What You Need to Know About Cleanroom Gowning Protocol
Training your employees to follow your cleanroom gowning protocol is always the first step in good management. But ensuring strict compliance is difficult to enforce. Human nature slides us towards the path of least resistance, so we must constantly keep these garmenting standards in front of our employees.
With over 500,000 airborne particles per cubic foot in a regular environment, it is crucial to follow a strict discipline in the donning station to keep the particulate count within the ISO classification boundaries.
Some of the most common cleanroom gowning violations include:
- not washing hands prior to putting on gloves
- touching exposed skin with gloved hand
- wearing makeup or perfume
- too long fingernails
- not using wipers to wipe down bench after gowning
- not donning two gloves
- reusing goggles without cleaning
The easiest solution is to ensure your entrance room, anteroom and garment room are all designed for maximum efficiency. At the entrance, provide secure lockers for personal belongings, a trash can to collect coffee cups, floor-mounted shoe brushes to remove large contaminants and a sticky mat to remove fine particulates. Shoe covers are donned. Then, the air shower chamber removes additional contaminants.
The next station should be the handwashing station with blow dryers and no paper towels. If your protocol allows, glove liners can be donned. Then, double gloves should be donned with the outer gloves disposed of after the garmenting procedure is complete. Next, the hairnet or bouffant cap, beard cover, hood and mask are donned.
At the clean gowning platform, the frock or coveralls are opened and donned on the dirty side of the bench, switching each foot, covered in a clean bootie, to the clean side. Finally, safety glasses are added and a mirror provides a self-check station. Wipers are used to clean the bench and then are thrown away in a trash receptacle along with the donning layer of gloves. The entrance to the cleanroom can have one more section of adhesive mat and possibly one more air shower to catch any last particles before entering.Having a carefully designed donning room can help stop any bad habits before they start. It can also trigger muscle memory for those regularly following cleanroom gowning protocols. Medco Supplies offers the cleanroom supplies you need to help your cleanroom remain as contaminant-free as possible.