose of common chemicals and lab equipment, including the consequences of failing to do so. Failure to do this just makes you look incredibly unprofessional and is also breaking the law.
7. Safely store significant and irreplaceable data
Usually, in laboratories, important experiments take place which requires you to note down any relevant results or data. The results of these experiments can be significantly needed to determine a hypothesis or prediction of some sort, and if these results are lost, then the consequences can be very irritating and time wasting for the team. Therefore, when you are cleaning, please be sure to either ask the rest of the team to remove and store their work someplace safe and out of the cleaner’s way or simply just be aware and leave the work where you found it. Because whilst keeping your lab sterilised and clean is vital, losing the team’s work can be extremely annoying and will probably cause issues. Think before you do.
8. Keep appropriate chemicals segregated
As a science specialist, you should know that handling substances correctly and keeping relevant ones separated is very important. This is because some chemicals have specific reactions to one another, so some may cause a minor corrosive reaction, whereas some can cause something as big as an explosion. Due to the harm that can occur, you should make sure specific chemicals are segregated from one another to prevent any harm to the lab or your team.
9. How important is cleaning a lab?
Finally, it is important to remember how important cleaning your lab regularly really is. To put it into perspective, reading through the last 8 points and thinking, “what would happen if I didn’t do that?” Should give you some sort of thought of the importance of it. Laboratories can be really dangerous environments, even clean, so imagining the thought of an untidy one? Whether you give the responsibility to yourself and the team or simply hire an appropriate cleaner, you definitely should keep the environment safe and organised for the benefit of your work and team.
Here at Benchmark Services, we are a dedicated team of lab relocation specialists, here to help you! We are fully trained and aware of the equipment involved in a lab, including the risks, importance and fragility of each item. Trust us and let us help you, get in contact with us today to ensure a successful, stress-free move.
Thank you for reading.