FLOW SCIENCES NOW INCLUDES A DIFFERENTIAL PRESSURE GAUGE, WITH READOUTS IN EITHER INCHES OR PASCALS, INSTALLED ON ALL OF OUR TOP MOUNT BIBO (BAGIN/BAGOUT) HEPA FILTER ENCLOSURES. WHEN THE ENCLOSURE IS FIRST SET UP AND CERTIFIED FOR USE, TAKE THE READING ON THE GAUGE AND RECORD IT. WHEN THIS READING DOUBLES, IT IS TIME…Details
When a top mount fan housing system needs the filters replaced, we need the serial number off the silver serial tag located on the left clear acrylic side wall of the enclosure—not the serial number located on the top mount fan. Here is an example. This number will tell us when the unit was…Details
Improving Lab Safety
We all remember watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid that featured the mad scientist, a typically larger-than-life character with little sense of risk. He wore goggles and mixed beakers of chlorine and ammonia to disastrous effect and, oftentimes, laughter from the audience.
In reality, scientists are rarely naïve about the risks of experimentation. They work in laboratories where hazards are rigorously controlled and risks are managed by entire departments devoted to safety and compliance. Establishing good lab practices, internal controls, and standards reflect a concern for reducing user error.
Laboratories are also accountable to regulatory agencies and responsible for upholding standards of industrial hygiene to ensure worker and community health and safety. The body of organizations that effectively make and enforce laboratory safety standards is vast and includes the Federal Drug Administration (FDA); Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), among others.
Far from an absence of concern for safety, the scientific community is flush with organizations dedicated to ensuring that the mad scientist remains an absurd cartoon character. User error may continue to be the most imminent threat to personal safety and responsible for 90% of laboratory accidents, but it’s wildly unreasonable to believe that these accidents result from recklessness. Poor safety training, fatigue, inattention, and haste are the main culprits.
One of the most important ways to prevent these types of laboratory accidents is to be prepared, well trained, and informed. But the reality about prevention is that it assumes hazards, which cannot always be eliminated. It is, therefore, extremely important to establish an effective safety culture and risk management systems. Risk is the difference between control and exposure. No matter how well trained, worker protection is paramount because we cannot eliminate hazards. We can only control exposure.
If effective lab ventilation systems and equipment are an employees first line of defense, then Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an employee’s last line of defense against hazards that can cause serious injury and illness. Gloves, sleeves, lab coats, safety glasses and shoes, and respirators are common types of PPE that laboratories provide employees. Airborne hazards require additional safety precautions. Toxic fumes and powders used in laboratories where the risk to employee safety is respiratory also require filtration systems that direct potentially contaminated air away from workspaces.
Flow Sciences team of industrial engineers design workstations and enclosures that reduce product contamination and maximize protection for professionals who work with toxic substances and uncertain risks. All of our products are backed by our sophisticated design process and award-winning excellence in engineering, including 11 U.S. Government patents. We have worked with pharmaceutical companies research and development laboratories, manufacturing and production facilities for 30 years. Our task-specific designs are dynamic solutions that are adaptable to our clients’ workflow and specific needs.
If you work with airborne hazards, we can design an airflow control system to reduce your exposure risk.
Purchasing a Flow Sciences enclosure is only the first step. Whether you’re working with solutions that create toxic fumes that require a fume hood or powder APIs that can be contained with isolators and gloveboxes, we can manufacture a solution for your laboratory.
Once you receive delivery, the next step in proper containment is hiring a 3rd-party certification company to ensure that all lab systems are operating as designed, conform to applicable safety standards, and comply with relevant regulations. Certifiers check filters and airflow rates, set fan speeds and alarms, repair your systems when they are not functioning properly. They are a resource for laboratory managers who are responsible for the overall safety of employees and the workplace.
Flow Sciences works with a national network of 3rd– party certification companies who are trained on the specific operational features of our products. They can effectively install and certify your hood and provide routine maintenance so that all lab systems remain in compliance with relevant safety standards.
An efficient laboratory protects their employees by providing effective equipment in a safe environment with the knowledge that hazards cannot be eliminated. Purchasing proper equipment is only the beginning.
For practical tips on how to work with certifiers, look for our next newsletter where we will cover the certification process.
Borchardt, John K. “Running Your Lab Like a Business.” Lab Manager. July 21, 2008: 10–14.
A CUSTOMER RECENTLY ASKED FOR A FILTER TO GO INSIDE HIS FS4000SS (FAN/FILTER HOUSING). HOWEVER HE DID NOT SAY WHAT WILL BE FILTERED, POWDER (PARTICULATES) OR A VAPOR (SOLVENT, ACID/GAS, ETC.)
WE OFFER SEVERAL FILTERS THAT FIT IN THE FS4000SS, AND NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE OPERATOR IS WORKING WITH SO THAT THE CORRECT FILTER WILL BE RECOMMENDED.
HERE IS A LINK TO OUR WEBSITE TO SHOW THE DIFFERENT FILTERS AVAILABLE FOR THIS FAN HOUSING. http://www.flowsciences.com/solutions/tables-accessories/vented-balance-enclosure-filtration-accessories/
KEEP IN MIND THAT OUR TOP MOUNT HEPA FILTERS COME IN DIFFERENT SIZES. WE CAN BEST HELP, IF WE KNOW THE MODEL AND SERIAL NUMBER OF THE ENCLOSURE WHICH IS LOCATED ON THE LEFT SIDE ACRYLIC WALL.
To best help customers answer any questions about their Flow Sciences enclosure, we need to know the model number.
90% of the time, people that call in give us the incorrect model or serial number. The correct place to look is on the left side wall of the enclosure near the back lower corner. As you can see on the example here, the product description, model number, sales order/work order number and serial number are on the silver serial tag.
A good recommendation is to record the serial tag information where you can easily access it for future reference. This is especially helpful if your enclosure is going to be placed up against a wall where it will be difficult to see the back left lower outside corner after it has been installed.
FACE VELOCITY ALARMS ARE SENT WITH EACH OF OUR ENCLOSURES. THESE ALARMS WORK LIKE A HOTWIRE ANEMOMETER TO MEASURE AIR FLOW IN THE PLANE OF THE FRONT OPENING OF THE ENCLOSURE (IN MOST CASES, WHERE YOU PUT YOUR HANDS IN BELOW THE DOOR.) THIS SAFETY FEATURE ASSURES THE OPERATOR IS WORKING WITHIN THE RECOMMENDED RANGE.
OFTEN, WE RECEIVE CALLS STATING THAT THE ALARM IS ALARMING ALL THE TIME, SO THEY HAVE UNPLUGGED IT. A COMMON CAUSE IS THE ALARM WAS NEVER CALIBRATED.
A QUALIFIED TECHNICIAN USES AN ANEMOMETER TO SET AIR FLOW AND CALIBRATE THE ALARM. THERE ARE 4 SCREWS HOLDING THE FACE PLATE ON THE ALARM THAT HAVE TO BE REMOVED. UNDER THE FACEPLATE, THERE IS A CIRCUIT BOARD WHICH HAS A SET BUTTON AND A DELAY BUTTON. THE SET BUTTON IS FOR THE LOW AIR FLOW POINT. (IF AIR FLOW DROPS BELOW THIS POINT, THE ALARM WILL SOUND INDICATING IT MAY BE TIME TO CHANGE THE FITLER.) ONCE THE SET POINT IS ESTABLISHED, THE DELAY POINT SHOULD BE TURNED OUT TO THE FULL 30 SECONDS. THIS ALLOWS THE USER TIME TO OPEN THE DOOR TO PUT EQUIPMENT IN OR TAKE IT OUT WITHOUT HAVING TO HEAR THE ALARM. ONCE THE SET POINT AND DELAY POINT ARE SET, REPLACE THE COVER ON THE ALARM. THEN THE AIR FLOW SHOULD BE INCREASED FOR THE OPERATION POINT. OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE IS 75 FEET PER MINUTE, PLUS OR MINUS 5, FOR OPERATION.
Robin, we need quote for replacement arm rests/bottom air foil for two Flow Sciences hoods. The arm rests measure 19.5 inches long by about 2.75 inches wide with curved surface.
In 2004 air foils were added to our enclosure to improve air flow. In an effort to keep the cost to our customers as low as possible, the air foils were made of acrylic. Later this was upgraded to anodized aluminum as we received many calls of users using the acrylic ones as “arm rests”. This was never the purpose of the air foil.
We have retrofit kits for all units, but need the model and serial number off the left side wall of the enclosure just above the base of the unit.
Replacing the broken acrylic air foil with the anodized aluminum air foil is not difficult because we designed a “groove” under the air foil that slides over the stand offs.
Moral of the story, the airfoils are not armrests. If you do break an airfoil, please have the serial number and measurements ready when you order a new one. Don’t forget, you can always Ask Robin.Details
Robin, we are ready to install our new Flow Sciences enclosure. Is this a service that your company provides, or is this something we can do?
After he gave me the model number for a CQ, I looked at the drawing and it is a standard Bulk Powder Enclosure with a 22” cut out in the base.
I told the gentleman that our enclosure systems are not difficult to put together, and to please locate the installation manuals with the enclosure. We then briefly went through the process over the phone. He was looking at the unit as I went through the process and from time to time acknowledged he was looking at the part I was discussing. After the conversation, he said I think we can do this and I said to please call and ask for me if he has any questions.
Moral of the story, if you are having an issue setting up the enclosure, don’t go at it alone. We are here to help and are happy to answer any questions you have. Don’t forget, you can always Ask Robin.