Safety Policies

SY39 Hazardous Chemical Inventory Management

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Diann Stedman, 814-865-6547,

Policy Steward: 

Director of Environmental Health and Safety



To establish a policy for the management of inventories of hazardous chemicals at all locations of The Pennsylvania State University (except the Hershey Medical Center and the College of Medicine).


All administrative and academic work units that have hazardous chemicals must establish and maintain a chemical inventory in the management system as defined herein.


Hazardous Chemical - A substance or combination of substances that because of its quantity, concentration, physical, chemical, or explosive characteristics poses a substantial present or potential danger to humans or the environment. Generally, such chemicals are classified as explosives, compressed gases (flammable and nonflammable), flammable and combustible liquids, flammable solids, oxidizers, poisons, and corrosives. This does not include biohazardous materials (e.g., oncogenic viruses, recombinant DNA, infectious agents, or blood) or radioactive materials. Additional guidance is provided in Appendix A.

Chemical Inventory Management System (CHIMS) - A centralized system coordinated by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to manage inventories of hazardous chemicals in use and storage.

Chemical Inventory Coordinator - The Environmental Health and Safety staff member who administers this program.

Departmental or Work Unit CHIMS Officer - An individual designated by the department or work unit to ensure compliance with this policy in those buildings occupied by the department or work unit.

Chemical Owner - The individual with primary responsibility for the hazardous chemicals. In research labs, this individual will usually be the principal investigator. In other work units (e.g., maintenance shops, art studios, instructional labs, etc.), this individual will usually be the director or manager of the unit. If the facility is shared among several faculty or staff, the department head may be designated as the chemical owner.

System User - An individual who is authorized by the chemical owner to manage his/her chemical inventory data in CHIMS.


This policy applies to the use and storage of all hazardous chemicals that are used by University activities such as teaching, testing and research laboratories; agricultural operations; areas where large quantities of chemicals are stored; and maintenance shops. These chemicals may cause severe illness or death, or pose substantial environmental threats when improperly stored, transported, treated or disposed.

All chemical owners, supervisors and academic and administrative work units that store hazardous chemicals shall comply with the procedures specified herein.


Chemical owners shall:

  1. Ensure that a chemical inventory is entered into CHIMS within sixty days of establishing or relocating operations within a Penn State facility. If the chemical is listed on the Chemicals of Interest (COI) as defined in the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chemical Facility Anti Terrorism Standard (CFATS) regulations, it must be entered into CHIMS immediately upon receipt.
  2. Update the chemical inventory in CHIMS at least annually.
  3. Ensure a dated hardcopy inventory report is maintained in a location that can be easily retrieved for review. 
  4. Provide written verification to the departmental/work unit CHIMS officer of completion of the annual inventory update.

Departmental/Work Unit CHIMS officers shall:

  1. Contact EHS with required building and personnel information.
  2. Be familiar with the use and features of CHIMS.
  3. Ensure that all chemical users within their areas of jurisdiction update CHIMS annually.
  4. At least annually, generate a Building Code Compliance Report for each building under their jurisdiction. A copy of this report shall be readily available upon request by EHS.
  5. Maintain ongoing communications with college and/or departmental safety officers in implementation of and compliance with this policy.

Environmental Health and Safety shall:

  1. Provide access to and set up of CHIMS.
  2. Provide training and ongoing support for use of CHIMS.
  3. Provide updated information on CHIMS as appropriate.
  4. Monitor overall University implementation and compliance with CHIMS.

Department Head or Work Unit Supervisors shall:

  1. Designate a Departmental CHIMS Officer.
  2. Ensure that new and current chemical owners under their areas of jurisdiction are aware of this policy and meet the requirements specified.
  3. Ensure budget executives and budget administrators follow requirements established here in.

Budget executives and budget administrators shall ensure that:

  1. This policy is carried out in the academic departments or administrative units for which they are responsible. This may be accomplished by designation of an academic or administrative unit-wide coordinator.


Refer to the following URL for chemical inventory management program requirements, Chemical inventory management program requirements

Additional guidance on what is considered a hazardous chemical may be found in, Appendix A


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.


Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry

Environmental Protection Agency

US Department of Homeland Security


International Fire Code 2003 Chapter 27 Hazardous Materials General Provisions 2701.5.1, 2701.5.2

SY01 - Environmental Health and Safety Policy

SY14 - Use of Radioactive Materials

SY20 - Hazardous Waste Disposal

SY24 - Use of Regulated and Biohazardous Materials in Research and Instruction

Most Recent Changes:

  • January 13, 2023 - Editorial change to update Subject Matter Expert and Policy Steward.


Revision History (and effective dates):

  • November 16, 2021 - Editorial changes.  Updates made to SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT. 

  • November 4, 2021 - Editorial changes.  Updates to the appropriate link in the RESPONSIBILITIES section.  Waste Management Logbook replaced with Satellite Accumulation Area Weekly Inspection Form.

  • November 18, 2016 - Editorial changes. Updates to the appropriate links in the RESPONSIBILITIES and PROCEDURES sections to reflect revisions to the EHS website.

  • June 19, 2014 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.
  • May 4, 2011 - New Policy

Date Approved: 

November 16, 2021

Date Published: 

November 16, 2021

Effective Date: 

November 16, 2021