Skip to main content

inventoryAccess our Online Chemical Inventory System (CIS).

A comprehensive chemical inventory is a component of the lab safety plan and must be reviewed twice a year and updated annually, at a minimum. Chemicals to be included are any hazardous chemicals (flammables, combustibles, corrosives, toxics and highly toxics, carcinogens, reactives, reproductive toxins and compressed gases) that are in storage or use in your laboratory. It is imperative that inventories are up to date in case of fire, chemical spills or other emergencies. Detailed instructions for using the CIS can be found in Chapter 2: Appendix 2-A of the Laboratory Safety Manual.

An important aspect of the CIS is designating a storage place for each chemical and returning chemicals to their locations after each use. Store chemicals by hazard class, not the alphabet, and post storage areas to show the exact location of the chemical groups. Inspect chemical storage areas at least annually for outdated or unneeded items, illegible labels, leaking containers, etc. See Chapter 12: Management of Laboratory Wastes for advice on disposing outdated or unneeded chemicals.

Optimally, incompatible chemicals such as acids and alkalis should be stored completely separate from one another to prevent mixing in the event of an accidental spill or release of the materials. Limited storage space within the laboratories, however, may prevent this prudent practice of chemical segregation and storage. If space is limited, incompatible chemicals can be stored in the same storage cabinet if they are segregated according to their hazard class and stored in secondary containment such as tubs, trays, or buckets while in the cabinet. These secondary containers reduce the chance that incompatible chemicals will inadvertently contact each other. For more information about chemical compatibility storage groups as well as chemical storage locations see Chapter 4: Proper Storage of Chemicals in Laboratories.