2020 Volume 11 Issue 2 Pages 11-15
Chemical substances pose various risks, such as fire, explosion, negative health effects, and environmental pollution. To prevent these risks from developing into actual hazardous events, it is important for chemical users to obtain information on the relevant hazards and risks as a first step. Such information can be found in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) pictograms and legal regulations printed on chemical bottle labels, or in safety data sheets (SDSs). However, GHS pictograms include too little information to properly describe a chemical’s hazards and risks, and SDSs include too much, making it difficult to refer to them effectively during laboratory experiments. Therefore, this study developed a mobile application that effectively communicates information on the risks of chemical substances in laboratories. We developed a server-based software application that compresses legal regulations and GHS classifications into a QR code which can be printed and attached to chemical bottles; an accompanying mobile application can then be used to read the QR code and display information on the chemical’s hazards and risks. We investigated the feasibility and usefulness of this system through interview surveys conducted prior to development and formative assessments conducted after development of an alpha version of the system. These investigations confirmed that the system could be very useful and revealed potential improvements suggested by chemical suppliers and students.