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Centrifuge Safety: Mitigating Risk as Associated with Biological, Chemical and Physical Hazards through proper care, use and maintenance of centrifuges

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • T.I. Pittas
  • M. Seltzer
  • M.J. Hickey
  • T. Kastner


Centrifuges are commonly used in laboratories throughout the NIH. Using a centrifuge presents a number of potential hazards to the laboratorian, including physical, biological, and chemical. The majority of centrifuge failures and accidents are preventable through proper care, use, and maintenance. According to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 90% of centrifuge failures are a result of user related errors; and centrifugation may be the cause of some laboratory acquired infections for which no definitive exposure can be associated. Therefore, educating centrifuge users is essential to preventing centrifuge accidents and related laboratory infections, chemical exposures and injuries. Here, we classify and discuss hazards associated with centrifugation and how to mitigate these hazards through proper care, use, and maintenance of centrifuges.

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