Key Considerations – Healthcare Laboratories

Healthcare laboratories


With so many options to choose from when it comes to furniture systems for laboratories, we have put together this simple guide of the key considerations before undertaking a laboratory fit-out or refurbishment in the healthcare sector. Healthcare laboratory furniture is designed to withstand the daily rigorous requirements of the healthcare environment, in some cases 24/7 usage. 

Getting the most out of your laboratory furniture starts with selecting the right options for your needs, and laboratory equipment maintenance will keep your furniture in great condition to serve its purpose for years to come. 


Choosing The Right Solution

When investing in laboratory furniture, it’s essential to find a solution that’s going to be long-lasting, financially viable and fit for purpose. 

Getting the best outcome with laboratory furniture relies on its ability to meet the needs of the environment, comply with necessary regulations and preserve cleanliness/sterility. Laboratory furniture should be chosen based on its ability to provide all of these measures and should be designed incorporating the advice from HTMs to do so. From a small COVID-19 testing lab to a large Pathology laboratory, the right furniture, materials, fittings and workstations are going to make sure the environment can be properly utilised while encouraging safety, practicality and durability. A number of product categories Benchmark can assist with specification and design input include:

  • Fixed cantilever benching
  • Fixed base units and wall storage
  • Mobile storage
  • Wall and bench-mounted storage
  • Laboratory tables and workbenches
  • Laboratory worktops
  • Reagent shelving
  • Laboratory sinks, taps and fittings



choosing the right solution - healthcare furniture


Laboratory Furniture Regulations

The Department of Health created HTM (Health Technical Memorandum) Standards to provide outlines for specialised building and engineering technology used in the delivery of healthcare. The primary HTMs concerned with laboratory furniture and worktops are HTM 63, HTM 64 and HTM 67, as well as the HTM 71 guidance of the use of modular storage systems, which include trays, baskets, trolleys and cupboards to improve workflow, speed, safety and hygiene.

Laboratory and storage furniture built to these standards should ensure a fit-for-purpose solution for a healthcare laboratory environment and will have been built using guidance to promote safety and durability. We have outlined some of the key features of each HTM standard below and how it will influence your laboratory furniture design.


HTM 67

HTM 67 offers guidance on the technical design and output specifications of the systems for fitting out laboratories. From unique design elements for specific laboratory rooms to ancillary items, the memorandum covers the whole fit-out process to guarantee that the furniture is manufactured and installed appropriately. As this is a guide, Benchmark as the manufacturer still holds final responsibility in making sure the laboratory furniture solution complies with the healthcare regulations and is constructed to be fit for purpose and to guarantee longevity, which we strive to achieve on every project.

At Benchmark Products, we take safety and quality very seriously and design our furniture to meet the standards and guidance covered in the necessary HTMs. This ensures that we only provide the best service and class of laboratory furniture to offer our clients peace of mind and high-quality solutions.

 

HTM 63

HTM 63 is primarily concerned with fitted storage systems but also covers the design of worktops. The memorandum outlines preferred solutions for materials and fittings for compatibility, accessibility and durability. 

The guidance in this memorandum helps manufacturers create furniture from the best surfaces and materials to meet the demands of the environment e.g. stainless steel for heavy-duty laboratories.

 

HTM 64

HTM 64 covers water supply and basins in the clinical environment. As with all good design, the guidance in HTM 64 aims to help manufacturers create furniture that significantly reduces the risk of contamination and the spread of bacteria. 

Under this memorandum, manufacturers aim to reduce surface areas and gaps where substances or bacteria can become trapped. This plays a key role in the maintenance of laboratory furniture as it makes the cleaning process simpler and doesn’t allow harmful substances to penetrate.

 
HTM 64


Keeping Your Laboratory Clean

Lab cleanliness is one of the easiest, most cost-effective and obvious ways to keep your laboratory in great shape, but it’s often overlooked. Left unchecked and uncleaned, furniture can fall into disrepair and substance build-up can lead to permanent damage that could have been prevented at an earlier stage through monitored cleaning and checks. Design that supports maintenance will prevail best in these environments and support users to preserve the nature of the environment.

Benchmark Products create laboratory furniture that is easy to clean and maintain, by utilising products such as Trespa Toplab Base and Trespa Toplab Plus solid grade laminate for worktops, complemented by antimicrobial high pressure laminated MRMDF material to all vertical substrates. These surfaces are resistant to water ingress and most detergents, and the Trespa SGL worktops are resistant to a wide range of chemicals and substances, further improving the longevity of the furniture. By cleaning exposed surfaces daily and performing a deep clean weekly, you can keep your laboratory in top shape so it continues to serve efficiently for years to come. 

At Benchmark Products, our services are guaranteed to provide the best results and our years of experience help you to avoid costly oversights that could create issues further down the line. Whether you require a complete laboratory furniture fit-out or to match to existing furniture, we’ve got the solutions for your needs.