01 November 2018

NATA accredited onsite testing

Airepure NATA CST HEPA Integrity Test_landscape

What does an Airepure NATA accredited field service technician do?

NATA accredited field service technicians typically perform a range of mechanical tests relating to air quality. They perform on-site testing using prescribed Australian Standard test methods to ensure a facility or the equipment used within a facility complies with the relevant industry standards or regulations.

What Is NATA?

The National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) is Australia’s national accreditation body for the accreditation of laboratories, inspection bodies, calibration services, producers of certified reference materials and proficiency testing scheme providers throughout Australia. NATA provides independent assurance of technical competence and integrity of organizations offering testing, inspection and calibration services for customers who require confidence in the delivery of their products and services.[1]

Preparations

Field service technicians are often required to follow a range of gowning procedures; including showering on site prior to access and wearing protective gear like full clean room gown, mask and sterile gloves etc. This is for the technician’s safety and to avoid possible contamination to the sites equipment and specimens.

Challenges

The most challenging aspect of the technician’s day is facilitated by effective communication to ensure they have a complete understanding of their client’s certification requirements and on-site safety protocols prior to commencing the job scope. This is to ensure the technicians work within a safe environment and that their actions do not interrupt their client’s schedules.

Large Animal Research Facility: PC2/PC3 rated

Animal research facilities often have containment or quarantine areas that are set up to ensure that any possible dangerous pathogens are contained and do not escape the facility.

Primary containment equipment within this type of facility includes Class II biological safety cabinets and terminal exhaust HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter housings.

Field service technicians would use prescribed Australian Standard test methods to certify the equipment (Class II biological safety cabinet) to relevant criteria and validate HEPA filter performance through HEPA integrity testing.

During HEPA integrity testing, the technicians will expose the filter media and housing to a challenge agent/aerosol. A regulated and calibrated amount of “smoke/mist” is pumped into the upstream side of the filter, and the filter and housing are scanned on the downstream side for leakage. To perform testing, adequate access needs to be available to physically view and scan the HEPA face. Access to, or a connection point upstream of the filter is needed to introduce the challenge aerosol.

Human Tissue Facility: Grade A/ISO 5 air quality

Similar in setup to an operating theatre, a human tissue facility will have laminar flow theatres with ULPA (ultra-low particulate air) filters to maintain Grade A /ISO 5 air quality in operation.

Field service technicians would enter various areas within this facility to perform relevant tests. The service area may be located on one side of the facility, where access is gained to the mechanical air handler for HEPA filter integrity testing.  At the other end of the facility, the cleanrooms may be located.

A variety of tests may be conducted to certify the clean room to relevant air cleanliness classifications (Grade A /ISO 5 air quality in operation). Particle counters are used to provide air quality classifications.  Micro manometers are used to verify room pressure differentials (positive / negative room pressure).

Particle counter sampling within a Bio Hazard Class II Cabinet

Cytotoxic Dispensing Pharmacy within Healthcare Facility

A cytotoxic dispensing pharmacy prepares and dispenses medications that are harmful to cells in the body (such as cancer chemotherapy drugs). Typical equipment setup may include cytotoxic laminar flow cabinets; pass through cabinets and terminal exhaust HEPA filter housings.  This workspace would be required to maintain Grade B /ISO 6 or 7 air quality in operation, with appropriate air pressure regimes.

This is one area that can put the field service technician under pressure to complete their testing and ensure the equipment is in working order within tight time frame.

Airepure NATA accredited onsite testing

Airepure have local NATA accredited facilities in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales that comply with the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005.  Our NATA accredited field service technicians are able to provide professional on-site equipment and facility testing to the following Australian Standards:

  • AS 1807.1, AS 1807.3, AS 1807.5, AS 1807.6, AS 1807.7, AS 1807.8, AS 1807.10, AS 1807.15, AS 1807.16, AS 1807.20, AS 1807.21, AS 1807.22, AS 1807.23, AS 1807.24
  • AS/NZS ISO 14644.3 (Sections B4, B5, B6, B6.2.2, B12)
  • AS/NZS ISO 14644.1 (Annex B)
  • AS/NZS 2243.8 (Appendices A and B)
  • AS/NZS 2243.9 (Appendices A and B)
  • NSF 49 Methods F2, F3, F5, F7, F9, F11

Our NATA certification services are provided on-site and are scheduled for your convenience. They include:

  • HEPA filter testing
  • Clean room and workstation certification
  • Air particle counting
  • Biological safety cabinet and fume cupboard testing
  • Bio-Hazard Cabinet Certification
  • Laminar Flow / Class II / Class 1 / Isolators
  • Particle Counting / Air Change Rates / Room Pressure Differentials / Fumigation

 

[1] https://nata.com.au/about-nata

Contact

Airepure Australia
Phone: 1300 886 353
Email: info@airepure.com.au

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