Disposing of or moving scientific equipment is complex. When it comes time to dismantle, remove or discard your equipment, this process is known as decommissioning. Unfortunately, you can’t simply dispose of lab equipment in a dumpster. In order to accomplish this right, you need professional decommissioning services. Essentially, we make sure that lab equipment goes through the proper decommissioning process. In this post, we’ll evaluate the three steps to a successful decommissioning.

1. Audit Your Lab

In order to begin formulating a successful plan, you first must understand exactly what’s in the lab. Basically, that’s what an audit entails. Decommissioning requires a complete, thorough inventory of all the lab’s chemicals and machinery. Even if something seems trivial, document it anyway.

In addition to cataloguing your items, make sure you dispose of anything that’s unnecessary. If you eliminate these items early on, it will save you time and money down the road.

Once you’ve done this, figure out if you have a destination for each item. (This applies if you’re moving to a different facility.) Every item you’ve noted should have a pre-designated location. Essentially, the more you prepare for decommissioning in advance, the easier the process will be.

2. Decontamination of the Lab Equipment

For any lab, decontamination is incredibly important. Often, labs work with toxic or abrasive chemicals. Obviously, these chemicals are very dangerous. Any places where chemicals were in use or in storage need decontamination. At S.E.P.S., we specialize in lab equipment decontamination and can handle the safe removal of toxic chemicals.

A crucial step in the decommissioning process is to establish precisely what requires decontamination. Obviously, the more thorough you can be, the better. Pay special attention to areas like:

Essentially, when it comes to decontaminating and the areas that need it, use your better judgement. Usually, it’s not difficult to determine the spots that need a thorough cleaning. Therefore, you should trust your instincts and decontaminate anything you might find questionable.

3. Documentation

After the decontamination, the next crucial step is proper documentation. When it comes to lab equipment, you can never be too thorough. Basically, this applies to just about every lab procedure, not just decommissioning. A good rule of thumb when documenting is to double-check and make sure there’s nothing left to the imagination. If there are any questions or uncertainty, there’s more documenting to do.

Essentially, your documents should include precisely what was done to the equipment, and how it can be done again in the future. Take note of any potential future hazards, what chemicals have come in contact with the equipment, risk levels, and before-and-after photos.

Following These Steps…

While these are the three steps you can follow to streamline the process, you’re not quite done yet. When it comes to decommission, these steps are helpful, but they don’t complete the procedure. In order to oversee a successful decommission, you should always consult a professional decommissioning service.

Unfortunately, decommissioning is much too risky and complex a process for you to finish independently. Maintaining your equipment and auditing, decontaminating and documenting will help to consolidate the process. At S.E.P.S., we have a team of expert technicians that can complete the decommissioning process for you. Regardless of size, risk, or chemical hazards, S.E.P.S. can decommission any of the equipment in your lab that needs it.

Conclusion

At S.E.P.S, the management of labs and their equipment is our area of expertise. Decommissioning is one of the many ways in which we can assist your lab, with a focus on convenience and limited work disruption.

Sometimes, a lab has to pack up and move their equipment. Most of the time, it’s from relocating, renovating, or shutting down. Unlike most other businesses, this procedure is especially complex for labs. At S.E.P.S., the intricate management of lab equipment is our area of expertise. Whether it’s decontamination or cleanroom repairs, we aim to make each lab’s job easier.

 

The image of chemical-biological laboratory equipment