If your laboratory works with contaminated or potentially contaminated materials, you will have at least one biosafety cabinet available to you. They come in three classes depending on what type of protection you need to provide for these materials and for the world around them. Whatever class you have, biosafety cabinet testing is important before initial use, and it should also be done with some regularity throughout the year to ensure continued quality performance.
Most biological safety cabinets need to pass inspections regardless of whether or not you do them, and if you wait for these inspections, it can be a hassle later if there are problems during the required inspection. Often, this can mean a delay in laboratory work while you wait for the cabinet to be repaired or replaced and then inspected all over again. If you’re regularly looking for flaws or potential flaws, you can stop a lot of problems before they happen.
The main purpose of biological safety cabinet testing
is to make sure it is doing its job adequately. If it isn’t, there could be a variety of worker safety and product quality issues. A biosafety cabinet provides a vital barrier between contaminated items and the rest of the world. Everything from the cabinet construction to the air filtration system needs to be fully functional and air-tight. If outside contaminants get into the cabinet, then it ruins all testing or observation that’s happening inside the cabinet. Even worse, since you’re working with potentially hazardous particles, if these get out, you’re jeopardizing the health and safety of a lot of people, especially your staff and anyone else who spends a lot of time in the laboratory. It’s also important to note that passing inspection means that the cabinet should function properly as long as it’s operated correctly. Human error can still cause other problems, so all staff should make sure they are following all proper procedures.