Coated vs. Corrugated Cardboard and Insubordiantion

On the Pharmacy Operations Blog from Pharmacy OneSource that I mentioned in an earlier post, there was an interesting thread  last week that highlighted an issue that I hear about from time to time: boxes in the cleanroom, as well as a more important issue of compliance to policies and procedures.

One person posted a question raising a concern that a technician had taken a coated cardboard box into the cleanroom that had the lid ripped off, exposing shredded cardboard underneath the coating. The tech was told to remove the box due to concerns about introducing extra particles. The tech repeated the offense a couple days later, stating that he “did not agree enough to comply”. The question was, “Am I correct (that torn cardboard should not be allowed), or am I going overboard?”

A follow-up post suggested that they allow coated cardboard in their cleanroom, but not corrugated cardboard – a position that I hear often.

Eric Kastango’s reply addressed two issues. First, concerning the box question, he suggested that if they had an operating buffer area that met USP 797 requirements, he wouldn’t anticipate that they should be particularly concerned (pun intended!) with a coated box that had a ripped off lid (see an earlier post addressing a related question about using printers, pencils, etc. in the cleanroom). However, his second point was that if the facility’s Policies and Procedures do not allow this type of boxes in the cleanroom then it is not up to the  technician to determine if they agree or not. If they do not comply, they should be disciplined accordingly.

Polices and Procedures should be updated when you find out they are outdated, but until the change is made, they must be followed!

The original forum thread can be found here (requires a free membership).