Verification of balance accuracy entails applying a series of standard masses to a balance prior to use and recording the measured values. The recorded values for each standard should have lower and upper weight limits or tolerances that are accepted as verification of balance accuracy under normal operating conditions. Balance logbooks for seven analytical balances at the Upper Mississippi Science Center were checked over a 3.5-year period to determine if the recorded weights were within the established tolerance limits. A total of 9435 measurements were checked. There were 14 instances in which the balance malfunctioned and operators recorded a rationale in the balance logbook. Sixty-three recording errors were found. Twenty-eight operators were responsible for two types of recording errors: Measurements of weights were recorded outside of the tolerance limit but not acknowledged as an error by the operator (n = 40); and measurements were recorded with the wrong number of decimal places (n = 23). The adherence rate for following tolerance limits was 99.3%. To ensure the continued adherence to tolerance limits, the quality-assurance unit revised standard operating procedures to require more frequent review of balance logbooks.
Additional publication details
Adherence to balance tolerance limits at the Upper Mississippi Science Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin.