Any time chemicals are in use, safety is an issue. In the event of an accident, the correct information needs to be available on the spot. A chemical inventory system should provide details about exactly what chemicals are in stock and where they are. Safety information about those chemicals should be readily available, whether as an MSDS or as customized handling instructions.
Laboratory safety can mean a number of different things, from ensuring that staff perform tasks safely to providing access to safety documentation, to performing safety inspections of laboratory equipment, to ensuring that chemicals and supplies—particularly hazardous materials—are stored, managed, and disposed safely. Safety is not a single process, but a multitude of tasks and workflows that need to be managed as a synergistic whole.
A robust chemical inventory system such as ChemSW’s CISPro can help your organization drive safe chemical handling, storage, and management, thereby eliminating potential problems caused by chemical safety deficiencies. In particular, CISPro can optimize the availability of current real-time chemical safety and inventory data.
Safety compliance is almost always associated with regulatory compliance. CISPro helps drive regulatory compliance and risk mitigation strategies, including:
Manage Chemicals in Accordance With Regulations
Every year, many organizations fail to pass audits of their workplace chemicals because those chemicals and related supplies are not managed and controlled in a safe manner in accordance with regulations. One of the main causes for the continuing chemical safety deficiencies in the workplace that drive audit failure is the large number of requirements that govern chemical-related work. Numerous local, state and federal requirements have been promulgated to protect workers, equipment, facilities and the environment from the hazards associated with chemicals. Because such requirements can number in the thousands, simply identifying all of the applicable chemical safety-related requirements that govern any particular work activity with chemicals can be a monumental task. In addition, many of these requirements approach chemical safety from different perspectives, contain overlapping provisions, are sometimes contradictory, and often confusing.
Some of the regulations your organization may be subject to and with which your inventory management system must comply are:
Enforcement efforts have been recently intensified for a number of these regulations, making audit and report accuracy more important than ever. Find out more about how CISPro addresses regulatory reporting..
Integrated MSDS Management
The average Research & Development (R&D) laboratory typically has thousands of materials on site and each one requires a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). In addition, those MSDSs are frequently updated by the supplier, meaning that the Laboratory Manager must keep track of not only where each MSDS is and which MSDS need updating, but also any new MSDSs that need to be attached to new chemicals being ordered by the lab. Keeping up with those changes can be a complex and time-consuming task.
The most efficient R&D laboratories typically automate as many manual processes and workflows as possible to optimize lab productivity. Two such workflows are the electronic management of both chemical inventory and the associated MSDS. Integrating MSDS management with chemical inventory management can not only resolve many of the challenges involved in ensuring access to accurate data but can also reduce the management burden and costs and streamline the associated workflows.
Find out how CISPro can easily and intuitively integrate MSDS and chemical inventory management.
Deploy a Successful Chemical Safety Management Program
ChemSW’s CISPro chemical inventory system is intimately tied in to the workflow processes of the laboratory, delivering safety information in a format compliant with regulatory requirements as well as industry quality and safety information requirements.
Current, up-to-date safety information concerning chemical inventory—particularly hazardous materials—is maintained by the chemical inventory system to ensure immediate facility-wide access to MSDS or in-house handling instructions in the event of an accident.
For instance, CISPro Global and CISPro Live allow users to define and identify GHS values for chemicals in the CISPro database. This enables companies to readily adopt and stay within compliance of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals regulation. The GHS system provides a logical and comprehensive approach to defining health, physical and environmental hazards of chemicals; creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria; and, communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and Safety Data Sheets.
Risk mitigation is an important bonus you can expect to derive from CISPro's safe management of your chemical inventory. When you know the exact quantity of a material on site and the usage rate, you will be able to reduce the quantity of that material on site, and your organization may be able to drop levels below environmental reporting thresholds. Fewer environmental reports equates to fewer management tasks, which in turn equates to reduced inventory management costs.
Find out more about how CISPro can ensure safe chemical inventory management and regulatory compliance by requesting a free copy of ChemSW's white paper Best Practices in Chemical Inventory Management.
Ensure Safe Chemical Storage Compatibility
Different chemicals must be handled, stored and managed differently. Lubricants have different storage requirements than solvents. Flammable materials must be handled differently from corrosives. It’s not enough to ensure that you know where chemicals are, provide training and information about correct handling procedures, and ensure that chemicals are stored and disposed appropriately. It is often a regulatory requirement to report to external agencies what chemicals are on site, and how and where they are stored.
For instance, because they all look virtually the same, it’s easy for organizations to lose track of their cylinder gasses. It’s not just the lab that uses cylinder gas, so do other departments. This means that cylinders can be stored all over a building or site, making it hard to not only track them, but ensure storage compatibility and safety. This is just one example of how difficult it can be to ensure safe chemical storage.
and CISPro Live
can perform real-time tracking of cylinder gas in inventory, providing complete continuous accountability of all cylinders any time, any where. You'll know exactly when cylinders were received, when empty cylinders were picked up for return by the vendor, and who signed the paperwork. CISPro enables you to manage cylinders and other materials using a common inventory system that provides details on inventory by location, whether a single building or site, or multiple facilities and locations worldwide.