Universities and research laboratories deal with hazardous materials on a regular, sometimes daily basis. This means there are rigorous safety standards to protect not just the people and equipment in the labs and rooms, but also in surrounding areas.

Here we look at the specialist services Tecomak offers to universities and research laboratories, including fume extraction testing and containment laboratory services.

Fume Cupboards

Tecomak tests and maintains fume cupboards and local exhaust ventilation systems at more than 600 sites across the UK. Fume cupboards are widely used to remove hazardous substances created during experiments at research labs and universities, and we have more than 40 years’ experience in the sector.

As part of our fume cupboard services, Tecomak will be quick to attend in the event of a breakdown, for example problems with one of the fan motors, damage to a seal, faulty alarms and sensors.

However, a rigorous fume extraction testing regime should help reduce the risk of breakdowns. Because fume cupboards are classified as Local Exhaust Ventilation systems, they must be checked regularly. We use face velocity and containment tests under controlled conditions to make sure the cupboard is still working effectively and providing the protection intended.

Safety Cabinets

This term covers a whole range of products which we can test and maintain. Most universities and research labs will have some form of chemical storage unit. Microbiological safety cabinets, for instance, are often found in pathology labs. We also test and maintain other specialist items like cytotoxic cabinets, weigh booths and laminar flow cabinets.

Tecomak appreciate the potential risks involved with harmful substances and regular testing is vital. We are able to carry out checks and maintenance at the same time, and can attend outside normal working hours so there is no need to take your lab out of service. We can offer a full range of repairs to different products, and not just the ones which we have installed.

Containment Laboratories

Universities and research facilities often have laboratories which have been specially designed to cope with hazardous substances. Our job is to ensure that these substances cannot escape into the outside world, and to protect the people who work with them.

We will check all the lab’s filters, including ones in walls and ceilings as well as those in individual items like fume cupboards, to make sure they are working efficiently. As part of our containment laboratory services we also ensure that research labs meet all the requirements of the required safety certificates and are sufficiently free of contaminants to comply with clean room regulations.

HEPA Filters and DOP Testing

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters have to meet a very high standard so it is vital they are regularly cleaned. Our dispersed oil particulate (DOP) testing releases a particulate in aerosol form into the filter to check that that it is working correctly and that none of the DOP escapes either through the filter, seals or casing.

Tecomak can carry out a DOP test for your HEPA filters either as a one-off job or as part of a routine clean room validation. We bring with us a wide range of filters and spares and can complete the test report before leaving your site. All of this can help reduce unnecessary delays.

Biological Decontamination

We carry out bio decontamination in university and research environments where being exposed to biological pathogens or agents could create a health risk. Containment labs and research labs, clean air cabinets and incubators could all need decontamination. This applies to the working environment and equipment, and also to people working in the lab and to any pharmaceutical product being manufactured.

Tecomak use ionised Hydrogen Peroxide equipment which is both fast and effective in removing any viruses and bacteria. It does not pose any health risk to humans, and will not damage expensive equipment in the affected area. Our services in this area can be on a contract or as-required basis.

Specialist Ventilation Systems

Tecomak can help design your ventilation system in a wide variety of different locations to a range of specifications. For example, we can provide specialist systems for containment labs, rooms with microbiological safety cabinets, or research labs. Our specialist ventilation services also include regular testing and maintenance of systems which we have not designed.

If you would like to know more about how Tecomak Environmental Services can work with your university or research lab, click on the link to find out more.