Meticulous hiring practices for cleanroom personnel include screening potential operators for physical characteristics such as: smoker hiring policy, overweight or obese personnel, facial hair, sensitivity to heat, cold and humidity, and seasonal allergies including skin allergies. Also, when evaluating personal skills and language skills, the human resources department must also evaluate potential cleanroom candidates for mental characteristics such as claustrophobia.
Certain cleanroom industries:
- Do not allow smokers to work inside the cleanroom because the residual tar and nicotine will stain the face-masks and residual smoke particles may redeposit on the product or the process. Smoking is not allowed inside the manufacturing facility including all cleanroom areas. Smokers release particles for at least one-half hour after smoking one cigarette.
- Require the removal of all facial hair or at minimum, the complete encapsulation of facial hair in beard covers or masks.
- Require demonstration that the personnel can work inside the cleanroom comfortably and efficiently.
Just as all operators are thoroughly trained in occupational skills and knowledge of the product being produced and all aspects of the production process, cleanroom operators must be trained in the unique practices and behavior required for working in the cleanroom environment. Training personnel for working in the clean-room environment is mandatory for all personnel regardless of frequency of entry and job classification.
As mentioned earlier, any activity by the cleanroom operator generates millions of viable and non-viable particles. Therefore, it is imperative to limit talking and actions in the cleanroom to only those required for the manufacturing of the product. Running, horseplay and other non-professional activities are not permitted. Other behavioral requirements include but are not limited to:
- Nothing is allowed inside the cleanroom complex which is not required in the cleanroom manufacturing process.
- This includes personal items such as jewelry or keys, cosmetics, tobacco or matches in any form, and food or drink in any form. Hair may not be combed in the cleanroom gowning area.
- Only cleanroom compatible ball-point pens are allowed inside the cleanroom for recording data on cleanroom compatible paper and clipboards.
- While working in the cleanroom, avoid mannerisms such as scratching head or rubbing hands. Cleanroom personnel may not access the inside of the cleanroom uniform.
- The use of facial tissues is prohibited in the cleanroom. If one must use a cleanroom compatible non-linting tissue, it must be used only in the gowning area and disposed appropriately in waste receptacle.
- All doors must remain closed when not entering or exiting. Emergency doors may be alarmed with a visual and audible alarm to enforce compliance.
If there are any changes such as skin irritations, open sores, or respiratory infections, the personnel should be reassigned to non-cleanroom duties.
From: “Ask Jan: Basic Cleanroom Protocol”