How to Get Started With Your First Chemical Inventory List
Across the US, 2.7 million employees were injured or made ill by workplace accidents in 2020 alone. If you work with hazardous materials, it’s your legal and ethical duty to take necessary steps towards preventing this. Creating a chemical inventory list is the foremost way to protect your employees and secure their safety.
But how can you create a comprehensive list of toxic chemicals and their properties? Read on to answer this question and to get some tips on starting your first HazMat inventory list.
Understand the Basics of a Chemical Inventory List
Chemical inventory management is a process where workplaces organize and track chemicals. They create lists of the various hazardous materials around their organization and note storage, handling, use, and disposal information. This data becomes accessible to workers at all stages of the chemical’s lifecycle.
Chemical inventory is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If you do not meet reporting requirements, you could find yourself faced with hefty fines.
Think About Reporting Standards
The first step toward compliance is to know the standards for reporting each chemical. You will need to examine the chemicals around your workplace and consider which ones are hazardous. This is usually a fairly simple process since they should come with labels from the manufacturer.
You then need to consider the hazard communications standards set by OSHA and incorporate these standards into your HazMat inventory list. These standards include things like the properties of chemicals, the specific hazards presented, and how they can protect themselves.
Record Chemicals Comprehensively
The next step is to walk around all areas of the workplace and record all of the chemicals that are in use. Make sure that you’re thorough and look at all areas of your property.
You need chemicals in the office to comply, but you also need those outdoors and at project sites to comply. Simple things like cans of paint may include hazardous chemicals, so look at everything. Record manufacturer names, addresses, and phone numbers in addition to properties of the chemicals.
Access Safety Data Sheets
Safety data sheets (SDSs) are 16-section forms that prompt you to write about each chemical in detail. These sections provide a standardized format in which you can record chemical properties. You also will discuss how to handle chemicals, how to store them, how to dispose of them, and how employees can stay safe.
You can find this information online. You can also learn it from the manufacturers of the chemicals that you find when looking over your workspace.
SDSs serve as a chemical inventory list assuming that you store them correctly. Keep your digitally managed SDSs in a digital location that all employees can access. This will make it easier for people to understand the toxic chemicals that they may be dealing with.
Now that you know how to create a strong HazMat inventory list, it’s time to begin compiling your information.
We’re committed to ensuring that you can create a comprehensive chemical inventory list quickly, easily, and accurately. Contact us with any remaining questions that you have about chemical management and to get started with managed SDS technologies.