Chemical Inventory FAQs

Important factors for maintaining an accurate chemical inventory plan include:

  • Tracking chemical use in the workplace reduces waste and associated chemical waste-handling costs for the University.
  • Emergency responders need to know what hazardous chemicals, especially flammables, are in UF structures when they respond to a fire or spill situation. Not having this information places them at increased danger and could hamper their ability to provide assistance.  During a spill or fire event, EHS responders will provide chemical inventory data to emergency responders.
  • Accurate inventories of hazardous chemicals are required for compliance with regulatory agencies such as the Dept. of Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, US Dept. of State, and the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection.

Yes. EHS requires an accurate inventory of all chemicals that have a Safety Data Sheet. This includes all solvents, cleaning solutions, compressed gasses, nonhazardous salts, etc.

  • Lab-made solutions are not required to be tracked in inventory, although they can be if desired.
  • DEA controlled substances, radionuclides, and high hazard biologicals are inventoried separately. Contact EHS with questions.

  • Inventories must be updated on a regular basis including when a new chemical not already in the inventory is received or anytime there are significant changes to the amount of a chemical(s) in inventory.
  • When the lab receives frequent shipments of the same chemicals, the inventory should show the average of what could typically be found on site.  For example, if the lab uses 1 gallon of ethanol a week, buys it in cases of four gallons, and reorders when only 1 gallon is left, the inventory should be entered as 4 gallons. No other changes are required as long as the cycle stays the same.
  • Prior to the annual safety survey/lab inspection by EHS. EHS will review if the inventory has not been regularly updated. If the inventory is inaccurate, an inspection corrective action will be given.  EHS will also spot check inventory records vs. actual inventory in the work area to ensure inventories are accurate.

Yes. The use of a standardized inventory system across the University allows EHS to run reports, identify trends, identify high hazard work areas and quickly generate data for regulators or emergency responders.

  • Labs may maintain a duplicate or parallel system for their lab’s use, but the lab is required to keep an accurate inventory in the Gator TRACS Chemical Inventory system.
No. There is no charge to UF personnel for system access or maintenance. If you choose to use barcodes to track your inventory, a feature supported by the Gator TRACS Chemical Inventory system, you will need to obtain a barcode scanner or use a smartphone/tablet with a QR reader. These devices are not included and would need to be purchased separately either by an individual or department at their expense.
No. Some labs or workplaces prefer it as it enables better container based inventory tracking, but it is not required.
No. For new labs and labs that do not already have an inventory system uploaded, the EHS software administrator is able to upload Excel data into the Gator TRACS Chemical Inventory system for you. Please contact mike.yost@ehs.ufl.edu for assistance.
No. Except in emergencies and where required by law, chemical inventory data is considered confidential information and is accessible only by EHS and those assigned to your work area.
No. Each lab or shop owner may only have access to his or her inventory. EHS cannot grant anyone access to someone else’s inventory.

If you are looking for a specific chemical that another colleague may have, EHS Lab Safety can search that for you. EHS will contact any owners of that chemical. If they agree to share it, EHS will then have them contact you directly.

Additionally, EHS Hazardous Materials Management maintains the Chem Swap program.  The program includes many unopened chemicals free of charge to UF Labs.

  • EHS staff review inventories to identify high risk areas, chemicals, and chemical use. Once identified, EHS staff will ensure the work area’s Gator TRACS LATCH (Laboratory Assessment, Training, and Chemical Hygiene Plan) is appropriate and up-to-date. In some instances, a site visit, review of on-site safety equipment, and/or review of Standard Operating Procedures may be required.
  •  EHS monitors quantities of “chemicals of interest” for compliance with Dept. of Homeland Security thresholds. If threshold quantities are exceeded, additional security practices and infrastructure are required. Similarly, the presence of export-controlled chemicals may require enhanced security measures. Cumulative quantities of flammable materials present in a particular building or area are also monitored to ensure they do not exceed fire code allowances.
No, although a list of chemicals for disposal must be provided to EHS Hazardous Materials Management (HMM) so they can appropriately prepare for the pickup. This list is generated on the waste pick up form, not in inventory.

EHS can provide you with an Excel file of your inventory. Please indicate on that list the items to be disposed of, transferred, or moved. EHS can use your Excel file to bulk upload, bulk delete, or bulk transfer items from your inventory.

Create a separate Excel file of chemicals for disposal. Submit that file to EHS Hazardous Materials Management (HMM) in place of the pickup form.

Provide EHS with an inventory of what you have at the present location. Indicate what will be used in the new UF lab and provide that in an Excel format (preferably). EHS will get this uploaded into the inventory system for you. Please contact gator-tracs@ufl.edu for assistance.
Yes. EHS does have an Excel spreadsheet template for new lab inventory uploads. This can obtained by contacting the Gator TRACS support email at gator-tracs@ufl.edu. The information highlighted on the template is required. Other information, like the shelf, bench, or cabinet where the chemicals may be stored is optional.