Both the Office of Environmental Health & Safety and the Earth & Atmospheric Science Safety Committee require that all labs keep a chemical inventory listing of all the chemicals that are in each lab.
A chemical inventory has many benefits for the lab; it lets workers know at a glance what is available. If the Chemical Inventory List is set up in tabular form, extra information could be added in to help with reordering the item. For example, include the supplier name and stock number of the chemical, the MSDS sheet’s date so you could easily see when you need to update your sheets, the date the chemical was purchased so you can tell how old it is, etc. Set the inventory list up so it can benefit the occupants of your lab. Some labs include storage codes so that chemicals are safely stored and put back in the same place as they were found.
Lab users need to inform the Lab Supervisor when supplies and chemicals are getting low. Some items can take up to six months to arrive – depending upon where the supplier is located.
There are other important reasons to maintain complete records of the dangerous goods in the laboratory. In the event of an injury accident, the MSDS sheet is readily available to EMS personnel and the hardcopy information can be taken with the injured worker to the hospital. This can expedite the person’s immediate first aid in the event of a chemical injury. Backup copies of the lab’s inventory should be kept in another location in the event of a fire in the lab.