Why you shouldn’t attempt to move lab equipment by yourself
28/04/2021 / General help and advice / posted by Jane Wood
Whether you’re moving an entire laboratory to a completely new location or you’re transferring some equipment to a different part of the same site, it’s important to use an expert removals company.
Attempting to move laboratory equipment and instrumentation by yourself may seem like a money-saving move but it can result in items becoming damaged, compromised or contaminated or put you or members of your team at risk of injury. Today (April 28) is World Day for Safety and Health at Work and to mark the occasion, we are highlighting all the reasons you shouldn’t try and handle a laboratory move without professional help:
Lifting heavy items can result in injuries
Trying to move heavy boxes or pieces of equipment without appropriate training in lifting and handling can result in a number of injuries, including back sprains, pulled muscles and injuries to your wrists or elbows. This can then result in time off work which can cause disruption to important projects. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), manual handling causes more than a third of all workplace injuries. Lifting anything more than 22kg or 50lb by yourself puts you at risk of injury so please consider this before attempting to move anything heavy.
There are OEM protocols which must be followed
Scientific instruments must be handled sensitively following the correct procedures and OEM protocols. Failing to follow these when moving equipment can result in it not working correctly or having a significant period of downtime which could have a devastating impact on ongoing research. At Aport, our teams are given extensive training at our bespoke in-house centre in how to pack, protect and handle delicate and sensitive laboratory equipment in line with the manufacturer’s protocols and guidelines.
Some materials must be kept in strict temperature-controlled conditions
Within your laboratory, you probably have samples and materials which must be kept in strict temperature-controlled conditions. Attempting to move them yourself can be a challenge as it is difficult to maintain a constant temperature while items are in transit, even if you are not transporting them far. Aport can provide temperature controlled solutions no matter where you are relocating to. All our solutions meet GxP compliance standards and we use specialist packaging systems which can maintain the right temperature, whether it is frozen, chilled or ambient, for up to 220 hours. Where samples are particularly sensitive, we will also continuously monitor the conditions they are being kept in during the move using USB data monitors.
If something goes wrong, you may not be insured
If you or your team attempt to move your laboratory equipment, samples or materials yourself, you will likely not be insured if anything goes wrong in transit. Without professional skills and expertise, mishaps are more likely to happen and you may find yourself unable to make a claim on your existing policy. By using a professional laboratory relocations company who can arrange specialist insurance if necessary, you will be covered if something unexpected happens.
Dangerous goods need careful handling
Dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals must be transported safely and carefully or they pose not only a risk to your team but the wider public as well. Without extensive training and the assistance of a Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA), it can be difficult to guarantee these materials are kept in the right conditions to make sure they do not pose any risk. There are also strict regulations which must be adhered to throughout. Aport’s highly skilled team carry out a thorough risk assessment before any relocation and ensure appropriate and fully-regulated packaging is used for each item. We can also arrange all the necessary paperwork and take liability for the whole relocation.
Moving means time away from your work
Handling any kind of laboratory relocation takes a considerable amount of time and energy and if you decide to handle it in-house, this inevitably means time away from important projects and your normal day-to-day work. It is also likely that carrying out the move yourself would take significantly longer than it would if you brought in a specialist team meaning day-to-day operations will be disrupted for longer. Outsourcing the relocation to experts means it will be carried out quickly and efficiently with the minimum of disruption. And as Aport can handle all the planning involved in a relocation as well, you will be free to concentrate on what is really important – your research and scientific work.
To discuss your move with us in more detail and get advice on your relocation, get in touch with our team by calling +44 (0)1257 482398 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org