- A Centrifuge is a very common laboratory equipment, in addition to which it is also a vital piece of research equipment.
- This device operates at a very high speed, and it is for this reason that it is effective in separating the material based on density. This same high speed can also be a hazard at times, resulting in aerosol creation to equipment instability and failure.
- In case the centrifuge tube breaks inside the rotor, Aerosols is created inside the centrifuge.
- There are several other hazards like the instability within the equipment due the unbalanced rotor can be quite hazardous at those high operating speeds and cause injury and damage in a laboratory.
- Thus it becomes very important to use the Centrifuge device safely since if the rotor does fail due to excessive mechanical stress caused at high rotational speed this can also result in flying metal fragments that can very easily injure the laboratory operator and damage the laboratory itself.
Here are a few tips that should ideally be followed:
- Make sure that the centrifuge bowls and tubes are dry prior to use, this is in fact quite important as well.
- Another factor to consider, especially when having multiple centrifuge devices is to match the set of tubes, buckets and other equipment to make sure they are of the correct specification.
- Any material used along with the centrifuge should first be inspected thoroughly. For example the sample tubes should be inspected prior to use and if you notice a crack of some kind it should not be used under any circumstances.
- It is a good idea to make use of the medical centrifuge safety cups provided to prevent aerosol spills of potentially infectious materials.
- There may be situations when a spill may occur and the sample tube material is infectious. In such a case it is advisable to wait for 10 minutes after the rotor has stopped before opening the lid of the centrifuge.
- Over filling the samples tubes can also be one of the reasons for spills within the centrifuge device and thus it is best to avoid that.
- Make sure the surface the centrifuge is placed on is flat and even so that there are no vibrations when the device is in use.
- In the case where you do notice some wobbling or shaking of the centrifuge while it is operational, it is necessary to pull the plug immediately. Failing to do so can damage the device and even cause injury.
- One thing that the laboratory operator should always remember is to take special use while preparing the Centrifuge for use.
- The number of tubes in the rotor should always be even in order to balance the rotor. As an example if the sample being used in the centrifuge is of 15ml then a 15ml tube of water should b placed in the opposite section to balance the rotor. The density of the sample also needs to be taken into consideration. Thus the total mass of the tubes on both the sides should be similar. This is important since the centrifuge spins at a very high speed and any imbalance case permanently damage the centrifuge and has also the potential to cause injury to the operator.
- It is important to follow the practice of correctly labeling the samples present in the laboratory.
- Though this does not affect the centrifuge directly since the centrifuge doesn’t really care for the labels, it is quite helpful within the laboratory itself. By labeling the tubes, the laboratory personnel are always aware of the contents of the tube and thus it is hard to mistake it for something else. In the case where the sample tube does contain a hazardous substance, the laboratory personnel will not be in the dark about the content and thus can handle the tube in an appropriate manner.
Thus it is very easy for things to go wrong even when using a relatively simple device like a centrifuge. Thus ideally it is safe for only proper and trained laboratory technicians to use this device. But even the technicians do over look some of the basic safety features at times and pay the price. The tips mentioned here are very useful for preventing such incidents from happening. This is a fairly big list of important points to keep in mind while using a centrifuge device though not the complete list of factors. For example it is also not advisable to open the lid of the rotor whilst it is motion and it is also a good practice to wear safety goggles while working with a centrifuge device.
However the main safety issues have been mentioned here and should always be taken into consideration while using a centrifuge device.
Neuation is one company all but aware of the importance of safety in Centrifuges. They have a wide range Centrifuges devices that have many different functions available as per the needs of the institutes. One thing that Neuation makes sure of is that their devices work well at high speeds and that they are also safe. They lay extra stress on the safety features of the devices. The Centrifuge iFuge D06 from Neuation has 6 x 12/ 15/10/5 ml rotor options with adapters and RPM setting from 500-6500 RPM with least count of 100 with timer setting 1 to 30 minutes with countdown time display is an optimal doctor’s centrifuge device for several different laboratories.