Clean Room Spill Control Options
Spill control is a topic familiar to anyone whose company works with hazardous materials. The need to make sure that chemicals, fluids or other materials are never given the opportunity to come into contact with and negatively impact the health of workers is a built-in assumption when dealing with the design of a facility or safety program. On a more intimate level, spill control is also important in a number of the different safety microcosms that can be found throughout certain types of organizations. When considering an overall containment strategy, it is important not to overlook small scale solutions that can make a big difference in terms of worker safety.
A clean room presents a particular type of spill control issue that also ties in to the need to protect the environment in question from external contaminants. Quite simply, the floor of a clean room, whether the room is used to put together computer components or perform lab work with biological organisms or chemicals needs to be protected in order to maintain the integrity of the workspace. Since the possibility of floor contamination is double-edged – it can come from above (spills from the workbench) or from outside (tracked in dirt and foreign substances from elsewhere), a solution that can control both of these potential vectors is required.
Tacky mats offer a unique opportunity to meet each of these challenges head-on. These simple mats resemble regular floor mats, and are meant to be installed underfoot in areas where workers are most likely to stand. This can include on the interior side of a door way or underneath each individual work station throughout a room. Tacky mats such as those manufactured by CleanTeam are composed of a series of special layers which use an adhesive to pry any foreign substances from the footwear of workers. All that has to be done is for an employee to stand on the mat, and then the simple act of lifting the feet does the rest. These mats can also can catch any fallen substances that may have escaped the counter top, preventing them from being tracked throughout the room.
These mats are absorbent, and once the top layer has taken in as much contamination as it can hold, it can be peeled back to reveal a fresh layer underneath. Available in a range of different sizes, the mats also come in 30 or 60 layer versions.
For taking care of spills on top of a work surface, clean room wipes are an excellent option. Unlike standard paper towels or rags, clean room wipes are sterilized and offer low lint and anti-static properties in order to interact as safely as possible with electronics and chemical / biological materials. Some wipes, such as the Lymtech Validated series are guaranteed to be sterile through the application of gamma radiation in order to take out even the toughest of microorganisms that could be lurking between the sheets of lesser wipes. Available from a variety of different manufacturers, such as Lymtech and Kimberly Clark, there are clean room wipes custom suited to a variety of different lab applications.