Chemical Inventory Management
Various regulatory agencies require the College to maintain a complete, accurate and up-to-date inventory of its toxic and hazardous materials. Primarily though, inventories are essential to inform individuals which chemicals they may have the potential to be exposed to, further allowing them to better understand the associated hazards and risks of these chemicals.
Each department head or designee is responsible for ensuring that a chemical inventory list of the hazardous chemicals and toxic substances used, stored or otherwise kept in each laboratory or work area under his/her purview is created and maintained.
A good way to prepare a comprehensive inventory list is to survey your work area(s) to do a physical assessment, and purchasing records also may help. The broadest possible perspective should be taken when doing the survey. Considering all substances to be potentially toxic and hazardous simplifies the approach even though it may unnecessarily include a few materials that are essentially non-hazardous.
Items NOT REQUIRED to be Inventoried:
Even though some items may not be entered into the inventory, the user is still responsible to obtain a current Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the product. The list below provides some examples of common materials that do not need to be inventoried.
- Any secondary chemical container that is produced in the lab from a primary chemical
container(s) that is already inventoried, for example:
- 1N Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) that is made from a commercially available 10N NaOH solution or solid NaOH
- Squirt bottles and spray bottle
- Conical and “Falcon” tubes with chemicals or samples in them
- Biological material, for example:
- Plant or animal tissue, blood or blood products
- Reproducing biological organisms, bacteria, viruses, fungi or yeast
- Enzymes, antibodies, proteins, peptides, nucleic acids
- Conjugated antibodies and proteins
- Tissue culture media or other growth media
- Buffer solutions for pH probes
- Non-chemical diagnostic materials that contain a film on any surface (e.g. 96-well plate)
- Chemical spill kits
Inventories must be completed in a Microsoft Excel template available from the Environmental Health and Safety Officer, or one can be downloaded here.
Once a chemical inventory has been completed, the electronic file MUST be emailed to the Environmental Health and Safety Officer at email@example.com.
Each chemical inventory list must be updated at least annually, or whenever there is a substantial change (i.e. a chemical is added or removed). After each annual update, and whenever there is a change made, a revised chemical inventory MUST be emailed to the Environmental Health and Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org and, where possible, the revised section or reason for change be highlighted, marked up, explained, etc. for ease of rectification.
Upon receipt by the Environmental Health and Safety Officer, the chemicals included on the spreadsheet will be added to the College's Chemical Inventory and Management System, MSDSonline, where all chemicals inventoried on Campus are listed (i.e. the "Master" Inventory"). In addition, MSDSonline also provides access to associated Safety Data Sheets, identifies where these chemicals are stored and communicates pertinent health and safety information (among other features) aimed at better communicating the hazards and risks associated with the chemicals used and stored on Campus. To access MSDSonline, click here.