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How accurate do my weighing scales need to be?

How accurate do my weighing scales need to be?

How accurate do the weighing scales you use need to be?

Since 2003 it’s only been legal to use an approved medical weighing scale for the purposes of monitoring, diagnosis or administering treatment.

That typically means you’ll need to use a Class III Approved weighing scale in hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies. But how accurate do those scales need to be?

Marsden’s range of medical scales vary in accuracy, from 2g for baby scales to 200g and 500g for some of our floor and column scales. There’s a reason why these scales vary in their graduations.



Accuracy according to the UK Weighing Federation

The UK Weighing Federation (UKWF) is the trade association for weighing machine manufacturers and suppliers in the UK. They work with Governments, professional bodies, companies and individuals to improve weighing technology across the industry.

The UK Weighing Federation (UKWF) determined specific accuracies for different uses back in 2002, just prior to the NAWI directive for class approval passing into UK law and taking full effect in January 2003.

Those specific accuracies for different uses still apply and, to help you understand them - and buy suitable weighing scales - we’ve created a free guide, which you can download below.

Created with help from the UKWF, the free guide covers accuracies required for specific purposes, and also includes a table of Marsden scales, weighing in the correct graduations, suitable for each of those scenarios.

Ian Turner, who helped us with the guide, told us: “Defining specific accuracies required for medical weighing scales in any given scenario helps to ensure that the correct diagnosis and medical treatment is given.”

He continued: “It means scales can be used to influence more positive outcomes and, ultimately, help the NHS save more lives.”



The Need for Accurate Scales

Though mistakes caused by inaccurate weighing scales are fairly uncommon – the reality is when they occur nearly 70% of the time the patient is affected. This is according to research by the Pennsylvania
Patient Safety Authority in the US.

Elderly and paediatric patients are at greater risk of inaccurate weighing, as they are more vulnerable to adverse drug effects. For these patients, their weight is also more likely to change over a short period of time, so it is vital they are weighed accurately on a regular basis.



Marsden Scales

At Marsden, we’ve ensured there is a weighing scale available for every use, that’s Class III Approved, and weighs in the correct graduations or better.

That’s why, for example, we’re able to offer the low-cost M-550 Floor Scale to GPs, with its accuracy of 200g (500g above 100kg), and why our best-selling baby scale, the M-300, has an accuracy is fine as 2g.


If you would like help with choosing the right weighing scale for your needs, or need more information about suitable weighing scale accuracy, give us a call on 01709 364296.

Download our in-depth free guide, How Accurate Do My Weighing Scales Need To Be?