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A Second Look at Autoclave Safety. Suzanne M. Kupiec, MPH, CSP Lindsey V. Kayman, SM, CIH Janice Flesher, MS, CBSP. Copyright, 2001, Kupiec, et.al., University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. For More Information…. AIHA’s Laboratory Safety Committee Web Site is available at:

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a second look at autoclave safety

A Second Look at Autoclave Safety

Suzanne M. Kupiec, MPH, CSP

Lindsey V. Kayman, SM, CIH

Janice Flesher, MS, CBSP

Copyright, 2001, Kupiec, et.al.,

University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey

for more information
For More Information….

AIHA’s Laboratory Safety Committee Web Site is available at:

http://www2.umdnj.edu/eohssweb/aiha

major findings
Major Findings
  • Style/Model of the Autoclave
  • Lack of Training/Poor Work Practices
slide11
Lack of Training and

Poor Work Practices

training issues work practices
Training Issues/Work Practices
  • No lab coat or apron was worn.
training issues work practices13
Training Issues/Work Practices
  • No lab coat or apron was worn.
  • No time was allowed for cooling.
training issues work practices14
Training Issues/Work Practices
  • No lab coat or apron was worn.
  • No time was allowed for cooling.
  • Attempted to remove a full tub.
training issues work practices16
Training Issues/Work Practices
  • Stood on a kick-stool to reach autoclave.
training issues work practices18
Training Issues/Work Practices
  • Stood on a kick-stool to reach autoclave.
  • Did not have a cart available.
training issues work practices20
Training Issues/Work Practices
  • Stood on a kick-stool to reach autoclave.
  • Did not have a cart available.
  • Used a plastic rather than a metal pan.
training issues work practices22
Training Issues/Work Practices
  • Stood on a kick-stool to reach autoclave.
  • Did not have a cart available.
  • Used a plastic rather than a metal pan.
  • Water was added to the pan.
using water in an autoclave pan
Using Water in anAutoclave Pan
  • Probably not needed, because:
    • Modern autoclaves generate enough steam to sterilize.
    • It appears to have no effect on breakage rates.
using water in an autoclave pan24
Using Water in anAutoclave Pan
  • However -
    • Using deeper pans will create a cool air pocket, which can be remedied by adding water.
using water in an autoclave pan25
Using Water in anAutoclave Pan
  • Conclusion:
    • Use shallower, metal pans without adding water.
additional follow up
Additional Follow-up

Creation of Minimum Laboratory

Design Guidelines

additional follow up27
Additional Follow-up

Include more information

on autoclave safety in

training programs

additional follow up28
Additional Follow-up

Explore the possible use

of a hydraulic cart

additional follow up29
Additional Follow-up

Continue to investigate whether adding water to autoclave loads decreases glass breakage.

my thanks to
My Thanks to:

Dawne Gaskin and Carol Ruppert

of the University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ

For their great assistance in putting together this presentation!

for more information31
For More Information….

AIHA’s Laboratory Safety Committee Web Site is available at:

http://www2.umdnj.edu/eohssweb/aiha