Follow the manufacturer's instructions when using a centrifuge to minimize the risk of mechanical failure. Individuals using centrifuges shall be properly trained and safety instructions should be posted on or near the location of the unit. For safe operation, a balanced load must be placed in the centrifuge. A rotor must never run with buckets missing; opposing loads must have balanced weights; if opposing loads utilize partially filled buckets, the pattern of filling the buckets must be arranged symmetrically in accordance with the center of rotation to avoid incorrect balance and possible tube breakage. The rotor must be secured! Each rotor is designed to run within a speed range and weight load that may not be safely exceeded. Rotors may degrade over time and should be recertified for structural integrity in accordance with manufacturer's instructions and periodicity to assure the safe continued operation of the centrifuge. Rotors should be cleaned carefully and stored free of chemical residues or broken glass fragments. Centrifuge tubes must be selected that are compatible with the speeds/g-force which will be used and with chemicals employed. Combustible fluids are often volatile and should not be used in or around electrical equipment, including centrifuges as vapors may be sucked into the motor and ignited.
Note that aerosols are created when filling centrifuge tubes, removing plugs, removing caps after use, and virtually anything related to the centrifugation. Infectious or toxic substances must be run in capped rotors. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe centrifugation of hazardous materials to avoid aerosols that may disperse these materials throughout the laboratory.
The centrifuge cabinet is designed to protect the operator if a tube breaks or the centrifuge malfunctions. The centrifuge must not be opened while still running and the interlock system may not be disarmed. The centrifuge may not be run at a higher speed than is safe for the rotors and tubes used.
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