Some general safety guidelines to follow when using centrifuges:
- Be familiar with the operating procedures written by the manufacturer. Keep the operating manual near the unit for easy reference. If necessary contact the manufacturer to replace lost manuals.
- Handle, load, clean, and inspect rotors as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Pay careful attention to instructions on balancing samples -- tolerances for balancing are often very restricted. Check the condition of tubes and bottles. Make sure you have secured the lid to the rotor and the rotor to the centrifuge.
- Maintain a logbook of rotor use for each rotor, recording the speed and length of time for each use.
- To avoid catastrophic rotor failure, many types of rotors must be "de-rated" (limited to a maximum rotation speed that is less than the maximum rotation speed specified for the rotor when it is new) after a specified amount of use, and eventually taken out of service and discarded.
- Use only the types of rotors that are specifically approved for use in a given centrifuge unit.
- Maintain the centrifuge in good condition. Broken door latches and other problems should be repaired before using the centrifuge.
- Whenever centrifuging biohazardous materials, always load and unload the centrifuge rotor in a Biosafety cabinet.