What are Special Transportation Considerations when relocating a laboratory?
Laboratory relocation is by its very nature a specialist operation but depending on their field, some labs may require even more specific considerations. As in every move of this type, extensive planning needs to be completed before the relocation begins, in order to ensure that all aspects are performed successfully.
Chain of custody
When organising the relocation of a laboratory you need to plan for items and samples that require chain of custody during transportation along with the relevant documentation. One such instance are laboratories handling evidence for the police, a factor which might require a laboratory representative to escort items during transit. The right relocation partner will be able to handle this requirement and will advise you on how to proceed while remaining compliant and keeping your specimens safe, including trackable vehicles and prearranged routes to ensure that specimens are accounted for at all times while on the road.
Transportation of cold chain items:
During transportation cold-stores must remain powered up and maintain stable temperatures in order to preserve the integrity of the samples; appropriate cold-store transportation requires the implementation of fail-safe procedures which avoid temperature cycling. Temperature rises beyond -80°C can irreparably affect sample quality and cost a lab thousands of pounds of losses in failed research or specimens becoming non-viable. Such fail safes should include a backup freezer and generator as well as easily accessibly liquid nitrogen and dry ice to ensure fast response in the event of technical problems.
Hazardous goods have special requirements:
Hazardous, infectious and biological samples require special transportation considerations which can only be applied by a trained, licensed and compliant relocation provider. Hazards associated with materials need to be assessed and a written assessment of significant risks must be completed prior to commencement of the move.
For example, drivers transporting hazardous goods need to hold an ADR training certificate, a European standard which sets out the requirements for classifying, packaging, labelling, transporting and certifying dangerous goods.
What to do about live animals?
It might not be ideal, but many labs work with animals such as mammals or invertebrates. Transporting these might mean making dispensations for artificial solar or lunar cycles requiring lighting conditions to be adapted during transportation. Bigger animals will also need to be transported with enough care to ensure that the conditions do not endanger them or their wellbeing or cause distress. Simple things such as drinking bottles can often leak onto animal bedding, which can cause them to sit in cold and wet conditions not conducive to their overall health. Finally, as lab animals are considered part of the research they might also require chain of custody during transportation.
If you have questions regarding our specialised transportation methods, get in touch with us and we’ll discuss all your needs in detail