Chemical Acquisition, Inventory, Storage, Transport & Disposal

When chemicals are purchased, the shipment must follow the requirements of Transport Canada as well as any other requirement that may be set by international, federal and provincial regulators or the Department of Safety & Risk Services. Once a chemical is received, proper storage is a proactive means to mitigate the risk associated with the hazards of the chemical. An accurate inventory can provide the basis for ensuring that appropriate safety measures are in place. Lastly, when a chemical nears the end of its lifecycle, proper disposal is crucial to maintain compliance with the relevant legislation.

Acquiring & Transporting Chemicals

What is required for acquiring and transporting chemicals?

All persons who import, handle, offer for transport, or transport dangerous goods must have documented training specific to the TDG Class(es) they are dealing with. This documentation must include a valid TDG training certificate, the training course materials and an orientation specific to the tasks and workplace they work in. Without facility and task specific training, personnel will be considered by Transport Canada as being untrained regardless of the training certificates held.

This means any UBC employee or student ordering reagents, putting compressed gas cylinders in storage areas for pick up by Praxair or packaging chemical waste for pick up must have certified, documented training specific to the class of dangerous goods and the means of transport used. Check Schedule 3 of the TDG Regulations, an alphabetized, searchable list of dangerous goods to see if your chemical of interest is a dangerous good. If yes, please ensure that the purchaser has a valid TDG training, certification & orientation prior to placing the order.

^ Back to Top

Chemical Inventory

What is required for the safe handling of the chemical inventory?

A chemical inventory must identify all hazardous substances like:

  • Controlled products covered by WHMIS
  • Explosives
  • Pesticides
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Hazardous Wastes
  • Consumer Products

The chemical inventory must include the following information:

  • Nature of the substance
  • Location
  • Approximate quantity
  • Location of the (M)SDS

The inventory must be maintained and reviewed at least once a year. At the same time, check to see that adequate emergency supplies and procedures are available to handle spills exposures to any chemical in your inventory.

^ Back to Top

Chemical Storage

What is required for safe chemical storage?

Hazardous chemicals should be stored under the correct condition and segregated from other incompatible chemicals as a proactive means to minimize the formation of unstable or toxic products.

General Storage Guidelines:

  • Purchase small quantities that can be used up in a year
  • Working quantities (small containers of chemicals that are used daily or frequently) can be stored in cupboards or low shelving (below eye level) equipped with either sliding doors or slips that will prevent containers from falling off the shelves
  • Do not store chemicals other than dilute reagents in work areas such as open work benches or shelving on the work benches

Segregate based on:

Volume of flammable liquids allowed in the laboratory:

  • 5L is the maximum total volume allowed in an individual original container
  • 10L is the maximum total volume allowed in the open lab
  • 25L is the maximum total volume allowed if using safety cans outside flammable cabinet
  • 500L is the total volume allowed in one room in all flammable cabinets combined of which no more than 250L are flammable liquids (flash point
  • Note: Flammable liquid storage cabinets should contain only flammable or combustible organic materials

^ Back to Top

Hazardous Waste Disposal

What is required for safe disposal of chemical hazardous waste?

All products, substances, wastes and byproducts that are dangerous to the environment or to human beings and are no longer of use must be disposed of safely and in a timely manner. It is important to know what and how much waste will be generated by an experiment or set of experiments and how to dispose of it in advance of doing the experimental work.

There are many categories of chemical waste and so many different waste streams. Refer to Hazardous Waste Management for information about chemical waste disposal

^ Back to Top

Chemical Safety Resources & Documents

How to find additional Chemical Safety Information?

^ Back to Top