Chemical Inventory

Western’s Central Chemical Inventory System

Why is it necessary?

Occupational Health and Safety is committed to helping manage and reduce the risk associated with working with hazardous materials. With governmental safety standards regarding the management of these materials continuously changing, the University has developed an online chemical inventory system in order to comply with these changes and to make future adjustments more effortless.

Why is it valuable?

This central chemical inventory has the capability to:

  • Provide unique information about each chemical
  • Save time by assisting researchers to quickly locate chemicals
  • Provide an inventory with real time updates and changes
  • Assess the present chemical hazards in a given lab and around campus
  • Avoid unnecessary repurchasing of chemicals
  • Allow for intra/inter-departmental collaboration of chemicals
  • Produce convenient and accessible reports for emergency response teams
  • Eliminate risks through awareness of potential hazards
  • Provide quick access to Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each chemical
  • Determine which chemicals are outdated and should be disposed of

 How was the current inventory developed?

The current chemical inventory is a module of WorkSafe at Western, an administrative system that supports most health and safety programs at Western. For chemicals existing in labs on August 1, 2023 - the inventory was built from a previous central inventory system referred to as HECHMET.  

For newly ordered chemicals – Upon arrival, the new chemical will be received at one of four receiving locations around campus. A barcode will be issued for that chemical at the receiving location and affixed to the chemical container and then the lab will obtain their chemical via their normal process. If a chemical reaches a lab without a barcode attached, please contact your department’s Health and Safety representative.  If the barcode is placed on the chemical packaging, please remove the barcode and attach it to the chemical container once the packaging is opened.

What is included in the inventory?

  • Generally stored chemicals
  • Flammable chemicals (including solvents and solids)
  • Oxidizers
  • Toxins (including dyes)
  • Corrosives
  • Gas cylinders
  • All controlled products
  • Retail product: bleach

What is exempt?

  • Solutions/chemicals prepared on site (require Workplace Labels)
  • Non-hazardous buffers or substances (e.g. glucose, table salt)
  • Tissue culture supplies, growth media, enzymes
  • Retail products (exception: bleach)
  • Hazardous chemicals less than 1g/m

Important links

For more information, please contact Anne Marie McCusker, Health and Safety Consultant (Laboratory), at or at extension 84741.

Published on  and maintained in Cascade CMS.