Are Handheld Barcode Scanners Safe?

April 15 , 2024

Handheld barcode scanners have become common tools in a variety of industries, including retail, logistics, healthcare, and manufacturing in today's technologically advanced world.  These devices provide efficient and precise data capturing, which streamlines procedures and boosts productivity. However, as with any technology, questions regarding their safety and potential health risks arise. In this article, we delve into the safety aspects of handheld barcode scanners, examining potential concerns and addressing the measures implemented to ensure their safe usage.

What Are Handheld Barcode Scanners?

Handheld barcode scanners are electronic devices designed to read and decode barcode information. They are typically made up of a light source, a lens, and a light sensor that work together to capture and analyze barcode-encoded data. These devices come in various forms, including laser scanners, linear imagers, and 2D imagers, each with its own method of reading barcodes.

How Do Handheld Barcode Scanners Work?

Handheld barcode scanners emit a beam of light onto the barcode, which is then reflected back to a sensor within the device. The sensor detects the pattern of light and dark bars, converting it into digital data that can be interpreted by a connected computer or terminal. This data is subsequently analyzed to extract useful information, such as product specifications or inventory codes.

Affordable Handheld Barcode Scanner Prices

Affordable Handheld Barcode Scanner Prices

Safety Concerns Surrounding Handheld Barcode Scanners

Exposure to Laser Light

One of the biggest safety concerns with handheld barcode scanners, particularly laser scanners, is the risk of laser light exposure. Laser scanners utilize a focused beam of laser light to read barcodes, which raises concerns about eye safety, especially if the beam were to directly enter the eye.

Potential Health Risks

Prolonged exposure to laser light can harm the eyes, ranging from slight discomfort to more serious disorders like retinal damage. While the likelihood of such incidents occurring during normal usage of handheld barcode scanners is low, it is essential to take precautions to minimize the risk of accidental exposure.

Ergonomic Considerations

In addition to concerns regarding laser safety, ergonomic factors also play a significant role in the safety of handheld barcode scanners. Prolonged use of these devices, especially in workplaces demanding repetitive scanning activities, can result in musculoskeletal problems such as repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Syble Barcode Scanner For Warehouses

Syble Barcode Scanner For Warehouses

Measures to Ensure Safety

Handheld barcode scanners are subject to regulatory standards and guidelines aimed at ensuring their safety and compliance with established norms. Regulatory authorities such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued rules for the design, manufacture, and use of laser-based equipment, including barcode scanners.

Safety Features

Manufacturers of handheld barcode scanners include a variety of safety measures in their products to reduce the danger of potential risks. These features may include:

Laser Safety Classifications: Laser scanners are classified into different safety classes based on their potential to cause harm. Manufacturers follow these classifications and apply suitable safety measures to achieve compliance.

Beam Alignment: Proper laser beam alignment within the device helps to steer light away from sensitive areas, lowering the danger of inadvertent exposure.

Automatic Shut-off: Some handheld barcode scanners are equipped with automatic shut-off mechanisms that deactivate the laser beam when the device is not in use for a specified period, further mitigating the risk of prolonged exposure.

Syble Durable Barcode Scanner For Logistics

Syble Durable Barcode Scanner For Logistics

Routine Maintenance and Inspections

Regular maintenance and inspections of handheld barcode scanners are crucial for ensuring their continued safe operation. Employers should set up normal maintenance schedules and conduct regular inspections to identify any potential problems or malfunctions that could jeopardize safety.


Handheld barcode scanners are valuable tools that have revolutionized data capture and processing across various industries. If you are looking for a high-quality handheld barcode scanner, SYBLE is ideal for you. We specialize in producing various barcode scanners to meet our customer demands. Elevate your work effectively with our barcode scanners today!

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