A lab coat worn by workers in a cannabis product or dietary supplement manufacturing facility needs to follow specific requirements. These are very similar to food manufacturing facilities too. Instead of requiring your personnel to buy their own lab coats, the GMP production facility should be providing ones for their lab workers and production line workers to prevent any issues.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right lab coat.
Simpler Features for Food Plants
The food processing industry is reliant on protecting their consumables. This means that the fewer features on a lab coat, the less likelihood there can be contamination on the processing line. It’s best if the lab coats do not have any pockets where materials can fall and become trapped. There should also be no buttons, as they’re more likely to become contaminated by dirty hands.
The lab coat should have sleeves that are tight at the wrists. This will prevent a worker’s arm from getting caught in a machine. There should be snaps instead of buttons, as buttons can catch on corners or machine parts. If your employees need to have pockets, only the lowest pockets should be used. Putting pens or other materials in an upper pocket could lead to materials falling out and getting into product if the employee bends over.
Choose Comfort & Proper Sizing
A lab coat should properly fit your workers and not be constrictive in any way. It should allow for natural movements so workers can do their jobs. The lab coat should also be made from durable materials so that if there are spills, the material will protect the worker, and it will also protect materials and supplies from potential contamination from the worker.
A lab coat should also not be too large in order to prevent accidents, or sleeves from catching on equipment.
A good lab coat will have a blend of polyester and cotton. This allows for protection and durability, but will keep the worker from sweating. It should also provide some comfort if the manufacturing facility is kept at slightly cooler temperatures to prevent spoilage of consumables.
If the workers must wear other protective gear, such as hair nets, goggles, or gloves, the fabric from the lab coat should not interfere.
Don’t Forget Laundry Services
It may be fine in other industries for employees to bring home their lab garments and wash them. But in food, you need to ensure the integrity of the products you’re producing. In order to maintain 100% consumable safety, third-party cleaners can be responsible for washing the uniforms.
This means that each morning a worker can put on a freshly laundered lab coat, without the GMP production facility manager worrying that the lab coat hasn’t been washed, or may be contaminated with non-food industry approved cleansers, or even washed with other types of unsterile clothing.
Garments will be washed with an EPA-registered laundry disinfectant that has been proven to kill harmful organisms. These can include e-Coli, listeria, and salmonella. The uniforms are also protected during transport to prevent contamination. They’ll also be kept covered during storage of until a worker chooses one to wear for their job.
Choose your GMP production facility lab coats carefully. Not only do you want your employees to stay safe from splashes and particulates, but you want your cannabis products and dietary supplements to achieve the highest levels of compliance and safety in your facility.