In a safety critical industry such as Life Sciences, ensuring the integrity and quality of the materials used is vital. A wide variety of research facilities and laboratories use the following in their day to day proceedings:
- Biological Specimens and Samples
- Sterile Equipment
- Antibiotics and Live Vaccines
“Time Sensitive Chemicals” are particularly susceptible to developing additional hazards when left opened and unattended for long periods of time (Queensland Gov, 2014). Currently, preventative practices aimed at reducing this shelf-life risk are arduous and ineffective, including purchasing smaller quantities of said items, using peroxide registers to establish the item’s quality and scribbling dates and time of opening on small, unclear labels (Queensland Gov, 2014). Items such as Multi-Nitro Chemicals, Peroxide Forming Chemicals and Metal Fulminate Forming Chemicals can cause significant harm to persons if not handled correctly (Bailey et al, 2013).
Furthermore, once a product has been opened, activated, decanted, diluted or mixed, it may develop a new expiry date that the user needs to be able to identify quickly and efficiently. Within the Life Sciences Industry and the use of chemicals this entails, many are confused by the terms “Shelf Life” and Expiration Date”, with the two meaning separate things in this industry (Inorganic Ventures, 2017).
Unfortunately, the “human factor” is inevitably dangerous. Once a chemical/product is opened, the “human factor” can cause the following (Inorganic Ventures, 2017);
- Loosely screwed caps that allow head space to vent.
- Contamination of contents by dust and/or vapors.
- Solution to be poured back into the wrong bottle.
- Contamination by the “wrong” packaging container.
- Solution to be accidentally spilled.
- Contamination of standards from pipet tips, volumetric glassware, and/or switched bottle caps.
To avoid this potentially costly human error, the UWI Label is the obvious choice. A Real-Time Solution, the UWI Label offers an innovative and accurate approach for the user regarding quickly identifying the quality and safety of said chemicals/products being used. A clear and universally understood display system (Green is Good, Red is Bad) allows the UWI Label to help mitigate any risks, reduce costs through unnecessary wastage, improve stock control and audit systems and most importantly, ensure the safety of the working environment for all those involved. Laboratories and the UWI Label are the perfect partnership.