NOTICE: Effective February 1, 2010, all personnel who use a CNSM-owned autoclave must successfully complete a new autoclave training/authorization process and be specifically approved to operate each unit. Persons/labs that do not follow these rules are subject to loss of autoclave access pending completion of an appropriate retraining session. This new policy has been adopted in an effort to reduce operator injuries and the staggering cost of repairs traced to improper use.
This new CNSM Safety policy now requires that each operator of a College or Department-owned autoclave be trained, retrained and approved for autoclave use by specifically designated personnel. Presently, Ms. Michelle Giffin x54038, performs the training/authorization function for autoclaves in the MLSC building (download MLSC autoclave training materials). Ms. Diane Graham x54857, is the designated person for such units in the Microbiology building.
This autoclave training consists of the initial training session, documented on a safety training form, kept on file by the trainer. After the training, based on the fourteen points listed below, the trainer will then observe the trainee's performance to confirm that they understand the process. The autoclave trainer/supervisors will then provide routine oversight and spot checks on users and operations to ensure that proper procedures are being followed.
Faculty who own their own autoclave are, in a like fashion, responsible for providing and documenting safe autoclave use for their devices, and monitoring users compliance with those protocols.
Each autoclave has unique characteristics, even the same model can vary greatly. All generate dangerous pressures and temperatures during normal operation. This training handout will help you know and understand how to properly use each individual autoclave. Autoclave training is based largely upon the information in the manufacturer's owner's manual(s). The location of each manual is part of the training. Contact the designated people listed above and/or check the owners manual if questions arise. If you are not POSITIVE you are loading and operating the unit correctly, STOP and get help from a KNOWLEDGABLE source.
Autoclave maintenance is an important aspect of a properly functioning autoclave. These units are serviced by a qualified contractor. Notify the appropriate autoclave trainer/technician if there are any problems with the unit. Also post an 'Out of Service" note on the unit if you find a problem.
Never autoclave items containing acids, bases, phenol, solvents, flammable materials or radioactive materials. Consult CNSM Safety if in doubt about hazardous materials.
Treating infectious waste (BSL-2 or higher) so that it may be discarded as regular trash is prohibited. All such materials must ultimately be treated and discarded by a licensed biomedical waste contractor. Double red bagged red drums are used to collect such material. Notify CNSM Safety when your drum is getting full. No sharp items go into the drum. Place infectious sharps in a red sharps box. Close the sharps box at the 2/3 full mark and call CNSM Safety for a replacement.
Utilize the following autoclave safety practices for every model autoclave: