All labs are required to maintain an updated chemical inventory in accordance with Cal-OSHA and USC policies. An accurate chemical inventory is essential for emergency planning and incident response.
The chemical inventory is maintained and updated in EHS Assistant (EHSA). Only include manufacturer-supplied containers or other primary containers of chemicals in the chemical inventory.
All hazardous chemicals shall be entered in the inventory including:
- Any chemical which falls into one or more OSHA/GHS health or physical hazard class according to its labeling and safety data sheet (SDS).
- Any compressed, liquefied, or frozen gas (including inert gases).
PIs are ultimately responsible for compliance with chemical inventory record requirements. Inventory accuracy will be assessed during laboratory safety inspections; omissions and inaccuracies will be noted as a finding.
- Assign an Inventory Lead to ensure that:
- The chemical inventory is up-to-date.
- Hazardous materials are appropriately stored.
- Time sensitive materials are not past their expiration.
- Institute group rules whereby personnel are required to search the inventory before ordering new chemicals to:
- Avoid duplicate orders and excessive inventory.
- Ensure timely usage of time-sensitive chemicals.
- Conduct a comprehensive re-inventory annually.
- Avoid purchasing chemicals in bulk. An unnecessarily large chemical inventory presents a very significant and avoidable hazard. The following are considered best practices:
- Purchase the minimum quantity of the chemical needed for research.
- Purchase hazardous chemicals in amounts that can be used within six months, or the recommended shelf life or storage period if shorter.
- Share chemical inventories and chemicals with peers within a building, department, or school. Sharing chemicals can:
- Eliminate unnecessary expenses.
- Improve overall safety.
- Encourage collaborations between research personnel.
- Consider offering other research groups chemicals that are no longer required, but are in good condition, before contacting Hazmat for disposal.