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Laboratory Equipment Testing

Clean Air Equipment Servicing And Fumigation

Fully independent servicing, validation and fumigation of:

  • microbiological safety cabinets
  • laminar flow cabinets
  • fume cupboards
  • local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems.

Microbiological Safety Cabinet Testing And Servicing

All microbiological safety cabinets (Classes I, II and III) must be tested annually and validated to ensure compliance with BS EN 12469:2000.

MSCs in containment Level 3 or 4 (CL3/CL4) laboratories (working with HG3 or HG4 biological agents) should be tested and validated at least every six months, as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP).

Specify routine servicing or ad hoc testing. BPS Crowthorne engineers use externally calibrated equipment to check MSCs. Checks include:

  • in situ HEPA filter leak integrity test
  • operator/product protection test, measuring containment using KI-Discus (a spinning disc produces a fine mist of potassium iodide droplets; centripetal collectors sample the air outside or inside the cabinet)
  • airborne particle counting
  • pre-filter inspection and replacement (if required)
  • operational checks of all switches, outlets, air flow indicators, pressure gauges, warning systems and speed control
  • airflow velocities check
  • light and noise levels check.

Laminar Flow Clean Benches – Testing And Servicing

Most vertical and horizontal laminar flow clean benches are designed and manufactured to achieve a minimum ISO Class 5 certification.

However, there is no specific design/performance standard for laminar flow benches. They protect only the product on the surface from contamination – not the operator or the environment.

Laminar flow clean benches should be inspected every 12 months (minimum). Our engineers carry out the following checks:

  • inspect the pre-filter and replace it if necessary
  • check the operation of all switches, warning systems, speed control, air flow indicators and pressure gauges
  • check the fan’s general condition
  • measure airflow velocities
  • check lighting tubes, light and noise levels
  • in situ HEPA filter leak integrity test
  • airborne particle counting.

Fume Cupboard Testing And Servicing

Fume cupboards (also known as fume hoods/cabinets or chemical hoods) create a protective air barrier to shield operators from exposure to hazardous substances.

There are two types of fume cupboard. They are certified to different standards:

  • Ducted fume cupboards (BS EN 14175:2003) – ductwork vents direct air outside the building. Choose from Constant Air Volume (CAV) or Variable Air Volume (VAV) technology. We recommend converting older CAV cabinets to VAV to benefit from significant energy cost savings.
  • Recirculating fume cupboards (BS 7989:2001) – air is carbon-filtered to remove gases/vapours then discharged back into the room. HEPA filters remove particulates.

Testing is at manufacturer-specified intervals. Checks by our engineers include:

  • measure face velocity airflow
  • carry out smoke pencil tests
  • check operation of controls, warning alarms, lights, service controls, fan system
  • carbon breakthrough testing using Gastec detector tubes
  • visual inspection of filters
  • check function of sash stop and position alarms
  • containment testing using SF6 (Sulphur Hexafluoride) tracer gas.

Our BOHS P601 qualified engineers can also carry out a complete examination of fume ducting systems in accordance with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance HSG258.

Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) System Testing And Servicing

Regular inspection and maintenance of LEV systems is vital to ensure they continue to:

  • protect people from the harmful effects of dust, mist, fumes, vapours and gases
  • comply with legislation including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR).

Our BOHS P601 qualified engineers carry out meticulous testing of LEV systems to ensure optimum performance and conformance to design, manufacturing and commissioning standards. They will advise you on whether your system should be tested annually, six-monthly or quarterly.

Engineers follow the three-stage process recommended in Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance HSG258:

  • Stage 1 – Thorough visual and structural examination, checking for damage, wear and tear
  • Stage 2 – Review of technical performance, including an assessment of capture zone, measuring face velocities and fan checks
  • Stage 3 – Assessment of control effectiveness to ensure the system is adequately controlling contaminants from the process.

Remedial work includes supplying and installing replacement fans and LEV extraction arms.

Relocation Of Clean Air Equipment And Extraction Systems – Full Turn-key Service

Specialist decontamination, relocation and recommissioning of clean air equipment and associated extraction systems. Services include:

  • pre-move decontamination
  • safe and secure relocation of equipment
  • ductwork modifications
  • recommissioning the equipment in its new location.

Contact BPS Crowthorne For Laboratory Equipment Services

Contact BPS Crowthorne for more information about laboratory equipment testing, servicing, validation, decontamination and relocation.