Why Moving Your Laboratory Is So Hard – And How You Can Make It Easier
Whether it’s because of a change of funding, a new researcher taking over, or any other reason, moving a lab is incredibly difficult, given the high value and specialization of research and samples, and the fact that most labs have easily 5-10 years of valuable work, samples, and other information carefully categorized.
But though moving a lab is difficult, it’s not impossible – and it’s a challenge that many researchers and professors have to face. So we’ve put together some common sense advice that can help your lab stay organized, minimize loss of important materials, and make your move go more smoothly. Read on.
Have A Clear Timeline
When you learn of a lab move, begin with a timeline. Schedule the categorizing, packing, shipping, and moving of each and every piece of lab equipment, sample, instrument and instrument. Conduct a detailed inventory of these items to ensure that everything can easily be accounted for, and then create a schedule to determine the proper order, packing details, and inventory of each item.
Once you have created this schedule, stick to it like it’s a bible – from initial packing to the final breaking down of boxes once you reach your new lab. If you create a comprehensive plan and timeline and follow it properly, you will minimize risk of damaging lab equipment, volatile or frozen samples, or other materials.
This timeline should include communication with relevant authorities – if you are moving samples or items that could be hazardous to human health, are poisonous, or otherwise dangerous and volatile, you must inform proper authorities.
These regulatory committees may take a while to give you approval and instructions on moving your dangerous materials, so that must be anticipated and built into your timeline.
Get Organized – And Use Every Staff Member
Organization is key for all lab processes – and laboratory moving is no different. It’s best to begin the process of breaking down a lab about 10 days in advance of the end of your lab time, so that you have plenty of time to organize and pack away essential equipment.
Once a move is slated to begin, assign each individual who works in the lab a specific place, and a specific task for shutting down the old laboratory. Even the most simple move can make use of over a dozen people, so don’t just utilize lab techs – administrative staff can help with less specialized tasks.
Assign each person a clear category – washing and rinsing beakers or other lab equipment, managing and categorizing specialized instruments, taking inventory of files and samples, beginning packing of non-volatile samples – whatever each person is best at, or most equipped to handle.
If you are having new equipment delivered to your new lab, have staff in place to get it placed and calibrated quickly to minimize downtime.
Have Good Communication With Your New Facility
When moving your laboratory, it’s best to ensure that your new facility will have all of the infrastructure and appropriate facilities that you will need, and that all requisite spaces necessary for your work have been pre-prepared – whether by your staff, or by that of the destination facility. This lab will be working to accept volatile samples, temperature-controlled items, and other items crucial to research that must be taken care of properly, so they should know what is expected of them before the big move.
Choose The Right Mover
Choosing the right mover can be the single most important task undertaken when moving a lab. You should choose carriers with experience moving labs, and that have documentation and references from moving laboratories.
Laboratory movers are going to be responsible for very expensive equipment and time-sensitive items, so it’s very important to vet your chosen company extensively before beginning your move, and to have coordinators from your own staff at both the destination lab, and at the lab being packed up.
Orange Movers has extensive experience moving even the most fragile of laboratory equipment.
Our laboratory moving services are second-to-none in the Hallandale Beach area, and if you’re in need of local movers, our seasoned professionals can work with your laboratory to ensure a smooth transition. We can help pack items properly and safely, and take some of the burden off of you and your staff during a stressful laboratory move.