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Chemical Inventory

The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) requires employers to maintain a list of hazardous chemicals present in the workplace. A well-managed inventory is also a convenient means of determining whether a material is available, needs to be ordered, or collected as waste.

Personnel responsible for areas where hazardous chemicals are stored are required to maintain a chemical inventory. Examples include but are not limited to: Principal Investigators who oversee a laboratory, supervisors who oversee shops or makerspaces, and managers of storerooms and storage facilities.

What needs to be included in a chemical inventory?

Include all hazardous chemicals (e.g., toxic, flammable, corrosive, reactive, carcinogenic, oxidizing), and chemical products. This includes most laboratory chemicals, all compressed and liquified gases, disinfectants, aerosol products, oils (motor oil, vacuum pump oil, gasoline) and lubricants.

Are there materials that are exempt from being inventoried?

Yes. Non-hazardous chemicals or chemical products are exempt from inventory requirements. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • sterile water
  • saline solution
  • non-hazardous buffers
  • biological culture media
  • peptides
  • non-hazardous proteins
  • dry milk, gelatin, vegetable oil and otherwise edible products

Other exemptions include:

  • Working solutions used within a few days.
  • Retail products used and stored in amounts and frequencies typical to ordinary household use, such as:
    • dish or handwashing soap
    • office supplies
    • printing supplies

How can I maintain my inventory?

Chemical inventories should be maintained in a way that can be easily accessed, updated, and shared with area personnel, and with EHS and regulating agencies upon request. An institutional-wide program for inventory management does not currently exist, and a variety of approaches to inventory requirements exist across schools, units, departments and investigators, to include Quartzy, Chematix™, word processing software, and spreadsheets. EHS provides this Chemical Inventory template for use.

Check with your supervisor for a list of hazardous chemicals stored and used in your work area. Chemical materials which may be found at UVA are listed here.

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