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How to create a chemicals inventory

07/06/2022 / General help and advice / posted by

If you are moving chemicals to a new location, it is essential that you create an inventory detailing all the substances being handled and transported.

A chemicals inventory will identify any potential safety risks so that everyone involved in the relocation project knows what substances they will be handling and if they need to be kept in certain conditions.

To create a chemical inventory, a record must be made of the every substance and its chemical name, along with the following details:

  • The hazard class the chemical belongs to
  • The product name
  • The name of the manufacturer and their contact information
  • The type of container it is stored in and its capacity
  • The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). These are technical documents which provide information on controlled products, including a hazard evaluation relating to handling and storage and what procedures must be followed if anyone is exposed to the chemical.
  • Date of purchase – this is because some chemicals have a limited shelf life. This detail will help you identify anything which should be safely disposed of before the move
  • The quantity of each type of chemical

What are the different hazard classes?

There are nine hazard classes chemicals can belong to:

  • Class 1 – explosive substances
  • Class 2 – gases – this class is further broken down into flammable gases, non-flammable and non-toxic gases which could cause asphyxiation and toxic gases
  • Class 3 – flammable liquids
  • Class 4 – flammable solids – this class is broken down into self-reactive substances and solid desensitised explosives; substances liable to spontaneous combustion; and substances which emit flammable gases when in contact with water
  • Class 5 – Oxidising substances and organic peroxides
  • Class 6 – Toxic and infectious substances
  • Class 7- Radioactive material
  • Class 8 – Corrosive substances
  • Class 9 – Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

Once the chemicals inventory has been completed, it should be given to a dangerous goods safety advisor (DGSA) who can make sure any dangerous goods are kept separate from any other items involved in the move. They will also advise you on how the dangerous goods should be labelled and packed.

All paperwork should be completed and signed off by the DGSA and an ADR-trained driver before the chemicals are moved.

Even if you are not planning a laboratory relocation, it is a good idea to have a comprehensive inventory of all the chemicals on your site along with details of where they are stored and used.


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