How to Organize and Manage a Workplace’s Chemical Inventory List
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Is your company compliant with current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules? One of the standards involves maintaining a current and accurate chemical inventory list.

Failure to meet these regulations can lead to large monetary fines. In fact, OSHA increased the maximum penalties on January 15, 2021.

A “Serious Other-Than-Serious Posting Requirement” costs $13,653 per violation. Companies that fail to fix the problem are charged $13,653 for each day past the abatement date. If a business repeats or refuses to comply, they’re charged $136,532 per violation.

If you don’t already have a safety data sheet (SDS) system in place, now is the time to get one. These SDSs must also be regularly updated.

Most companies can’t afford to risk these fines or risk illness or injury to their workers. Keep reading to learn about the regulations for chemical inventory lists.

What Is a Chemical Inventory List?

In 2012, OSHA aligned with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. Part of the regulatory requirements includes a chemical inventory list. Companies must keep current SDSs for all hazardous chemicals located in their workplace.

This list should include markers that direct users to easily find the SDS for each chemical. If there’s a question or emergency, employees can quickly get the information needed. Rapid response can mitigate or avoid harm to your workers.

SDSs tell employees and emergency responders about the chemical’s hazards and properties. It includes data about personal protective equipment (PPE), first aid, and emergency procedures. All SDSs describe the regulations for disposing of, tracking, and reporting chemical waste.

Chemical Inventory Requirements

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) established the requirements for chemical inventory lists. These lists include every chemical substance made, processed, or imported into the United States.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posts an update to this inventory biannually. The next regular update is scheduled for release in the summer of 2021.

This inventory includes 86,557 chemicals. Only 41,864 of the chemicals on this list are actively used in the United States at this time.

The TSCA Inventory updates describe new chemical substance additions. It also provides the current commercial regulatory flags and activity data. One example includes exemptions for polymers.

The following describes the minimum data that chemical inventory lists must include.

  • Identification marker
  • The location of the file for the corresponding SDS
  • Name of the product
  • Manufacturer’s name
  • The address including city and state for the manufacturer
  • The telephone number for the manufacturer and emergency phone numbers

You don’t need to list non-hazardous materials, temporary solutions, or consumer products. Biohazardous or radioactive materials need their own separate inventory program.

Which Chemicals Should You Include on the Chemical Inventory?

The TSCA defines which chemicals the inventory list should include. This will help you know which materials present in your workplace must be on your list.

  • Aerosol products
  • Combustibles and flammables
  • Compressed gases
  • Controlled substances regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Corrosives
  • Organic peroxides
  • Oxidizers
  • Poisons that aren’t already in one of the other categories

Remember, this is not a one-time event. You need to establish a routine for reviewing and updating the list.

Current Options for a Chemical Inventory System

Many businesses are turning to expert SDS management companies to ensure compliance. This frees up the business owner’s time and resources.

Companies using many hazardous materials that often change can have trouble keeping up. Having access to a computerized database means you’ll always be able to find the SDS you need.

The KHA Online-SDS™ provides unlimited access to its vast SDS database. They update every data sheet on a regular basis. This solution has advanced search features so it’s easier to find information.

They index the chemical information into 35 fields to help you locate the SDS you want. KHA lets you specify up to seven unique identifiers related to your company’s SDSs. This tailors your SDS management system to meet your needs.

Chemical Inventory Management

OSHA requires all businesses that use, store, or transport hazardous chemicals to keep an inventory list. They also require the designation of one or more employees to manage this list.

OSHA advises companies to include non-supervisory personnel in the group. This helps build buy-in with compliance at all levels. Remember, the chemical inventory list is only part of the chemical health and safety program.

Every worker needs to understand the risks, protective measures, and emergency responses. They must commit to following the safety guidelines to prevent illness or injury. It’s also vital that everyone has access to SDSs and understand how to use them in an emergency.

Other Aspects of Hazardous Materials Management

There are several criteria that companies must meet to be deemed compliant. Local, state, and federal rules also apply to hazardous materials management. Once again, this can become an overwhelming task for larger companies.

KHA’s Online-SDS™ checks the chemicals in your inventory against all compliance rules. The system flags materials in your system that need regulatory reporting. This helps you know when to generate compliance reports and who needs to receive them.

Some agencies require secondary labeling. KHA helps create these labels in the correct size to place on the containers.

They also work with businesses to generate a compliance plan. Their experts can capture the specific data straight from your SDS inventory. This reduces your workload and worries about maintaining compliance.

Would Your Company Benefit from an SDS Management Solution?

With OSHA’s support of GHS, companies must keep their SDS’s up-to-date. KHA has the solutions you need to ensure OSHA compliance and employee safety. Online-SDS™ gives unlimited access to a vast, updated SDS database.

Our solution generates a tailored chemical inventory list for your business. We monitor this list and make updates as needed. KHA also offers ConfinedSpace Manager, HazCom Training, HazMat Inventory, and Environmental Management.

Schedule a demo today to see how the KHA system can streamline your SDS compliance.