A Chemist’s Guide for Returning to the Laboratory

A document that can save you hours of online research

You are anxious to get back to your bench. Your science is waiting. The pandemic is still a reality. You’ve been told you can re-open but what does that look like? Whether you are re-opening your lab in academia, industry or government, you are challenged with a new level of concern not only for chemical contamination but for viral contamination. It can seem confusing, after all we’ve never been in a pandemic before, and you most likely never had to shut down your lab for a month or more. With all of the information coming at you and changing frequently, you might be asking yourself, “Where do I start?”

During this time of heightened anxiety, you can be ensured that most common laboratory procedures used to keep you safe from chemical exposure also work well for limiting biological exposure. It is important to keep in mind the advice given by governmental agencies for your protection, but you should also develop a plan and set of procedures to return to business in your laboratory.

Special needs for laboratories

Laboratories have special needs when it comes to restarting the workflow. All the concerns of the physical environment, the air handling systems, plumbing, etc. in a normal workspace are compounded by the worries of laboratory process contamination due to the shutdown of systems. There are many sources of contamination (COVID-19 notwithstanding) in laboratories during normal operations that are only heightened after a shutdown.

A reference guide to save time

To give you instructions and information tailored to re-opening your chemistry lab, we recommend you review Back to the Bench: A Chemist’s Guide to Returning to the Laboratory written by the experts at SPEX® CertiPrep. This handy guide is filled with a wealth of information including:

  • Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • COVID-19 virus information
  • Cleaning plans and a surface cleaning checklist
  • PPE product information and a glove chemical compatibility chart
  • Special considerations for laboratory and instrument startup with checklists
  • How to open the building
  • and so much more

Taking a little time to read this can save you hours of research online and help you and your team return to your laboratory safely and efficiently.

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