It is essential that an annual chemical stocktake is conducted to ensure the safety of all personnel and compliance with legislative requirements for the storage and use of chemicals.
The role of the annual stocktake within the chemical management system is to ensure that:
- the Register of Hazardous Substances and Manifest of Dangerous Goods is accurate
- Material Safety Data Sheets are current and available for all substances
- all substances are appropriately labelled
- substances are correctly stored and dangerous goods segregated
- products no longer in use are disposed of appropriately.
Annual chemical stocktake procedure using ChemAlert
The annual chemical stocktake should be a part of the chemical management system for each school or section. It should be used in conjunction with ChemAlert and procedures provided by Safety and Health.
Chem Alert allows stock inventories and storage incompatibility reports for chemical storage locations to be printed, and these can be checked against the physical holdings during the stocktake. If ChemAlert is being used the stocktake process should involve:
- printing stock holding report and storage incompatibility report for the area being audited
- checking physical holdings against the stockholding report
- checking labelling and replacing damaged or deficient labels using ChemAlert
- checking storage of chemicals (for example, that there is nothing in fume cupboards)
- correcting any storage incompatibilities identified in the storage incompatibility report
- disposing of chemicals no longer in use
- update the ChemAlert register to reflect physical holdings.
If the stocktake is performed in this way it will ensure that:
- a current register of hazardous substances is available
- a current manifest of dangerous goods is available
- current Material Safety Data Sheets are available for all products
- all products are correctly labelled, stored and segregated.
Chemicals no longer in use
The annual chemical stocktake should identify any products that are no longer in use or are too old or deteriorated to be of future use. These products should be disposed of appropriately, or donated to an area that has use for them. This can be organised through contacting the Chemical and Safety Adviser.