I contend that using the word 'ALL' in any directive should require a license.
For a barcode system to earn its way, the inventory database needs to be robust. The most information you should need to include on the bar code would be stock ID, Location, and (maybe) date of acquisition. You could concatenate that info as ####BBRRCCSSMMYY (BldgRmCabinetShelfMonthYear) from an Excel spreadsheet and mail merge it to Avery labels with a free barcode font…but, what does that gain you unless your database is already doing what you want it to do with keyboard input? Look at barcode scanners as being nothing more than automatic keyboards.
If you are managing quantities that compel you to look to inventory automation, look at ChemSW's (www.chemsw.com) CISPro. It supports barcode labeling. I'm sure Jon Webb or one of the other product support specialists would be glad to give you a tour.
As part of a chemical safety / environmental compliance project, we were hired to put bar code labels on ALL containers in over a dozen laboratories across the US. Some major problems the client had that were not answered included:
- Is a case of aerosol cans a “container” or is each can a “container”? What if the usage is approximately one can per day? Should this be on the inventory as a “laboratory” chemical?
- On some standards in ampoules, the smallest bar code label still obscured critical information on the ampoule label. How do you attach the label to the container? Same question applies to containers that are kept a lower than room temperatures – adhesive labels will not adhere.
- What are you going to do with the information – HazComm, RCRA, fire plans, etc.? What level of detail is required? Do you want to know if the facilityhas the material or if a specific PI or other researcher has the material? Do you need to know the room, the cabinet or drawer, or the shelf?
- Whowill maintain the system? If shipping/receiving personnel attach the label, will that affect material handling time from the loading dock to the using facility?
Bottom line – we can see only problems, not solutions.
Good luck andbe safe.
Reactives Management Corporation
1025 Executive Blvd., Suite 101
Chesapeake, VA 23320
Office: 757-436-1033 Fax: 757-548-2808
I am looking for an inexpensive way to generate barcode labels to inventory chemicals.
Does anyone have a recommendation for an easy way to print these labels or a good software you would recommend?
Beth Welmaker, CCHO, MS
Environmental Health & Safety Manager
Translating Research Into Health
11350 SW Village Parkway - Third Floor
Port Saint Lucie, FL 34987
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