Working safely during COVID-19 in labs and research facilities

Covid Secure Cleanrooms - Cleanroom Design & Layout

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 Design & Layout.

Cleanroom Design & Layout

The objective of the guidance is to maintain social distancing between individuals when arriving at work to when they are at their workstations.

Using a risk based approach, it is recommended that organisations should review who needs to be in the cleanroom and how they flow through the facility. A one-way path is encouraged as it prevents face-to-face passing and it makes it easier to achieve social distancing in narrow spaces such as corridors or change areas.

Many cleanrooms already follow a one-way system that optimises process flow. Those that don’t, may find that implementing such a system will generate process efficiencies, as well as reducing the risk of transmission or contamination. As always, any new systems should be the result of a thorough risk assessment.

Extra work station furniture may be required if existing workspaces are too close together. If it is not possible to increase capacity or keep 2m apart, the advice is to “take all mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission.”

Mitigating actions:

  • Use work station protection screens to separate people from each other
  • Arrange people “to work side by side or facing away from each other rather than face to face”
  • Stagger shifts and review entry procedures and storage space in change areas and critical entry points.
  • Think about adjusting internal communication policies to avoid unnecessary movement. For example, consider allowing mobile phones into non-critical areas to avoid unnecessary movement
  • Increase hand sanitising stations to allow for effective hand hygiene

Consumable and Equipment Support

We have a dedicated consumables and equipment team at Cleanroomshop who can support businesses in implementing the results from their risk assessment to create a COVID-secure workplace.

Please visit www.cleanroomshop.com for more details and to browse the range.


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