Autoclaves are an important tool for sterilising equipment, and it is vital that they are properly calibrated and maintained.
Everyone who uses an autoclave should be trained first, and have refresher courses on a regular basis.
The people who test, service, and repair your autoclaves should be properly trained as well.
A properly functioning autoclave is vital to ensure that a surgery or medical facility is maintaining good sterilisation practices.
Do You Need to Be Certified to Repair Autoclaves?
Individual companies have their own standards for maintaining and servicing their autoclaves, but whoever repairs them must be fully trained in the relevant Australian Standards.
If you have an autoclave that was made by Mocom, SciCan, Stern Weber, Melag, or another brand, then you should look for a service agent that is accredited by that specific company so that you can be sure that the autoclave is properly serviced.
The sterilisation and repair requirements will differ depending on the size of the autoclave, and the use that it is intended for.
You should look for an autoclave technician that is qualified to perform:
- Performance and safety standing to meet AS3551
- Steriliser testing and validation up to AS4815:2006
What Do You Learn in an Autoclave Safety Course?
Autoclave training is something that is required in most labs internationally, to ensure that people operate the autoclave in the correct fashion, controlling and labelling biohazards as required.
Those who work with biohazards and perform waste sterilisation are required to treat and dispose of potentially hazardous waste in the correct way, use the correct PPE, and operate the equipment within specifications.
Autoclave testing and repair is something that must be done regularly (usually annually or quarterly depending on the materials being used).
It is beneficial if people who regularly use the equipment are able to participate in the testing process to provide feedback.
Autoclave safety courses will cover common issues both with the sterilisation process, the seal, and the handling of hazardous materials.
What Happens During Autoclave Servicing and Repair
Autoclave servicing agents must be authorized to carry out the service and repair of autoclaves for medical or lab use.
General services should be done every 6 to 12 months and will involve checking the physical aspects of the autoclave, and operating a full cycle while tracking a bacterial indicator.
This also includes monitoring the temperature and pressure of the device to ensure that the autoclave is performing full sterilisation.
New sterilisers are checked with a chamber study, and if an autoclave needs major repairs then further chamber studies will be performed.
In addition to these extensive tests, there is a requirement for a 'Heat Penetration' test, also known as a 'Time at Temperature' test, which confirms that the autoclave meets AS4815 and AS4187.
These tests must be performed by a trained technician and will help to identify the sterilising times that are required to ensure that anything treated in the autoclave is properly sterilsed with a minimum safety margin.
If you are looking for someone to carry out autoclave maintenance and repair, it is important to ensure that they are fully trained in process validation and all of the tests required to ensure that the autoclave is safe.
At a minimum, this means AS4187 and AS4815:2006 as well as AS3551 standards.
They should test the device to confirm that it complies with the standards, and document the outcome of all of the tests, as well as marking the device to indicate when it was checked.
Tests should be repeated once every 12 months at a minimum, to confirm proper functioning and calibration of the autoclave.
If you are searching for the best autoclave supplier in Australia, then look no further than Medical Equipment Services Australia.
We were originally established in 1952 in order to provide electro-medical products to healthcare professionals across the country.
The company (Medical Equipment Services) was acquired by Medical Equipment Australia in 2009. Since then, we have also expanded into the dental industry.