As the name implies, cleanrooms have to be clean. Their sole purpose is to remain sanitary and be free of contaminants, allowing for an absolutely stable work environment. Because these spaces are critical areas where employees handle sensitive equipment, keeping contaminants at bay is crucial to everyday workflow and productivity.
Perhaps not so surprisingly, employees are often the reason a cleanroom becomes contaminated. In today’s blog, we at Pacific Maintenance Company would like to look at some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of your controlled environment becoming contaminated. If you are in the Santa Clara, California area and in need of cleanroom cleaning or commercial cleaning services, contact PMC!
Always Practice Good Hygiene
It is estimated that 75-80% of contaminants or particles found during cleanroom inspections are produced by cleanroom personnel. It is important to remember this, and the fact that humans naturally produce and shed contaminants like skin flakes and hair and cosmetic products. Even perfume and cologne are known to cause contamination. Given all of this information, it is important for employees to practice good hygiene and for managers of controlled environments to establish and enforce uniform hygiene recommendations.
Wear Required Protective Equipment Properly
Not only is it necessary to have employees wear proper protective equipment, but they must also ensure that they are wearing it properly. Because potential contaminants are also susceptible to the pull of gravity, it is necessary to apply a top-to-bottom approach for putting on disposable apparel. When dressing to enter a controlled environment, start at the top and work your way down. This will prevent potential contaminants from falling on clean areas of the garment. Remember—how you don your gear is just as important as the garments themselves.
Make Cleanroom Supplies Exclusive
For those not familiar with cleanroom requirements and protocols, it may seem rather harmless to take something like a pen outside the cleanroom and then bring it back in. However, when you do this, you can inadvertently bring in an array of potential contaminants as well, which will severely jeopardize the integrity of the controlled environment. For these reasons, it is best to designate all of your cleanroom supplies, tools, and instruments as being cleanroom-only supplies. They should never be taken out, and they should also be compliant with all of your standards.
Enter and Exit Cautiously
For controlled environments, the point of entry and exit is naturally a crucial area that must be monitored diligently. After employees enter or exit the cleanroom, make it a routine practice for them to take some extra time to ensure that doors are shut tightly and secured. This same logic applies to the area leading to the changing room. This extra measure will help control the cleanliness of the buffer area—which is also why some controlled environments stretch out the gowning process across three distinct areas. Regardless of how many rooms are involved in the dressing and preparation process, it is absolutely necessary to take extra precaution and care when around the entrances and exits of controlled environments.
Though it is not critical for controlled environments to adhere to a zero-speaking policy, limiting how much talking occurs can help. Not only can this boost productivity, but it can also considerably reduce the risk of spreading contaminants. For example, research shows that by speaking 100 fewer words you can prevent the creation of 250 fewer particles of saliva. However, a more significant threat to contaminants is coughs and sneezes, which can produce roughly 5,000 to 1,000,000 saliva particles. This is why it is critical to always wear proper face masks and to be cognizant of how many potential contaminants can be produced from your mouth.
Integrating these tips into your cleanroom protocol can help reduce the risk of contamination. If you are in need of cleanroom cleaning services, contact us. We have extensive experience with cleanroom requirements, procedures, supplies, and services. Whether you are looking for a one-time clean or routine inspections and services, the experienced PMC cleaning team can handle it. We leverage our expertise, experience, and technology to tailor a cleaning package that best fits your needs, budget, and timeline.