|Category||Biohazard machinery move|
|Project||Movement of laboratory equipment|
|Project type||Contract lift|
A leading bioscience research centre wanted to refurbish one of its laboratories, so had to move 16 pieces of equipment used to store and process biological cultures, including freezers, fridges and incubators. The fridges and freezers could only be disconnected from electrical power for a set amount of time, to protect the cultures being stored in them. Some of the units also had to be kept perfectly upright during the move.
- The client could draw on Hird’s experience and expertise for a move that had to be handled with precision, with no mistakes
- Hird provides a method statement and risk assessment based on the client’s move schedule
- As a contract lift, Hird had full insurance cover in place
- The machinery move went fully according to plan, and was completed inside the planned timescale.
“On the face of it, this was a straight forward machinery moving project. However, the client had a lot to lose if things went wrong. All elements of the move were meticulously planned and thought through. We made sure we had an experienced team on the job. We demonstrated we can operate in any environment, delivering a high quality service.”
Mick Bradshaw, Cranes and Machinery Moving Manager
The laboratory management team had created a temporary location for the equipment while the refurbishment took place.
They had also drawn up a schedule of which order the equipment had to be moved in, and how each item had to be handled. This was to ensure the stored cultures were not damaged and kept secure.
The freezers could only be switched off for a maximum of 20 minutes to preserve the cultures.
During a site visit before the machinery move project started, Hird took this information to build into a full method statement and risk assessment management system (RAMS) for the machinery move process.
On the day of the move, the three operatives in the Hird machinery moving team had to wear protective laboratory clothing, including eye protection, supplied by the client. They also had to follow strict wash-in and wash-out hygiene procedures.
All the units to be moved were locked shut and sealed with biohazard warning tape.
The Hird machinery moving team used pallet trucks and skates to move the units. The pallet trucks could be jacked up under the equipment to ensure it could be kept vertical and perfectly steady.
Following the method statement incorporating the client’s moving schedule, all the equipment was removed and fully set up at its temporary location in four hours.
High quality narrow pallet trucks were used. These have low ground clearance and are designed to fit between the feet of equipment like fridges and freezers. With smooth hydraulic jacks, they ensure equipment can be moved without jarring or tipping it
Machinery moving skates
For equipment that could be tipped as it was handled, machinery moving skates were used. These are placed at the corners of the equipment and have nylon rollers which ensure equipment can be moved smoothly without any damage to flooring.