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In the UK alone, only one in three of us has received all of their package deliveries as planned, per year. Increasingly, the ever-expanding shipping industry is leaving shoppers in the cold, with packages becoming damaged, stolen or tampered with before delivery is completed.

The first line of defence for packages against this rising problem is tamper evident tape; which leaves behind clear evidence if someone should interfere with the packaged good. When we decide to leave packages on our doorstep or in our safe spaces, tamper evident protocol preserves this barrier of trust between courier and customer.

This incredibly useful tape, though, is not used in shipping alone. Its unique features and capabilities have resulted in the tape lending itself well to a number of industries. Below, we list what tamper evident tape is, as well as its importance in our economy.

What is Tamper Evident Tape and How Does it Work?

Funnily enough, tamper evident technology isn’t new. Letters - ever since ancient times - were sealed with wax and pressed with the sender’s signet ring to prevent information from being leaked. If that envelope was opened before reaching its destination, there would be tangible evidence of interference and a solid paper trail of blame. In modern times, however, we’ve gotten a bit more nuanced with postage.

As explained, tamper evident tape works by leaving behind clear evidence when a package has been opened. As soon as the tape is pulled away from the package, the tape leaves behind the words “VOID OPENED”. More often than not, this initial deterrent will prevent people from interacting with packages they shouldn’t. It also makes it obvious for businesses to keep track of packaged goods on site, especially those with sensitive materials and products, such as the medical industry.

Tamper evident tape works by leaving behind a relatively aggressive form of adhesive.  When the tape is peeled, the adhesive residue left behind spells out the aforementioned words. These tapes contain a type of adhesive known as “sensitive transfer adhesive”. Typically, quality in these products equates to how well it’ll work on tougher, less common packages.

Uses for Tamper Evident Technology

Tamper evident tape is used in a number of industries and disciplines, including:

  • Food delivery: Following a series of PR-related disasters from food couriers being caught stealing food, some food delivery companies are now opting to add tamper evident tape to their package options.
  • Jar food packaging: Tamper evident plastic is often found around jars to guarantee the good’s sanitary condition.
  • Tamper evident bags: Used for transferring bagged contents that require authorised access. Commonly, these are used to transfer money between locations.
  • Pharmaceutical packaging: Tamper-evident labels are essential to maintaining the safety and security of medicine and pharmaceuticals.
  • Shipping: As mentioned previously, the shipping industry relies heavily on tamper-evident packaging to provide a layer of trust and security.
  • Other tamper products: Tamper evident products can be used for unique purposes such as seals on caravan doors, tape to stop unauthorised entry, tape for warranty purposes, as well as security seals, which Label Source stocks.

It pays to have good tamper evident tape that works, so Label Source has stocked the best in tamper evident tape for a variety of uses. For more from the ever-changing world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.

Everywhere you go, barcodes are there. From shopping to shipping, to transport, to our finances, our stock and information are constantly processed and recorded through an array of simple, parallel lines. Barcodes now carry with them an unprecedented level of trust, but they only entered the popular consciousness in 1974. How, then, did people conduct business and shop safely before the barcode?

The Beginning of the Barcode: Punch Cards

Before the bar code, shops and businesses needed to count stock manually, with issues such as shoplifting being much more common than modern levels. Without barcodes and their associated security systems, there was a total lack of deterrence as shoplifters couldn’t be caught as easily. After the wilderness years of pre-1890, where shopkeepers had to rely on stock counts and perceptive eyes, a punch card system was slowly adopted. These punch cards could only be used for simple arithmetic though. So, by the rise of the supermarkets in the 1920s, they were found to be old-fashioned and obsolete.

The Creation Phase: An Academic Study

Bar codes were, initially, dreams found in the realm of academic discussion and entrepreneurial spirit. The earliest record can be traced back to the 1930s by Wallace Flint, whose Harvard thesis envisioned an “automated grocery system” using punch cards and flow racks.

Essentially, Flint’s vision of the retail future was where customers would go to a store, mark their selections on a punch card, and insert these cards into a card reader which would then activate flow racks to bring customers their desired product.

The system doesn’t sound too dissimilar to modern self-service checkouts and stores like Argos, so maybe Flint was onto something. The idea, though, went nowhere due to cost, but it did get people thinking.

A decade or so later in 1948, a pair of graduate students at Drexler University embarked on their first steps to creating the first barcode. After overhearing a colleague turn down a proposal from a food-chain president to invent a machine to capture product information accurately, the pair – named Bernard Silver and Joseph Woodland – began working on a retail system to capture information. The first device they invented used patterns of ink that would glow under ultraviolet light, but this, much like Flint’s ideas, was not economically viable.

On the verge of giving up, the pair decided to pop to the beach to unwind. Woodland began absent-mindedly drawing Morse code dots in the sand, before drawing vertical lines from each dot. Suddenly, he had his sought-after “Eureka!” moment.

He thought if Morse code could be translated to the retail sphere, it could easily and quickly communicate product information. However, the pair then struggled on how to design the barcode label and to put it on a product.

Answering “How to do Barcode”, Teething Problems and Cashing In

Silver and Woodland were met with a few problems to solve, including how small a barcode can be, what it should look like, how to put a barcode on a product and how to plan out its overall design.

After some time struggling to envision the proto-barcode, they eventually perfected it by changing the lines on it to bulls-eye patterns. They then filed a patent for the barcode, which they named “Classifying Apparatus and Method” – very catchy. They sold the patent for $15,000 to Philco in 1962, who then sold it to RCA.

Following those years, RCA and IBM vied for barcode dominance until 1974, when the first barcode sale was completed in Troy, Ohio at 8:01 AM using IBM’s system. The first sale was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum for 67 cents. The rest, they say, is history.

Modern Developments

Since that day in 1974, barcodes have been used non-stop all over the world. Nowadays, airliners are trialling RFID tracking via barcodes so customers never lose their luggage again, scientists believe they can map the human brain using barcode technology, and the world of shipping is on its way to being dominated entirely by the technology.

Overall, the simple barcode label has come a long way from a futuristic thesis on retail shopping to a piece of technology that the world relies on.

It pays to have good barcode labels and Label Source has stocked the best in barcode labels for a variety of uses. For more from the ever-changing world of labels, be sure to follow Label Source on Facebook and Twitter.

ear protection to stop ear damage

Adhering to ear protection standards in the workplace means following regulations 7 (hearing protection), 8 (Maintenance and use of equipment) and 10 (Information, instruction and training) of the Control of Noise Regulations at Work Regulations 2005.

The law was passed in order to establish a variety of exposure limits which set out the average level of noise an employee could be exposed to during a working day. Loosely, the law set out what ear protection would be needed and, by extension, what extent of damage is acceptable and not acceptable. Every workplace in Europe must now adhere to this system, including providing safety equipment when the average level is exceeded.

The Details of the Control of Noise Regulations at Work Regulations 2005

The act introduced exposure limits that are set at decibels (dB). Each dB is given a rating that corresponds to its exposure. Employers must provide hearing protection and specific hearing protection zones at 85 decibels, plus they must officially review and assess the safety of their staff at 80 decibels. The absolute exposure limit is 87 decibels, which takes into account the protection of safety equipment.

What Is Ear Protection: Signposting and Safety Equipment

Ear protection signs are a visual reminder to employees to put on safety equipment. Ear protection includes ear plugs, ear defenders, headphones, and ear muffs. Signs must be placed up well in advance of encountering the noise and should be in a clear, easy-to-spot place.

Fundamentally, though, employers are expected to replace dangerously loud machines with quieter, more modern counterparts as a long-term solution. While this isn’t always feasible, it is the best way to deal with damage to employee hearing.

What is “Ear Protection Must Be Worn” Sign Meaning

As with all safety signs, these ear protection signs must comply with the harmonised standard EN 7010 and the Signs and Safety Regulations 1996 law. These govern the correct use of the symbol or pictogram, as well as colour and layout.

The “Ear Protection Must Be Worn” sign is blue and white, complete with a pictogram of a face with ear protection on.

Other Uses for Ear Protection

Ear protection can also help protect against dust, water, and foreign objects entering the eardrums. This is especially important in workplaces that have air polluted with heavy elements or whenever hazardous chemicals are handled in large amounts.

Claims Against Employers

Last year, a successful industrial deafness claim was filed by former violist Chris Goldscheider against the Royal Opera House. The musician suffered a life-changing hearing injury in 2012 which managed to be the basis for the first claim of acoustic shock in legal records.

Goldscheider was incorrectly seated directly in front of the brass section of the where he endured noise levels that exceeded 130 decibels without any protection. For comparison’s sake, 130 decibels is roughly that of a jet engine.

Want to Learn More?

Stay up to date with the world of health and safety and ear protection with Label Source’s range of ear protection signs. In addition, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest health and safety news.