Care and Maintenance of Laboratory Equipment: A Guide

In Australia, about 24,000 people are involved in the collection and processing of pathology tests. These pathology tests are essential in the diagnosis of medical conditions in individuals.

Various lab equipment tests the pathology samples and determines the correct medical diagnosis. To conduct the tests correctly and keep the workers safe, it is crucial to maintain the laboratory equipment regularly.

Not just in healthcare, the equipment is necessary for scientific research and other fields for tests and experiments.

In this article, you will see some essential tips for maintaining and caring for laboratory equipment.

Why Is It Important to Maintain Lab Equipment?

A lot of expensive apparatus and equipment are found inside a laboratory. They require extensive care to function correctly and produce accurate results.

Laboratory staff, scientists, and anyone accessing the lab should follow strict protocols to keep the equipment safe and prevent damage.

Here are some general guidelines for maintaining and caring for laboratory equipment.

1.    Keeping Track of Maintenance

For the maintenance and management of your lab, gathering all relevant information about each piece of equipment is crucial. It is an all-inclusive repository that you can use to understand the background of your equipment.

For routine maintenance, keep a diary of your equipment’s maintenance. Keep track of all previous maintenance records and their results. Information like model number, manufacturer, guarantee details, date and time of repairs, and remarks are handy for each piece of lab equipment.

Keep the equipment maintenance records stored digitally so they can be accessed by everyone.

2.    Follow the Manual

Every piece of equipment comes with a manual; we cannot stress enough how important it is to follow the manual. If a manual is not immediately available for equipment, which may be the case for old equipment, look it up online with manufacturer details and model number to access the manual.

The manual contains all the necessary maintenance guides for the equipment. From training somebody how to use equipment properly and making use of all the features to the frequency of repair or maintenance, and troubleshooting, a manual can provide all the right information about the equipment.

3.    Carry Out General Cleaning

This is a simple yet crucial process. Cleaning the equipment regularly ensures it gives optimal performance. Read the manual to understand the basic cleaning process. 

In most cases, individuals follow the following:

  • A daily wipe-down of all equipment on the surface
  • Thorough weekly cleaning by following the manual
  • Consult professionals for any specific processes for cleaning challenging items
  • A quarterly check by an engineer and an HC control check monthly (specific to equipment)

4.    Preventive Maintenance Program

A preventive maintenance program ensures the equipment performs without hiccups and follows the manufacturer’s specifications. It saves overall costs and maximises the output of the equipment.

Also, it streamlines the maintenance process. You do not have to worry about performing any tasks manually.

The laboratory staff can conduct laboratory equipment maintenance and care. But sometimes, challenges like a repair or replacement of a part or failure to calibrate require a qualified professional. Consider outsourcing professionals for such tasks.

While our list contains the basic guidelines for laboratory equipment maintenance, some equipment may require additional care. Make sure to follow the manual and perform routine maintenance to detect complications as the earliest.

Author Name – Carmela Cahtillo