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Ergo for Environmental Testing: Providing Lab Personnel as much Special Care as the Samples

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Environmental testing covers a broad range of studies and lab methods. For example, NuAire (Plymouth, MN) points out: “Environmental laboratories combine advanced technology and experienced researchers to deliver analytical data on biological, ecological and physical sciences, as well as a range of diverse engineering fields.” To cover so much breadth, the samples can come from air, soil, waste or water. In some cases, forensics and other areas of study could further extend the variety of samples used in environmental testing. Often, that testing requires a CO2 incubator or biological safety cabinet (BSC).

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In some countries, even accessing or running the needed equipment can create a problem. As an example, one group of scientists noted: “The availability of incubators that maintain constant temperatures on poor electrical grids and have low maintenance requirements would partially address this problem and allow health systems to begin developing more comprehensive microbiological diagnostic and surveillance programs.” So, this team developed a new incubator “to meet the requirements of operation in laboratories without reliable power (power outages up to 12 contiguous hours) or climate control (ambient indoor temperatures from 5 °C to 45 °C).” With today’s global needs for COVID testing in environmental samples, such technology is more useful than ever.

Beyond having the necessary devices for incubation and microbiological studies, scientists need to use the equipment as it’s designed. Long hours in the lab means that an incubator or BSC must be optimized ergonomically.

Keep It Cozy

Adding some ergonomic accessories—from a footrest to an elbow rest and more—can make it easier to use any incubator or BSC. A person’s positioning makes a big difference after hours of pipetting in processes of environmental testing. Some BSCs, for instance, come with various ergonomic features, from an armrest and added knee space to non-glare lighting and expanded workspace. Scientists can also add options, like a stainless-steel turntable or an ergonomic chair.

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For seated work with an incubator or BSC, nothing turns out truly ergonomic without a good place to sit. Plenty of environmental-testing labs include completely ordinary chairs. Give a BSC or incubator every comfort feature available, and provide scientists a strain-free working environment.

To set up a lab for environmental testing, it takes the right incubators and BSCs to perform the desired analysis. Make sure that personnel know the best practices for using the equipment, as well as ways to stay as comfortable and injury-free as possible. Taking time to pick the products and accessories that keep personnel comfortable lets them focus on the analysis, not a nagging backache.


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