While clean rooms maintain a well-regulated environment free of unwanted particles and humidity, and often do an excellent job in reducing workspace contamination, there are nevertheless some things to keep in mind when working in a cleanroom workspace.
Workers should wear full protective clothing and gear such as hoods, specially designed jumpsuits, shoe coverings or boots, and whatever else is necessary to conduct your processes with. When dealing with chemicals that could be hazardous, goggles should be used. Face masks and shields should be used for sensitive processes that could lead to breaking glass or explosions. Always use gloves to handle dangerous chemicals. Gloves prevent shedding skin to get into the clean room environment anyway, so they are usually recommended whatever the case. Some processes may even require a respirator, so be sure to have the necessary training and qualification to use those.
It is good to know the layout of the cleanroom and to know where the necessary safety equipment is such as safety showers, fire extinguishers, eye wash stations, and emergency shut off switches. It is beneficial to know what emergency signals and alarms indicate, and where to evacuate if need be. Have staff maintain familiarity with hazardous gas monitoring equipment and any alarms that might indicate dangerous air conditions.
Processes in cleanrooms can often involve chemical handling such as possibly dangerous acids, bases, solvents, carcinogens, and cryogenics. Understand the materials and their use and know the proper procedures of handling and disposing of such materials. If you come into contact with such a chemical, flush the area with water for 15 minutes and remove any contaminated clothing. Hydrofluoric acid can be especially dangerous if eye or skin contact occurs. Such a substance can burn through tissue and even bone. As stated above, rinse any affected area with water and get medical help if emergencies arise.
Chemical processes should be conducted under fume hoods or in wet benches if they pose the risk of splashing or fuming. Chemicals should be carefully labeled and stored. All chemicals and mixtures should be disposed of and cleaned and hazardous waste removed.
These points aren’t exhaustive. Make sure you understand all of your safety precautions and instructions, as well as the rest of the workers that use a cleanroom and work with processes inside. Following some of these basic points will help to eliminate many potential hazards however.
ICE Walls = Integrated Critical Environments