Working safely during COVID-19 in labs and research facilities
On Monday 11th May 2020, the government released a guidance document titled, “Working safely during COVID-19 in labs and research facilities.”
We have thoroughly reviewed the government guidance document and will release a series of articles giving practical advice on how a Covid-secure cleanroom / lab / workstation can be achieved. Today’s topic is cleanroom maintenance.
In 3.3 Workplaces and workstations, the advice is to ensure “appropriate air handling and filtering systems are installed and maintained in high risk areas where there is a risk for airborne particles."
There is increasing evidence that although the virus itself is sub-micron in size, it is predominantly spread through droplets and not as an aerosol. On this basis, HEPA and ULPA filters should assist in removing these airborne particles.
This highlights that the filter media must be operating at the efficiency level they were designed to. Filter media failure could mean that contaminated air is being introduced through the air handling system, putting people and process at serious risk.
Remember that as you plan to re-establish your workplace, the guidance recommends “restarting and testing equipment which may have been unused for a longer than usual period of time.”
If your air handling systems have been shut down for a longer than usual, you must get them tested to ensure that they will be operating at the required standard to control airborne particulate from the room. It is worth considering adding filter integrity testing
Practical steps to reduce risk:
- Filter integrity testing
- Cleanroom validation
- Consider your filter media replacement schedule, more regular replacement could reduce failure risks
- Take regular particle counts to identify any increases which could indicate filter failure
Support from Connect 2 Cleanrooms
We have a dedicated Validation department who can help you make an informed decision on how to identify, resolve and enhance facility performance, as well as recording operating parameters.
Whether we designed your system or not – we would like to use our technical expertise in HVAC and cleanroom systems to help secure your work place during these challenging times.
Our Validation Technicians are able to perform testing independently, minimising contact with your workforce and in line with the Government’s recommendations on social distancing. We have also introduced enhanced disinfection and PPE measures to reduce risk further during this time.
To discuss your validation requirements please contact:
Aftersales & Validation Lead
+44 (0)1524 813020