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Published On: Mon, May 18th, 2015

How to Properly Move a Laboratory

Moving a laboratory is inherently dangerous. The materials can be toxic, machinery can be fragile, and the space you are leaving needs to be decontaminated. The risks need to be weighed against the rewards or necessity of the move. When it is determined that a move is needed, then that is when the process of planning needs to start.

Remember when The Global Dispatch reported that biological samples were “found in the cold storage area of U.S. Food and Drug Administration laboratories on the National Institutes of Health Campus”? In an effort to combat laboratories from contaminating the general public with hazardous materials, here’s some advice on moving materials in a safe/effective manner.

The Plan

The more time you have to put together a plan for the move the better. Everyone should be enlisted to look at the whole picture, and assess what needs to be done. Determine what the lab personnel can move, and what requires a professional. A laboratory mover for transport and relocation of biomaterials is the best way to ensure the move takes place without error.

Make sure the schedule of experiments and tests will allow for the down time of the lab during the move, and that nothing will be compromised because of the relocation.

Preparation

While preparing for the move, it is important to take stock of all the components in the lab.  If there is outdated or unused equipment this would be a good time to sell or dispose of it.  This will reduce the expense of moving by getting rid of those pieces.  It is also a good time to go through the materials in the lab, and dispose of any that is expired or unneeded, along with disposing of any waste that is lying around.

This could potentially reduce the amount of hazardous material that will be relocated, and decrease the costs involved in the move.  It is also easier to do this while the lab is in full operation as opposed to when it is being dismantled for the move.  Personnel will have all the resources of the lab to make sure this step is done right.

Imge/CDC

Imge/CDC

Logistics

With a plan in place (and the discarding of any unneeded material) it is now time to do the actual move.  Have personnel at both sites to keep everything on schedule.  Move equipment, materials, and animals, in an order that makes sense for ease of removal and installation.

Make sure all regulations are adhered to so that everyone involved and the general public is safe to reduce the chances of accidents.  If the plan in place is comprehensive and the preparation completed, then the move should commence without too many issues.  Be flexible enough to allow any unforeseen incidents from taking everything off the rails.

Two Sites

Make sure that both sites are prepared for the move.  The new site may need permitting, and the old site will need to be decontaminated.  All regulatory matters should be attended early in the planning and preparation phases.  This could affect the timeline of the move, and government agencies are notoriously slow so don’t dally on this detail.  The workflow of the new site will need to be taken into account so that the equipment will be placed for the most efficient layout.

The old site will need to be decontaminated using ANZI standards, which will reduce the liability of the lab.  Document this clean-up process thoroughly identifying all that was done to neutralize any contamination.  This will ensure a safe environment for the new tenants to your old space.

Moving a laboratory is not always the most desired course of action, but it is sometimes necessary.  A well planned and executed move will keep everyone and everything safe.  Enlisting professional help when needed will also make the whole process go smoothly.  Give as much time as needed to ensure that all goes as well as possible.

 

About the Author

- Adam Lee is a financial writer who has insightful knowledge in dealing with different financial issues. He tries to help people to get out of difficult financial situations by contributing financial write ups to websites and blogs such as Moneyforlunch.com and Moneynewsnow.com

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