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What is the meaning of CE Labels?


Do you have a smartphone? If so, turn it over and look at the back of your phone. You can probably see a mysterious CE logo on the back of it.

Or perhaps you are a keen motorcyclist? On the back of your motorcycle helmet, and hopefully on your jacket’s protective padding, you will also see an identical CE logo.

You may also have children who, as you read this, are playing with some kind of toy figure. If you flip the toy over and check it’s label, you should also see the CE logo.

Alternatively, you may see it printed on the foot of the figure, much like Woody in Toy story had “Andy” printed on his foot.

With the CE logo colonising more and more of society, what exactly is it’s purpose?


CE stands for ‘Conformité Européene’, which is French for ‘European Conformity’. The logo indicates that the product complies with all EU standards relevant to the construction of that item.

This gives confidence to sellers that the product may be legally sold and distributed within the European Free Trade Area.


A consumer may assume that because an item bears a CE label, it has been rigorously tested and inspected by an official EU organisation before the product has been allowed on the market. In fact, this isn’t the case.

The responsibility is with manufacturers to test their own products and declare them CE compliant.

The manufacturer is however required to keep CE documentation, which can be requested at any time by the relevant enforcement organisation: the Market Surveillance Authority. Wrongly declaring a product as CE compliant incurs penalties in proportion to the severity of the offence.

CE marking also doesn’t mean that a product was constructed in the European Union. The majority of the electronics that we are familiar with are made in China, yet all of them bear CE marking. Manufacturers anywhere in the world may construct items according to EU regulations, and then sell them into EU with the CE logo. WHEN IS CE MARKING NECESSARY?

CE marking is only required in cases where there are EU regulations governing the construction of the item.

The list of affected areas is quite extensive, but some examples include: Personal Protective Equipment

  • Toys
  • Explosives
  • Machinery
  • Select Medical Devices

Items that don’t require CE marking are typically simple items that don’t contain multiple parts such as:

  • Chemicals
  • Food
  • Cosmetics

The legislation also forbids the use of CE marking on products that do not have any relevant EU legislation, so don’t even think about attaching CE labels to every item you sell!






Within the healthcare sector, Label Source is a long-standing supplier of appliance marking products to OEMs, importers, distributors, hospitals, laboratories and clinics.

This includes labels under IEC 60601 covering the safe performance, operation, ownership, maintenance, service, repair and calibration of such biomedical or clinical engineering instruments including; patient monitoring equipment; infusion and syringe pumps; diagnostic ECG; electrosurgical devices; and equipment for audiology, anaesthesia, physiotherapy, renal, dental, oxygen and therapy.

On manufactured products, bespoke label products can incorporate dates and details of manufacturer, model and serial number, CE compliance, and a range of safety symbols covering a range of hazards including electrical, finger trap, pinch points, crush or danger of infection.

The labels can be supplied with a variety of adhesive options to adhere to a range of housing materials, and are laminated to provide swab resistance, as well as being waterproof, heat, abrasion or scratch, chemical and UV resistant. Thus, ensure continuous legibility, without any smudging or erasing of text. These labels can include barcodes or serial numbers for inventory tracking.

For further information on these products, or for a quotation please contact us by e-mail at sales@labelsource.co.uk or by telephone 0800 3761693 (UK) or +44 1443 842769 (outside the UK).

Over the last 25 years, many technological innovations have been powered by lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have been a key component in the miniaturising and development of smartphones, smart-wear and the smart home.

It has been estimated that current annual world usage of this type of rechargeable battery is in excess of 5 billion, and is the mainstay power source for mobile phones, digital cameras, laptop computers, handheld gaming consoles, electronic cigarettes, power tools (cordless drills and sanders), garden equipment (hedge trimmers) and electric vehicles (cars and wheelchairs).

There is worldwide research to improve the performance of rechargeable batteries. While alternatives to lithium-ion are being evaluated, it looks that lithium-ion will continue to be the battery of choice for the immediate and near future, until another technology is commercially proven.

However, there is a challenge to improve battery technology by extending battery life, improving recharging capability and to make them more safety (especially on fire and explosions) and environmental features. The drive is to produce more energy from a battery with less battery weight.

There are two standards UN 3090 (Lithium metal or lithium alloy battery or cell) in compliance with IATA , UN 3081(Lithium metal or alloy batteries contained or packed in equipment), UN 3480 (Lithium-ion batteries - including lithium ion polymer batteries) and UN 3481 (Lithium ion batteries contained in equipment or Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment - including lithium ion polymer batteries). A full range of these labels is available from Label Source to assist in their safe storage, handling and transport.



When companies grow, so too do their inventories. What began as a group of friends on their laptops expands into microchip mosh-pit of desktops, printers, projectors, tablets, and more. With this growth in assets, companies reluctantly, but inevitably, decide it’s time to start labelling all their equipment.

To ensure that an asset labelling system has longevity, and to maximise it’s usefulness, a business must first assess what exactly they hope to achieve from their asset tags and consider all potential changes the company may experience.

Overlooking the future needs of the business, many individuals quickly select a numbering system that appears right at the time, only for an unforeseen change to the business to render the system inaccurate a few years down the line. In the worst case scenario, this can lead to hundreds of delicately-applied asset-labels being replaced.

To save you the tedious task of researching asset labelling systems, we have put together a handy list of the 5 most popular asset tagging systems. This will help you decide which system is the best for your business.


1. Location

Many businesses have several offices or buildings, each with their own computers; many businesses, therefore, asset tag computers according to their location. This allows a clear record of where a computer belongs, and can quickly be returned to that location when misplaced.

Although this may seem like a logical way of labelling assets, there are significant drawbacks to this method.

The primary issue with this method is that it is not future proof. As businesses grow or shrink, computing supplies may be moved to alternative offices or premises. This will require the computer to be re-labelled, as the asset tags indicated that it should be in the former location.


2. Department

A superior method to the location-based system is to tag products according to their department.

Computers are typically bought for a particular department of a business, and remain in that department despite office change; it would be highly unusual for a computer in a marketing department to be transferred to a warehousing department.

Department-based asset-tagging, therefore, remains accurate through multiple location changes.

Although this method is much more future proof than the location-based method, there are cases when a computer may move department, particularly if a new department is created or merged with another. This would also render the asset tag inaccurate.


3. Item Type

A method that is particularly popular amongst IT technicians is to barcode the label according to the type of device.

For example, a barcode may start with L for laptop, D for desktop, or T for tablet. The descriptive nature of this labelling system helps IT technicians recognise the device when the code is quoted to them.

A disadvantage of this method is that it will require some form of tracking software to remember the location of each of the tagged devices.


4. Purchase Date

Another popular system this is often used in combination with other asset tracking systems is the purchase date system.

This system can vary from the code actually being the date the item was purchased (eg. 18-06-2018), to adding a two-digit year code to the end of another barcoding system (e.g. a code ending in -18 for 2018)

This method is particularly useful in cases where items need to be periodically checked or replaced, as the age of the asset can be clearly determined just by looking at it’s barcode date.

An issue with this system is that as it is impossible to predict when assets will be bought, it lends itself more to printing individual labels as assets come in, rather than buying asset tags in bulk.

Printing individual labels is an expensive method as it requires investment in an asset label printer.


5. Serial numbered

The simplest, yet surprisingly-affective method is a serial numbering system. This method has no complicated coding carrying any particular meaning, the asset number simply increases by one for every new item.

This is the most flexible system as ascending numbers remain accurate, regardless of location or department changes. It also allows asset tags with ascending numbers to be bought in bulk and gradually used over time, saving you from the costly investment of a printer.




Often considered as simply an activity to raise donations, a team-building exercise, or even as an addition to the bucket list; in many industries abseiling from high rise buildings forms an essential part of the working day



The more cautious of people may prefer the use of elevated platforms to abseiling, however, there are many industries where abseiling is the only viable option for workers to inspect, maintain or repair machinery and buildings.

Industries which require abseiling to gain access to inspect, repair or maintain multi-storey buildings and other large structures include:

  • Offshore oil and gas platforms;
  • Renewable energy such as wind generation on turbines, blades, and towers;
  • Industrial cooling towers at power stations and petrochemical plants;
  • Painting or coating, cleaning maintenance or bird control of bridges communications masts, cranes, sports stadia, and other highrise buildings;
  • Entry to confined spaces, shafts such as storage tanks, tunnels, chambers, and access shafts;
  • Erection and removal of banners or signs;
  • In mining and quarrying;
  • Military;
  • Shipping and harbours;
  • Cliff rescue;





In 2015, IRATA (international rope access trade association) indicated that there had been 103 reported events that year, of which 61 were classified as dangerous incidents (which could have led to harm or injury), resulting in 41 injuries (4 being reportable) and one fatality.

Unsurprisingly the most common sources of injury during abseiling were due to falls from height. Typically there were due to ropes being severed by sharp edges, falling edges, cutting by high power water jets, blasting equipment, chainsaws or melting by heat lamps. Due to this diversity of hazards, extreme caution should be taken even if using two independent anchor points. 

Less common sources of injuries can be sustained from entrapment in confined spaces, physical strain injuries, or impact injuries sustained from adverse weather conditions, particularly high winds.





In order to reduce injuries to a minimum, periodic inspection of work equipment is essential to ensure safe operation of the fall arrest system. 

Whether abseiling is used for occupational or recreational purposes, periodic inspection should be undertaken to ensure equipment complies with EU directive 2001/45/EC. These are the minimum health and safety requirements for the use of equipment for work at height. 



Label Source has produced a series of tags for safety inspection of fall arrest systems. These can be used to inspect:

For further information on these products, please contact Label Source by e-mail at sales@labelsource.co.uk or contact our sales department by telephone on 0800 376 1693 ( or +44 1443 842769 if outside the UK).