Labeling in a laboratory is vital for accurate procedures and everyone’s safety. Laboratories hold many materials and substances that can create serious hazards for anyone present. While they present many risks and dangers, several mistakes with lab labeling get made all too often. For some of the most common lab chemical labeling mistakes, read below.
Handwriting Your Labels
Handwritten labels are becoming a thing of the past, and for good reason. Using handwritten labels in a laboratory setting allows you to write what you want on it, which might seem easy, but it’s not good. Much of the time, handwritten labels get hard to read. Not only do you need to decipher someone’s handwriting, but the pencil or ink from a pen can easily smear. Misreading any labeling in a laboratory can have serious consequences. Printed labels will be made of the right materials and use quality ink, so they’ll always be legible and last longer, too. This eliminates risks of misreading which is vital when working with potential reactive chemicals. It will also minimize the time one may need to interpret what has been written.
Mislabeling and Choosing the Wrong Label for Your Application
There are different, specifically made labels for each application and material. Labels identify each substance and warn of any hazards it may present. The many types of materials available for labels can make it confusing to know which you should choose; going with the wrong one could cause problems. For instance, if you’re dealing with a chemical that tends to be corrosive in nature, it could deteriorate the label if it’s not made with a durable enough stock and coating. You also need to consider things such as how long you need the label to last and what kind of environment it needs to withstand. Substances can also get mislabeled or lack necessary labeling such as hazard warnings. Review the different GHS Classification Categories to be sure you have the correct warning label on a substance or chemical. This will not only warn workers of how to handle substances, but also how they should be stored.
Failing To Display the Bar Code
Another of the common lab chemical labeling mistakes is the failure to include to the bar code. Laboratory identification can be better improved and protected with bar code usage. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that an error occurs in every 200 keystrokes. When it comes to technology like barcoding, however, it’s estimated there’s only one error in 3 million serial bar code scans. Scanning a bar code and receiving data electronically is a much safer way to receive the needed information on a specimen.