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Certification of Work Benches and Hoods

The certification of work benches and hoods, such as Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs), involves a thorough evaluation of their performance and adherence to specific standards and guidelines. Here are some key aspects that are typically included in the certification process:

  1. Airflow Velocity and Uniformity

    The certification process includes measuring and verifying the airflow velocity and uniformity within the work bench or hood. This ensures that the required airflows, such as inflow and downflow velocities, are within the specified range and that there are no areas of turbulence or dead zones.

  2. HEPA Filter Integrity

    The certification involves testing the integrity and efficiency of the HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters used in the work bench or hood. This includes verifying that the filters are properly installed, leak-free, and capable of removing particles of the specified size.

  3. Containment and Cross-Contamination Prevention

    Certification includes assessing the containment capability of the work bench or hood. This involves conducting smoke tests or other methods to ensure that contaminants are effectively contained within the unit and that there is no leakage or cross-contamination to the surrounding environment.

  4. Noise and Vibration Levels

    The certification process may include measuring and evaluating the noise and vibration levels produced by the work bench or hood. This ensures that the unit operates within acceptable limits and does not create excessive noise or vibration that may impact the operator or surrounding equipment.

  5. Lighting and Electrical Safety

    The certification process verifies the lighting levels within the work bench or hood, ensuring that adequate illumination is provided for safe and effective work. Additionally, electrical safety checks are performed to confirm that all electrical components and connections are properly installed and grounded.

  6. Alarm and Safety Systems

    The certification includes testing the alarm and safety systems of the work bench or hood. This involves verifying that alarms for airflow disruptions, filter saturation, and other critical parameters are functioning correctly and can effectively alert the operator in case of any issues or safety breaches.

  7. Certification Reports and Documentation

    Once the certification process is complete, a comprehensive report is generated that includes details of the tests performed, measurements taken, and results obtained. This documentation serves as evidence of compliance and can be used for regulatory purposes or audits.

It is important to note that certification processes may vary depending on the specific standards and guidelines applicable to the work benches or hoods in your region or industry. Certified professionals, such as qualified technicians or third-party certification agencies, typically perform the certification to ensure accuracy and impartiality in the assessment.

When a new hood is installed or a major modification is made to an existing hood, it should undergo initial certification before being put into operation. This ensures that the hood meets the required performance criteria and specifications.

Hoods typically require periodic recertification to ensure ongoing compliance and performance. The frequency of recertification can vary based on factors such as the hood type, usage intensity, regulatory requirements, and industry best practices. For Hoods utilized as ISO5 environment the common interval for hood recertification is every 6 months.