Sometimes it’s easy to decide, “You know what? I just don’t care anymore.” Especially at the workplace. We all get bogged down with too much work from time to time, and we may have other things on our mind — social issues, family life, money problems, and other pressing demands.
Life can be stressful. It happens to everyone.
For those involved in cleanrooms and contamination control, however, apathy is a dangerous risk that may endanger health and lives. Bacterial and fungal contamination can occur in even the best-run cleanroom and lab facilities, and therefore it’s imperative to maintain good cleaning schedules and stay on top of errors. Quality control is not to be taken lightly. Standards and procedures exist for a reason, and straying from them could mean disaster.
Controlled Environments has frequently addressed the steps that need to be taken in order to prevent disaster. In this issue, our “Ask the Facilities Gal” column discusses the proper handling of hazardous materials, and cites major catastrophes in India, Canada, Taiwan, and the U.S. as examples of what can happen if proper procedures are not followed. Even the tiniest detail, if overlooked, can cost millions of dollars in damage. Buildings and facilities can be destroyed in the blink of an eye. Dozens or hundreds of jobs can disappear. Lives can be lost.
The Cleanroom Tip at the back of every issue is contributed by our readers, and lists some simple ways to prevent contamination at your facility. Whether it’s a specific cleaning method or advice on how to properly don and doff cleanroom attire, these short tips will remind you that, sometimes, the “keep it simple, stupid” method might be the best way to approach things in your own facility — in other words, don’t forget the small stuff. We encourage you to contact us with your own tips on keeping your cleanroom clean and up to code.
In our Trending on the Web section, you will find a link to a recent blog post on the Controlled Environments website about the trial of a pharmacist from a Massachusetts compounding center that’s blamed for a 2012 meningitis outbreak which resulted in the deaths of over five dozen people across the U.S. Unsanitary cleanroom conditions and lax business practices may have led to a fungal contamination in injectable spinal drugs. Other blog posts on this topic describe the “locker room atmosphere” amongst the cleanroom workers, including horseplay and allegations of inappropriate banter in front of a female employee.
Slacking off in the workplace can carry numerous consequences. You may embarrass your company, lose your job, endanger coworkers, and — depending on your industry — threaten people’s lives. Keep this in mind when things get to be too much, and find productive ways to handle it.