A mobile dust containment unit can be a major — but necessary — investment. You would never go shopping for a new car without doing your research first, and you shouldn't dive head first into this decision either. But it is not enough to simply look at and compare the different options available. It is essential that you compare based on the factors that will make the biggest difference during the life of the unit.
The most important factors to assess when shopping for a ceiling access system are: Size, Filtration Capabilities, Safety Features, and Price.
The size of a dust containment system determines not only where the unit will fit when in use, but also who will be able to fit the unit. Be sure to consider the dimensions of the unit itself. It should be able to fit comfortably through a standard doorway in its collapsed form and be tall enough to reach the ceilings that need to be accessed in its expanded setting.
While portable units should have casters that make them easy to roll around, you will also want to consider the total weight of the unit to ensure that workers can safely transport the unit to the work area and back to storage.
Finally, if you are using the cart for ceiling access, you will want to ensure that the cart reaches all the way to your ceiling and that a ladder tall enough for a worker to climb safely will fit inside
2. Air Filtration Capabilities
Dust containment carts are essential to keep healthcare patients safe from any dust or debris that maintenance, ceiling access, or construction could rouse. That means the air inside the unit must be filtered before it passes into any patient areas.
HEPA filtration is the gold standard. The minimum HEPA requirements state that at least 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 micron in diameter must be successfully filtered. Not all carts come with an HEPA filter, requiring you to make an additional purchase actually to make the cart compliant. Furthermore, some filters are HEPA style but have not passed the rigorous certification tests so be sure to look out for those as well.
3. Safety Features
In any healthcare facility, worker and patient safety are paramount. A cart needs to be able to safely transport equipment, stand up to the rigors of daily work, and be sturdy and stable for the workers who use it. When comparing units, check the weight rating of each one. Does the unit come with locking wheels for stability? Or locking compartments for securing equipment like laptops and job orders? Choose a unit that protects your patients through proper containment, but that also makes your workers feel secure.
In every industry, there are budget concerns. But when shopping for this type of system, the initial price is not the only thing to consider. Instead, it is important to look at the entire life of the cart. This calculation should include the man-hours you will save by being able to complete ceiling access maintenance more quickly as well as the huge savings you could earn with proper containment procedures that limit the risk of hospital acquired infections. With those things in mind, compare prices of the best units by getting quotes on comparable models from top brands and finding the one that works best for you.