LABORATORY FASTENING - EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS
This article explores drastic convenince of seismic mitigation to restore laboratory function instead of to fasten it at the time of earthquake. When most of us think about earthquake preparedness, we don’t automatically conjure up thoughts of laboratory fastening, but it’s part of being prepared particularly for companies in the biotech and life sciences fields. It doesn’t matter if yours is a multi-national corporation or a smaller independent business, earthquakes don’t differentiate between the two. A laboratory that hasn’t undergone a program of non-structural seismic mitigation runs an extremely high risk of damage and loss of equipment. And it’s not as if we haven’t been warned about that risk. Earthquake experts constantly tell us that we’re overdue for a big one, so it would make good business sense to listen to them and do something about seismic mitigation on your campus. Laboratory Fastening can sometimes be an afterthought, or put into the ‘I’ll do it later basket’; although as earthquakes are so unpredictable, being prepared is the smartest thing you can do if your company has a lab in an earthquake zone. Bottom line is if you live in earthquake country don’t stick your head in the sand and hope you’ll be okay. All that will do is leave your business wide open to potential disaster. Laboratory Fastening A laboratory is a good case in point. Typically, labs contain all kinds of valuable equipment including HPLCs, mass spectrometers, centrifuges, robots and a host of other countertop items, all of which need to be fastened down. And don’t forget about the Minus 80s, deli coolers, production equipment, flammable cabinets and liquid nitrogen tanks. There are innovative and cost effective methods of floor equipment fastening for all these things based on client preference. If you are an EH&S or facilities manager, the question you really need to ask yourself is can you afford not to have a seismic safety program in place for your lab? Clearly the answer
is no, you can’t. Why? Because you want to create a safe work environment, you want to comply with OSHA safety codes and you want to ensure your business continuity. To that end, non-structural seismic mitigation systems can be custom designed for every aspect of your lab.
All work can meet Seismic Zone 4 standards, or better, and getting it done is not difficult. A site survey and evaluation will determine what needs to be done to secure your equipment. The biggest no-no is procrastination. It’s a trap that many fall into thinking they can wait until next week, next month or the next budget, but that’s pushing the envelope unnecessarily. As mentioned above, you just never know when an earthquake is going to strike and if your lab isn’t secured beforehand, you could lose your expensive equipment and all of your valuable data. Seismic Protection Products and Services So how do you get started? You can research the full range of seismic protection products and services at www.quakeholdindustrial.com and schedule a free risk assessment of your operations. If you run a lab in an earthquake zone you need to be prepared and we strongly encourage you to start the process of laboratory fastening today.