Managing chemicals on a college campus is a daunting task. However, RIT is legally required to maintain an inventory of the chemicals used, track where they are used, and ensure that the safety information regarding handling and storage of them is readily available. The basic disclosure document, which contains chemical safety information and is required by OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard, is the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). This document provides a uniform outline of the potential hazards, the physical and chemical characteristics, and information about special precautions and controls necessary for the use of a chemical.
In order to assist with the inventory and information access, the Environmental Health and Safety Department at RIT has purchased the MSDSOnline software system. Through this software, chemicals are linked to the locations where they are used and the Safety Data Sheets are kept on file for ready access. All RIT employees and students have access to this database for the purpose of finding health/safety information on any of the chemicals onsite. Computers on the RIT network can download the RIT MSDSOnline database from the application catalog. The database and SDS information can be accessed without the need to log in.
MSDSOnline provides a powerful tool for chemical owners to maintain and control their chemical inventories directly from their own web browser. It also allows the EH&S Department to review compliance status and generate annually required regulatory reports. Laboratory personnel and chemical owners are responsible for data entry and for ongoing inventory maintenance. Training on MSDSOnline can be acquired from the EH&S Department or users can refer to the MSDSOnline Guidance Sheet for directions on entering chemicals into the database.
What do Chemical Owners across RIT's campus need to inventory?
What to include in your inventory:
- All chemicals and chemical products (except those listed below)
- All compressed and liquefied gases
- Lubricants, fuels, and oils (motor oil, gasoline, diesel, vacuum pump oil)
- Aerosol cans, spray lubricants
- Paints, including spray paints
- Pesticides and Biocides
What not to include:
- Retail products used for routine household-like activities (cleansers, dish soap)
- Materials to be expended with 1-2 days (working solutions)
- Enzyme Preparations
- Radioactive materials
- Biological materials
- Non-hazardous buffers
- Growth media