Using Ergonomic and Workflow Analyses to Configure a Biosafety Cabinet

White Paper

Using Ergonomic and Workflow Analyses to Configure a Biosafety Cabinet

The white paper "Using Ergonomic and Workflow Analyses to Configure a Biosafety Cabinet" by Julianne L. Baron, Ph.D., CPH, RBP, provides invaluable insights for laboratory professionals. This comprehensive guide emphasizes the importance of ergonomic design and efficient workflow in selecting and configuring a Biosafety Cabinet (BSC) to meet the specific needs of your laboratory.

Understanding the intricacies of ergonomic design and workflow analysis is crucial in creating a safe and productive laboratory environment. Dr. Baron begins by explaining the necessity of conducting a thorough risk assessment to identify the appropriate BSC class and type, such as Class II Type A2, B1, B2, or Class III cabinets, based on the biological materials handled. This initial step ensures that the selected cabinet meets the laboratory's safety and operational requirements.

A significant portion of the paper is dedicated to conducting a workflow analysis. This process involves evaluating laboratory tasks and activities to determine the ideal size and configuration of the BSC. Dr. Baron recommends marking the intended BSC dimensions on an open benchtop and performing a dry run of the lab procedures to assess space requirements and equipment placement. This practical approach helps identify the most suitable BSC width, ranging from 3 feet to 6 feet, ensuring it fits the laboratory's scientific and personnel needs.

Ergonomics plays a pivotal role in maintaining user comfort and preventing injuries. The paper highlights key ergonomic considerations, such as ensuring the user's face is above the BSC's front sash, keeping arms at a 90-degree angle to avoid strain, and using adjustable chairs with proper lumbar support. These ergonomic features help reduce fatigue and improve overall productivity.

Additionally, the white paper addresses the importance of BSC customization to accommodate specific lab processes. This includes integrating necessary services like gases and vacuum lines and installing ergonomic accessories such as armrests and footrests. Proper customization ensures that the BSC supports the workflow and lab personnel's comfort.

Dr. Baron also emphasizes the need for regular maintenance and certification to uphold the safety and efficiency of the BSC. Ensuring the BSC is correctly maintained and periodically recertified by qualified technicians is essential to sustaining a safe laboratory environment.

In conclusion, "Using Ergonomic and Workflow Analyses to Configure a Biosafety Cabinet" is an essential resource for laboratory managers, safety officers, and technicians. It offers practical guidelines for selecting, configuring, and maintaining BSCs to enhance safety and efficiency in laboratory settings. Download this white paper to gain valuable insights and ensure your laboratory has the best practices and tools for optimal performance and safety.

Julianne L. Baron, Ph.D., CPH, RBP

About the Author

Julianne L. Baron, Ph.D., CPH, RBP

Julianne L. Baron, PhD, CPH, RBP is the President of Science and Safety Consulting. She has a background in infectious diseases, biosafety, and public health and consults on laboratory safety and design, pandemic preparedness, and scientific communication.