Chemical Inventory

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.