The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleanroom Behavior
When we think of common cleanroom contaminants, what comes to mind is dust, lint, fibers, and a variety of other particulate matter. Yet how do those contaminants enter the cleanroom? It’s not by osmosis – the airtight walls prevent that. People are the most common source of contamination. They bring it with them when they enter and exit. In this blog we will discuss the do’s and don’ts of cleanroom behavior – what people need to do and to avoid doing in order to protect the cleanroom environment.
Cleanroom Behavior Do’s and Don’ts
Do: Restrict Access to the Cleanroom to Only Authorized Members of the Organization
Authorized personnel will be trained and aware of the rules they need to follow within the cleanroom environment. Allowing others into the room will increase behavioral mistakes that could cause contamination or impact safety.
Don’t: Primp Before Entering the Cleanroom
This is one environment that you don’t need to spend time on your appearance to shine in. In fact, everyday beauty products like makeup, hairspray, perfume, and nail polish can introduce unwanted particles to the air and surfaces in the room. Just because you cannot see them doesn’t mean these particles can’t cause problems for cleanroom procedures, the products made, or the research conducted within the room.
Do: Follow Proper Gowning Procedure
The gowning room exists to provide a barrier between the cleanroom and the outside environment. Cleanroom personnel follow a specific gowning process before they enter the room. However, if proper gowning procedures are not followed, this negates the purpose of this anteroom as contaminants can be introduced from clothing, from the worker, or from the dirty side of the gowning room.
Do: Wear Appropriate Cleanroom Garments
Every cleanroom is different. There will be garment variations in different environments and cleanroom classes. These include face masks, gloves, coveralls, and caps. Make sure you are wearing the required garments before you enter the room.
Don’t: Bring Personal Items into the Cleanroom
Cleanroom supplies go through a stringent process to be allowed inside the room. Equipment such as pass thru cabinets are specially designed for this purpose. Many common items are manufactured specifically just for use in cleanroom environments. It makes sense, therefore, that commonly used items like cell phones are prohibited. A cell phone is handled constantly and is a highly unclean device, yet many workers will still try to sneak their phones into the cleanroom with them. Do not do this. Keep your personal items outside the cleanroom.
Don’t: Use Excess Movements in the Cleanroom
Because airflow within a cleanroom is designed specifically to maintain cleanliness, excessive movement like brisk walking, dancing, and even excessive talking can stir up particles or introduce them from the body into the room. Minimizing your movement within the cleanroom will help maintain the room’s airflow and its cleanliness.
Remembering and following the rules of good cleanroom behavior is essential for cleanroom operation. By being aware of what you are doing within the cleanroom and the gowning room and even before you enter the gowning room, you will be able to reduce any contamination you might inadvertently introduce. With a little forethought and some good habit building, following these do’s and don’t will become second nature over time.