6: Chemical Procurement, Distribution and Storage

The decision to use a hazardous chemical should be a commitment to handle and use the chemical properly from initial receipt to disposal.

6.1 Ordering and procurement:

Only faculty or staff members are authorized to order chemicals for use within the department. Whenever possible, purchasing will be coordinated by Carol Jansky or another department designate who is familiar with the procurement, record-keeping, distribution and storage of department chemicals.

Consult the chemical inventory system to ascertain whether the chemical is stocked within the department; its storage location and conditions; and whether sufficient quantities are present. Order additional chemical only if insufficient quantity or quality of chemical is present.

Complete the "Information Required Before Ordering a Chemical Form" before placing the order. The Biology Department Safety Committee will assign HMIS ratings; perform data entry and barcode assignment; and file the MSDS. A barcode number and HMIS label will be given to you for each container ordered. (Appendix B describes the criteria used to assign HMIS ratings.)

Determine the minimum quantity that will suffice for the current use.

Determine the maximum size of container based on areas of use and storage. Because of the restricted storage space, it is preferable to order practical, small, break resistant containers whenever possible, to avoid hazards associated with repackaging and breakage.

Ascertain that the chemical can be managed safely, is stable enough for reasonable shelf life, and the waste can be managed satisfactorily when the chemical arrives. An appropriate waste disposal mechanism must be identified before introducing a new chemical into the department.

No container of chemical will be accepted without an identifying label or if the label is defaced beyond recognition or conditions that violate appropriate packaging.

Ensure that HMIS label and container barcode is attached before chemical is distributed for use or stored.

6.2 Stockroom:

The Biology Laboratory Coordinator, Carol Jansky, will be responsible for the stockroom. Primary containers of chemicals are stored in the stockroom, segregated by class. Annual chemical inventories include inspection of the chemicals for replacement, deterioration and container integrity.

The stockroom is locked at all times, and a key is required for entry.

Select carcinogens, and chemicals with extreme acute/chronic health hazard ratings are stored in locked "restricted access" cabinets in NSC 219 and PENGL 310. Dr. Marcus Webster and Carol Jansky will maintain custody of these keys.

Personnel accessing the stockroom will be knowledgeable and at all times follow the set procedure, including material handling techniques and selection of protective apparels.

Storage is based on compatibility, and storage requirements. Chemicals are arranged alphabetically within their chemical classification.

Storage of food for human consumption is not allowed in all rooms where chemicals are present: chemicals and foods for consumption must not be stored in the same refrigerator. All department refrigerators used to store chemicals will be designated as laboratory refrigerators.

Flammable chemicals must be stored in a vented flammable cabinet.

Any chemical mixture shall be assumed as toxic as its most toxic component. Substances of unknown toxicity shall be assumed toxic and must be stored accordingly.

Larger quantities of flammable liquids, corrosives or toxic chemicals are stored in the outside storage sheds.

6.3 Distribution:

Regularly used chemicals can be checked out of the stockroom for a maximum of two semesters if the chemical has a low-to-moderate hazard rating (HMIS rating of two or less in all categories), and appropriate storage is available.

Chemicals with a high-risk rating can be checked out for long-term use only if approved by the Biology Safety Committee Chair, and appropriate storage and signage is available.

Amounts of chemicals permitted to be stored in laboratories should be as small as practical.

When transporting chemicals outside the laboratory, precautions should be taken to avoid dropping or spilling chemicals. Appropriate carrying devices or buckets must be used whenever chemicals are hand-carried. Avoid exposure to persons on passenger elevators.