Safety and Quality > Our Work > Medication Safety > Safer naming, labelling and packaging of medicines > National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines

Identifying injectable medicines and fluids, and the devices used to deliver them, can improve the safety of medicines administration. The Commission developed National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines (the Labelling Standard) for health professionals to communicate safely:

  • the contents of containers and lines used for, and with, injectable medicines and fluids
  • the patients for whom the medicines and fluids are intended.

The Labelling Standard replaces the previous editions of the National Recommendations for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines (the Labelling Recommendations).

What’s new in the Labelling Standard

The Labelling Standard expands on the previous Labelling Recommendations to include:

  • labelling of containers in perioperative settings (including cardiac catheter and interventional radiology units)
  • colour coded pre-printed medicine labels for use on dedicated continuous infusion lines
  • colour coding by medicine class in accordance with the Anaesthetic Labelling Standard, including teal green for anticoagulant/antiplatelet medicines
  • liquid medicines for oral, enteral and inhalational use
  • locked catheters
  • labelling of non-injectable medicines and fluids prepared in the same area as injectable medicines, and colour coding with a red St Andrews Cross watermark
  • a range of issues previously listed in the Labelling Recommendations Issues Register.

The Labelling Standard applies to ALL clinical areas in Australian health services where injectable medicines and fluids are administered. Implementation of the Labelling Standard is a mandatory requirement for meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standardsin particular, NSQHS Standard 4: Medication Safety.

The Labelling Standard labels are available in PDF and EPS (print-ready) formats for reproduction by label suppliers.

Labelling Standard implementation resources

  • Labelling Standard Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 1MB) (Word 639KB)
  • Labelling Standard A3 Label Guide: A full guide to all current labels in high resolution print quality format – (PDF 1MB)
  • Labelling Standard – Powerpoint presentation (PPT 5MB) (PDF 2MB)

Perioperative settings

Interventional cardiology and radiology settings

Intensive care settings

The following resources are being revised to align with the revised Labelling Standard and will be available shortly.