We have all heard the statement, ‘life is full of compromises’. But does protecting staff from respirable dust have to be one of those compromises? All too often manufacturers do not put themselves in the end users shoes. In this brief blog we’ll take on one small but crucial part of every technician and therefore every facility mangers’ life. Bedding disposal.
In a perfect world there would be a system that has the ease of a vacuum system, the security of a biological safety cabinet and the simplicity of a 55 gallon barrel. Short of that magical system we need to find acceptable compromises. This is not a one size fits all situation, although manufacturers often approach it that way. This results in storage areas full of unused disposal units cast aside like neglected exercise equipment. The good intentions of January resolutions hitting the hard reality of the March slump!
Managers are given the task of reducing respirable dust particles but technicians are weary of equipment that over complicates their work day. In that way two systems are hard to beat. First vacuum based systems that send waste to dumpsters or storage silos. Only the largest colonies have that luxury. From what I’ve observed these are readily accepted by managers and techs alike. The second example are dump stations that are a hybrid of a biological safety cabinet and a simple hood. The hood and filter components protect the technician while the waste is dropped into a barrel or box in a centrally located opening. Waste is then easily removed from the facility. These are manufactured by many different laboratory animal equipment companies. Lab Products, Allentown, Baker and Nuaire all have excellent versions. They fulfill the primary function of eliminating dust extremely well. However technicians avoid using them because they add a layer of complication on their already demanding schedules. Often these are shunted into a corner never to be used to their potential.
The most popular option for techs is just a barrel or dump cart. This is easy but probably the worst solution in terms of respirable dust. Every cage dumped aerosolizes fecal waste, bedding and paper particles from enrichment products. It is amazing that this is still allowed in so many settings
Anecdotally, technicians prefer this system or even the larger dump cart on the right.
The task is to find a solution that reduces dust and is readily accepted by technicians. This alternative is best typified by two pieces of equipment the MOHEP and the MOHEP XL series.
The MOHEP original is perhaps the best received dump station ever designed. Technicians like the fact that it doesn’t slow them down. Managers like it because it satisfies most health and safety people, thereby getting one item off the ‘to do’ list! The original is extremely space efficient. It occupies just 1.39 times more space than a 55 gallon barrel alone. With unit in use since 2003 it has an excellent track record for durability. The XL version is relative new but already has proven itself in several medium to large volume facilities. The 1 yard XL can be customized to utilized existing dump carts from a variety of manufacturers. The MOHEP design doesn’t compromise safety, size restrictions, budgets or durability.