Blog: 5 Steps to Restarting Your Lab post COVID-19

For a PDF version of this Article Click Here

Over the past few months everything has changed. Including your lab.
Between the rules, regulations, and keeping everyone safe, the task of reopening can seem daunting.
So, we’ve done our best to help simplify that process for you.


Safety, PPE, & Cleaning

N95 Mask
Before you start planning what inventory and equipment is needed you need to implement a risk management strategy to reduce the risk of viral transmission. The good news is you are most likely a scientist and you know a lot about biology and virology. Many large corporations have plans in place, but smaller labs may need to develop their own procedures.  The best place to start is to evaluate local and federal guidelines and adapt them to your professional setting.  Also, make sure there are plans in place for exposure scenarios.  Having well thought out plans for returning to the laboratory will reduce stress and increase lab efficiency in the long run.  Plans could include employee testing, temperature monitoring, compartmentalized schedules and teams, PPE, barriers, enhanced cleaning procedures, social distancing, workflow modifications, wellness programs and PTO  for employees that may suspect they have an illness.  
Do you have more questions or want to learn how Boekel Scientific is keeping our teams safe?
Read more on our latest updates here.

Toss Expired Products

While you have been out of the lab, your materials have not. And in a lot of cases your reagents have gone bad or expired.  Make sure to toss reagents that may be suspect. Consider discarding open packages of consumable lab products, depending on how long your lab has been closed.  You would not want contamination in your next experiment.

Clean and Calibrate Equipment

Calibrate Equipment
Depending on your lab, you might have had dormant equipment for quite some time. Make sure to run through all the steps required to test and clean your devices.  Or if you have a maintenance contract or metrology staff, it would be a good time to contact them for a PM. This will not only ensure that the equipment is working properly for the next process, but it will also help ensure safety for you and your staff.
Once you get your equipment back up and running,
you still need to maintain cleanliness. Outline a plan for equipment use and proper sanitizing protocols
to ensure that everyone is safe.  It is better late than never to implement a procedure.


Now that your lab is cleaned out of expired materials, and equipment is up and running, you should have a
good idea of what is out of stock. Additionally, some labs may even have to replace aged equipment because of this down-time or changes in procedures. Now is the time to get started reviewing your inventory and budget while planning ahead.
Here are some questions to you may need to ask:
• Do you have what you need to run any new tests?
• How will these changes impact my supplies and equipment availability?
• Do you need new equipment, reagents?
• Do you have enough consumables for your daily workflow?
Some items are now more in demand than others,
it’s imperative that you evaluate this impact on your process.

Think you might be missing something?
Review available products here.