If you must work in a controlled environment, you know how important it is to ensure that the area remains contaminant free. However, did you know that it isn't enough to simply put on your cleanroom apparel and get to work? It is critical that you understand how to properly don controlled environment apparel. Abide by the following step-by-step protocol, and you will be able to reduce potential contamination in your controlled environment.
1. Walk across the grey or blue tacky mat outside the gown room entrance, as you don your bouffant cap. As you enter the gowning room, you should already have your bouffant cap on. Best practices mandate that your bouffant caps to be worn as you walk into the gown room. Your head hair & skin is a primary contaminants source. Cover them up prior to gaining access.
2. Then, you should grab your shoe cover and sit on the “street attire” side of the gowning room bench. When you come to the bench, the next components that go on are your shoe covers. After you've walked across the tacky mat, before you entered the gown room, you've removed most of the surface contaminants from your shoes. It is very important that your covered shoes only walk on one side of the bench. This will mean that you have to begin on one side of the bench and end up on the "shoe cover only" side in order to ensure that uncovered shoes are not contaminating the area.
3. After your shoe covers are on, the next thing you should put on is your face mask. Either ear loop or four tie face masks work, and the white side of the mask should be against your face. It's important that your mask fits snugly so you don't get any blow by at the nose or the side of your face.
4. Once your face mask is properly donned, it's time to put on your garment (coverall, frock, Labcoat). It's important that as you put on the garment, you work to avoid contaminating it by letting it hit the floor. So, have a seat on the bench, making sure that your feet are on the "shoe cover only" side. Pull one leg of the coverall on, then the other. Stand up, insert one arm then the other, and finally, zip up.
Note: It's important to not only properly don your apparel, but also don garments constructed of the proper material. Your cleanroom operators are the number one source of contamination in your critical environment. It is mission critical that your operators do as much as possible to isolate contamination that might come from the head, the mouth, and the hands.
5. The final components that go on are the gloves. Try to only handle the cuff of the glove, and pull the glove on and over the garment cuff so the glove is taut. Repeat with the second glove. It is very important that the glove cuff cover the garment cuff so that you have no naked cuff.
6. When you are fully clothed, the next steps you take should be on the white tacky mat that lead in to the production area. You are fully gowned and ready for action!
Proper and correct gowning ensures effective cleanroom contamination control, download the detailed cleanroom gowning room protocol provided by Valutek to practice proper gowning in your controlled environment.