I saw your question and have some minor experience with moving -80 freezers at 2 previous jobs. We did it the same way at both places with success. It was quite involved and required a lot of pep-work by all the stakeholders.
Our process was:
1. double bag the contents in freezer zipper bags and put them back in the – 80. We used empty cardboard boxes and wadded up newspaper in the void to help maintain temp and to prevent shifting of materials. (We did not use dry ice because we were concerned about the pressure that might build as it sublimates. We just were not sure if it would be a problem or not.)
2. The freezers had to be wiped down on the outside with a disinfectant appropriate to the type of work being performed by the lab staff. According to our equipment disinfection policy.
3. A group of Biosafety and/or EHS staff approved and tagged the freezers as ready with a green sticker.
4. We prepped the freezers the day before the move and let them set overnight. (No work was taking place because the entire labs were being moved.)
5. It was hot outside so, we planned the move for first thing in the morning when it would be cooler weather (in the 80’s instead of 100’s).
6. We had plenty of Facilities staff members “movers” to help us.
7. We moved 4 freezers in one load each time we did a move (this was based on the weight limits of the trailer and number of staff helping).
8. In the morning, everything was ready to go and it became a well-organized race to get the freezers moved as quickly as possible.
9. The “movers” would go to each lab and wait for the signal to begin. (I think they purchased toy radios at the toy store.)
10. A simple “go” over the radios set everyone in action.
11. Freezers were unplugged and the race began. We had to coordinate the use of the elevators to get them all down to the doc at the same time. Two freezers could fit on our elevator at one time.
The longest move time was just over 20 minutes from unplugging to plugging back in. Temperatures were maintained and nothing was lost.
We had several meetings with all the stakeholders ahead of time to coordinate everything and our Facilities group also did a dry run with a unit to make sure it was possible before we transported anything for real. They also prepped the floors by laying down some sort of plywood to protect them. One freezer had to go across marble floors and there was a concern about the marble cracking under the weight. The plywood was supposed to help distribute the weight in order to protect the marble and it either worked or was not a concern. All of the floors were fine. Once the freezers were past this floor they had a group of guys ready to pick it up so that no one tripped on it. My two experiences with this were very similar and folks had a lot of the same questions. I’m sure there are things we could have improved or didn’t know about.
Feel free to use what you can from my experiences and toss the rest. J
Pamela Burn / Senior Specialist / Environmental Health & Safety / Southern Research
pburn**At_Symbol_Here**southernresearch.org / O: 205-581-2741 / C: 205-876-3289
Our bioengineering department will be moving to their new digs 0.3 miles away from their present location, all within campus. Anyone willing to share their experience or some best practices on moving a number of minus 80 freezers and their contents?
--- For more information about the DCHAS-L e-mail list, contact the Divisional membership chair at membership**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org Follow us on Twitter **At_Symbol_Here**acsdchas
Previous post | Top of Page | Next post