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December 2012:
Grossing Equipment / Workstations

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Pathology Grossing Workstations and Equipment:
Safety and Ergonomics in the Modern Laboratory
Jaleh Mansouri, M.D.

The configuration of the pathology grossing workstation is influenced by specimen type and volume, physical laboratory space, and safety guidelines. In recent times, there has been an increasing emphasis on protecting employees from excessive exposure to various occupational hazards such as formaldehyde (a likely human carcinogen). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines the permissible exposure limit for formaldehyde as 0.75 ppm (parts per million) over an eight-hour work period. Thus, engineering controls such as chemical fume hoods and other ventilation/filtration systems (e.g. direct exhaust ventilation) comprise important components of the grossing workstation. Other key features include waste disposal systems, foot-operated voice recorders and faucets, and eyewash drench assemblies.

Ergonomic considerations are particularly relevant to the design and functionality of laboratory furniture and equipment. While the use of modular furniture (i.e. with separate workspace and storage components) allows for flexible utilization of laboratory and office space, ergonomic desks and chairs provide appropriate surface height, adjustable sitting positions with supportive padding, and leg clearance to reduce musculoskeletal strain and nerve compression injuries. In addition, computer fatigue syndrome, an ergonomic condition characterized by headaches, vision disturbances, and cervical strain, can be alleviated by reducing glare with specialized computer screens or appropriate positioning of computers at a right angle to bright light sources.

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Exakt Technologies, the Exclusive US Distributor for EXAKT Advanced Technologies of Germany, is a leading provider of cutting and grinding equipment for use in sample preparation. EXAKT's NEW Pathology Saw was designed specifically for pathology lab use. This bone saw offers the SAFEST alternative for grossing samples. Unlike butcher saws used in many labs, the diamond band of the EXAKT saw does not cut, but grinds the bone precisely. There is no immediate risk of injury to the technician if the band is touched unintentionally. The EXAKT saw easily cuts metal implants or screws encountered during the grossing process. For more information call 1-800-866-7172 or visit www.exaktusa.com/pathology-saw to watch the EXAKT Pathology Saw Video.

Leica Microsystems is a leading global developer and manufacturer of a broad range of innovative, high-tech, precision optical systems for the imaging, measurement, and analysis of microstructures. Leica Microsystems is one of the market leaders in each of its four divisions: Life Science, Industry, Biosystems, and Surgical. Business areas include Microscopy and Imaging Systems, Specimen Preparation, Medical Equipment, and Antibodies and Reagents. The company offers instruments and system solutions for the entire histopathology process including the Novocastra™ range of antibodies and reagents, consumable products, and clinical microscopes. The company is represented in over 100 countries with 9 manufacturing facilities in 7 countries, sales and service organizations in 20 countries and an international network of dealers.

Milestone Medical provides a portfolio of standardization and documentation products for the grossing workstation. From our MacroPATH D digital imaging, annotation and storage system to the CheckLITE non-contact specimen thickness measurement device and CutMATE grossing forceps, Milestone is building tools to ensure standardization of tissue thicknesses with great processing and results in mind! For more information call 866-995-5300, email info@milestonemed.com or visit us at http://www.milestonemed.com.

Mopec is known world-wide for the innovative functionally of their products. Mopec designs, engineers, manufacturers and installs custom Pathology Laboratory Equipment, delivering full service solutions for all your facility needs. We feature fume handling equipment, stainless steel cabinets, refrigeration, dissecting instruments, transport carts, stationary/elevating pedestal downdraft workstations, rotating pedestal tables, short pedestal tables, L-Shaped downdraft workstations, backdraft/dualdraft workstations and elevating backdraft workstations. Everything carrying the Mopec name is ergonomically designed and engineered for the pathology environment. All of our workstations and tables can be customized and fabricated to meet the specific requirements of your facility. For more information, visit us at http://www.mopec.com or call us at 800.362.8491.

Photodyne Technologies manufactures top of the line computerized macro photography systems for grossing, pathology, histology and other scientific applications, using high resolution digital cameras. Various models are available, and the company specializes in custom designs, usually at no extra charge. These state of the art macroscopic (gross) imaging units revolutionize the picture taking process in the laboratory. The systems enable even non-photographers to take professional quality photos in seconds. The patented, state-of-the-art systems are used by hundreds of leading hospitals, universities, medical examiner offices and research institutes worldwide. The included proprietary software allows one to take pictures directly from the computer. All attributes of the camera are controllable from the computer as well, and the image is viewable in real time on the screen, allowing adjustments before the picture is taken. The picture is then transferred directly to the computer and is stored on the computer's hard drive for editing, archiving, or email as an attachment like any other image file via the internet. Visit us online at www.photodyne.com or contact us at 800-660-2147 or info@photodyne.com.

Sakura Finetek USA is leading the revolution in Pathology with the Tissue-Tek® Xpress Rapid Tissue Processor and the AutoTEC® Automated Embedding System. Together these technologies allow your laboratory to achieve new levels in productivity. Our full line of Tissue-Tek® histology instrumentation and consumables include Tissue Processors, Embedding Systems, Microtomy and Cryotomy instruments, and Stainers and Coverslippers. Sakura is committed to changing the future of Pathology. Please visit our website at www.sakuraus.com for more details on our product portfolio, or contact Theresa Ford, Director of Marketing, at tford@sakuraus.com or 800 725 8723 X 7873.

Past / future feature pages:

August 2012: Books & Journals
September 2012: Antibodies
October 2012: Laboratories
November 2012: Consumable Lab Products / Clinical Lab Analyzers
December 2012: Grossing Equipment / Workstations

January 2013: Billing / consulting / management
February 2013: Microscopes / slide imaging
March 2013: Tissue processors / other histology
April 2013: Laboratory Accreditation / Education / CME
May 2013: Computer software and systems
June 2013: Diagnostic testing / reagents
July 2013: Imaging / digital / photography
August 2013: Books & Journals
September 2013: Antibodies
October 2013: Laboratories
November 2013: Consumable Lab Products / Clinical Lab Analyzers
December 2013: Grossing Equipment / Workstations

Contact Sara Halladay-Klakulak, 248/646-0325, pathoutsales@gmail.com to advertise at PathologyOutlines.com, the world's most popular pathology website.

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