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Chapter 6: When Work is Completed


Enclose any items which have been in contact with the agent and decontaminate the surface.

All containers and equipment should be surface decontaminated and removed from the cabinet when work is completed. At the end of the workday, the final surface decontamination of the cabinet should include a wipe down of the work surface, the cabinet's sides and back, and the interior of the glass. If necessary, the cabinet should also be monitored for radioactivity and decontaminated when necessary. Any spilled fluid and disinfectant solution on the work surface should be absorbed with paper towels and discarded into a biohazard bag.

The drain pan should be emptied into a collection vessel containing disinfectant. A flexible tube should be attached to the drain valve and be of sufficient length to allow the open end to be submerged in the disinfectant within the collection vessel. This procedure serves to minimize aerosol generation. The drain pan should be flushed with water and the drain tube removed.

Cover Waste Containers

Allow the cabinet to operate for five minutes with no activity in order to purge airborne contaminants from the work area.

Remove all Equipment from the Cabinet

Thoroughly decontaminate interior work surfaces. Twenty to thirty minutes is generally considered an appropriate contact time for decontamination, but this varies with the disinfectant and the microbiological agent. If using a chloride type disinfectant, after contact time, wipe down interior surfaces with a 70% alcohol solution to protect stainless steel interiors from corrosion.

The cabinet can be turned off and the vertically sliding window closed. If desired, the UV light may be turned on.

Use of Ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light:

  • Room should never be occupied when UV lamp is in use.
  • Vertical sliding window must be closed. If hinged window use manufactures enclosure panel.
  • Lamp must be wiped free of dust/link weekly.
  • UV wavelength must be checked periodically.
  • Current Controversy on effectiveness of UV lights (link to NuAire document)

Thoroughly wash your hands and arms with warm, soapy water. Personnel should remove their gloves and gowns and wash their hands as the final step in safe microbiological practices.

Leave the Biological Safety Cabinet Running

The Biological Safety Cabinet may be left on at all times. Certain models are designed with night set back system to lower energy costs while maintaining work zone sterility. A UV light timer is also available to automatically shut off after set-point has been reached. If the cabinet is vented to the outside of the building, both the remote exhaust blower and the internal blower should be left on at all times.

Turn Off the UV Light

Never work in the unit with the UV light illuminated - UV light will damage the human eye and skin very quickly.

Spills within the Cabinet

Small spills within the cabinet can be handled immediately by removing the contaminated absorbent paper toweling and placing it into the biohazard bag. Any splatter onto items within the cabinet, as well as the cabinet interior, should be immediately wiped with a towel dampened with an appropriate disinfectant. Hands should be washed whenever gloves are changed or removed.

Biohazardous Spills in the Cabinet

Perform decontamination steps while the cabinet is operating to prevent the escape of airborne contaminants.

Spray or wipe all potentially contaminated walls, work surfaces, and implements with an appropriate disinfectant - make sure to wear gloves while doing this.

If the spill is large, flood the work surface with disinfectant and allow to stand 10 to 15 minutes before absorbing and wiping clean. Be sure to check the spill pan under the work surface and disinfect as well.

Copyright © 2012 NuAire, Inc.

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