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5 Autoclave Safety Tips

December 29th, 2020 in Educational Content and Guides
5 Autoclave Safety Tips

Autoclaves are machines designed to decontaminate, disinfect, and sterilize laboratory equipment (and anything else that needs to be sterile like tattoo instruments) using heat and pressurized steam. There are a couple of potential risks associated with using an autoclave, such as hot fluid scalds, steam burns, arm and hand injuries. This blog will go over some surefire safety tips that you should consider.

  1. Whoever is using the autoclave should undergo special training for the particular model and make of the unit that they will be working with.
  2. Always remember to wear protective equipment such as goggles, a lab coat, closed shoes, and heat-resistant gloves. The gloves and the lab coat should be long enough to prevent the skin on the arm from being exposed.
  3. You should not open the autoclave door if the water is running out of the bottom.
  4. You should not put sealed containers inside an autoclave because of the increased pressure during processing.
  5. Check carefully all glassware prior to the sterilization cycle. Faulty glassware or glassware with existing fractures or fissures are fragile and therefore can break any time during sterilization.
  6. You should immediately clean any spilled materials in the autoclave after use.
  7. You should report any injuries or accidents to the relevant authorities.
  8. We recommend you to notify your autoclave support person if you come across the following:
  • No steam
  • Deterioration of the gasket
  • Leaking valves
  • Insufficient pressure jacket
  • Insufficient temperature
  • Water leaking from the chamber
  • Abnormal fluctuations in pressure or temperature during the sterilization cycle.

You should perform regular preventative maintenance to lessen autoclave downtime, equipment breakdown, and other risk factors. An autoclave is an important piece of equipment that operates under heat and pressure. You need to understand how it works, and what to do if it’s not working. And you always want to protect yourself from heat or potential burns.

Alpha Scientific supplies, installs, and services medical equipment in western Canada. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about medical equipment, please call our toll-free number, (888) 818-4847, or email us at sales@alphascientific.ca.