Moving a lab between facilities can be a stressful and expensive endeavor, especially if not done correctly. The combination of hazardous materials, delicate and often expensive equipment, and irreplaceable frozen samples pose a regulatory and logistical challenge for investigators. Consider the following points for a successful lab relocation:
1. You Need to Follow Regulations
When moving a laboratory, an important consideration is that all transport regulations are met. Depending on what type of material you move and the origin and destination, lab moves (movers) may need to align with EPA, OSHA, DOT, FDA, IATA, and local or facility regulations. It is essential to contact all involved regulatory bodies when planning a move. Hiring a professional lab relocation coordinator can help ensure that all regulations are met, preventing any accidental legal issues that can result in fines and or interfere with the move.
2. Hazardous Materials Have Their Own Set of Regulations
When transporting hazardous materials, whether down the road or across state lines, it is essential to comply with US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration rules. These laws and regulations are designed to maximize both public safety and the safety of the people handling the move. It is recommended to know and understand the regulations or engage a professional for guidance.
3. You Need to Make Additional Considerations for The Transportation of Live Animals
Aside from the regulations involved with transporting live research animals, further thought must be taken into account when maintaining the animals’ well-being during the move. Moving is often stressful for animals, and it can be difficult to move large collections safely and humanely. Labs with a need to move animals may wish to invest in a professional lab relocation service that can provide safe, clean, climate-controlled transport by technicians that specialize in animal laboratory relocation. Animals moved professionally experience less stress and discomfort.
4. There is More Than One Way to Transport Frozen Samples
Keeping precious, often valuable material from changing temperature is one of the most difficult challenges of any laboratory move. At one time the only option was to split samples into multiple boxes and express ship them to the destination – an expensive endeavor with significant potential for material loss. Professional laboratory relocation services offer a more reliable alternative. Climate controlled trucks with power and LN2 can move freezers without ever turning them off. Specially trained technicians monitor freezer performance and can move samples into at-temperature, emergency backup freezers if one of the freezers fail in transit. Not moving your freezers, no problem. Freezers and refrigerators are available to move material only. Trained technicians can help transfer samples and prevent thawing.
5. Moving Can Be Expensive
One of the best ways to save money during a lab move is to hire a company that is capable of coordinating all aspects of the relocation process. Find a provider that works with “specialists” in the industry to ensure that experts in particular aspects of the move project are used. Working with one company is often less expensive than trying to contract with multiple companies on your own. A coordinated effort can save time and stress knowing specialists dedicated to regulatory compliance and loss prevention are handling the laboratory move.
While relocating an entire laboratory can be a daunting process, with proper planning you can move into your new lab with ease and confidently. Adhering to regulations, preparing for the move, and hiring professionals to handle the trickiest components of the move can preserve your time, money, and sanity, so your transition can be an exciting fresh start!