After the physical inventory, it is critical to continue the chemical management process with the creation of a safe, organized, and easily understandable, storage system with proper color-coded labeling of all chemicals, a listing of hazardous properties, purchase date and expiration date. Many different viable storage patterns exist; however, vertical and horizontal compatibility of chemicals must be considered with any plan. A sample of the Flinn Scientific plan is included in each sector folder.
As with the inventory process, after the initial reorganization of the chemical storage areas, annual reviews should be conducted to ensure the integrity of both the chemicals and the structures holding them. In addition, all chemical storage facilities should be locked with limited access by students. A central folder with all MSDS sheets should be kept within each department for easy access.
Proper storage and handling is critical for the safety of both staff and students, and more than any other facet of chemical management will help to minimize the risk of chemical accidents.
In addition to storage and labeling checklists found within the individual sector folders, the storage-labeling point person will find the following helpful files in the Storage & Labelingsub-section in the Administration section of the Toolkit:
- Storage – Chemical Storage Patterns
- Storage – Organic Table
- Storage – Inorganic Table