Hazardous Materials Inventories

The OSHA Laboratory Standard requires employees to be trained in the hazards of the chemicals present in the workplace. As a result, laboratories shall develop inventories to assure that proper training for all chemicals is provided.

Individuals who use, store or handle chemicals are responsible for submitting an annual inventory to the EHS. The inventory must be submitted in an electronic format by July 31. At a minimum the inventory will include the following information:

  • Inventory Date
  • Name of Person Conducting Inventory
  • Chemical Location (building name, room number, if located in specific locker or storage unit - indicate as specifically as possible)
  • Chemical Label Name
  • Constituents (if available and material is not a pure chemical)
  • Manufacturer (if trade name product)
  • CAS Number (if applicable)
  • Physical state (solid, liquid, gas)
  • # of containers (for each size -enter multiple lines for the item if you have multiple size containers)
  • Amount/container
  • Units of measure per container (solids by weight, liquids by volume, gases by cylinder size)
  • Notes (optional)
  • NFPA Fire (Red) Rating from label or SDS - EHS can assist with this
  • NFPA Health (Blue) Rating from label or SDS - EHS can assist with this
  • NFPA Reactivity (Yellow) Rating from label or SDS - EHS can assist with this

A sample form as an Excel spreadsheet is available. The Department/Unit may submit the inventory in an existing inventory format, as long as this minimum information is included, the EHS can open the format and the inventory is submitted electronically.

A designated person, such as the laboratory manager or a student assistant, may physically conduct the inventory but the individual responsible for the laboratory (Primary Investigator, Director, Department Chair, etc.) is ultimately responsible for accuracy and must ensure the inventory is submitted by July 31st annually.

During the course of the inventory, the individual should check the following:

  • Condition of containers (no leakage, corrosion, or crystallization)
  • Verify that highly toxics are stored in secondary containment (adequate to contain the contents in catastrophic failure of the primary container) when required
  • Hazards are indicated on the individual containers as well as adjacent to the storage location (usually using the NFPA diamond)
  • That excess or unused chemicals are returned to stock or properly disposed
  • That chemicals are properly stored with incompatibles segregated
  • That highly toxics are stored in a locked cabinet and that cabinet is kept locked

Questions or problems should be referred to the EHS (255-3212).

An annual inventory can reduce the number of unknowns and the tendency to stockpile chemicals. It also provides an opportunity to check the integrity of the chemicals and containers (i.e. picric acid that has become dry) and assures that a laboratory has not exceeded the quantity limitations for certain classes of chemicals