Even some of the best-funded and most secure labs in the world run into safety problems, but a little bit of preventative effort goes a long way towards reducing the odds. Regular maintenance for laboratory gear is one of the more powerful tools that researchers can use to keep their labs safe. It is also necessary for keeping tools precise and ensuring accurate results, so it is also a particularly efficient option for the average lab.
Finding Early Signs of Trouble
Many emergencies happen as the result of people using flawed equipment. The best way to prevent that is to make sure that the flaws are known as early as possible. In addition to reducing the odds of a person using the tool while it is damaged, it can give the owner a chance to make repairs before a small problem develops into a bigger one.
Good maintenance plans include regular inspections, so implementing one ensures that damage gets detected as quickly as possible. The maintenance will also fix many small problems and even prevent some from developing, so it can eliminate most accidents that come from using flawed gear.
Ensuring Safety Equipment Works
Maintaining safety equipment is vital for making sure that it works when necessary. Nobody wants to spill chemicals on themselves, only to discover that the emergency shower station is broken!
While working on these devices is unlikely to significantly reduce the odds of having an accident in the first place, it still makes a difference. These machines make sure that the accidents that do happen cause as little damage as possible. Most people do not use them very often, so maintenance is vital simply for making sure that they still work, since it is all too easy to forget about them until the moment when people are rushing to use them.
Accidents happen when people are unfamiliar with the tools that they are handling. That often happens with equipment that people only use on rare occasions, since they do not have constant practice to keep their skills sharp.
Performing maintenance on a tool or system is a great way to build that familiarity. The person who is doing the work needs to test the machine, so they will get to practice with all of its normal functions. Many people will also need to take a look at the instructions to make sure they check everything that needs checking, which will also help to give them a refresher. Seeing a system working properly will ensure that they can recognize when it is not working, which will make sure they catch problems as early as possible if they turn up later.