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.
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.
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.