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Chemicals

These chemical safety tips provide a basic set of guidelines for the safe use and management of hazardous materials in laboratories, workshops or studios. These safety tips should be supplemented with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), available on the Laboratory Safety page. Follow these tips to help keep you and others safe.

Ongoing lab maintenance

Receiving, storing and working with chemicals

  • All chemicals must be received through Ryerson Shipping and Receiving so that they can be barcoded into Ryerson’s chemical inventory system, Vertére. To create an account in Vertére, follow the instructions on the Chemical Safety page.
  • Adhere to proper storage practices for hazardous materials, especially corrosive, flammable and combustible chemicals. Best practices for chemical storage can be found in the Laboratory Safety Manual on the Laboratory Safety page.
  • All chemicals require workplace labels when a supplier label is not present. Visit the Chemical Safety page and follow the instructions to order labels. Download and print the How to Complete Chemical Workplace Labels poster which outlines instructions on how to complete labels.
  • When stored over time, high risk chemicals pose additional risks by becoming unstable (i.e. picric acid and peroxide forming compounds). Ensure these are disposed of prior to their expiry date and/or stored under conditions set out in their related Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).
  • When using hazardous materials, always ensure that the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is used. For required PPE to handle chemicals, refer to the SDSs. Guidelines on selection, use and maintenance can be found in our Personal Protective Equipment Manual, found on the Personal Protective Equipment page.  

Disposing of chemicals and managing emergencies and spills

  • Do not dispose of any hazardous materials, including chemicals, down the drain or in the regular garbage. Follow the proper hazardous waste procedures as outlined on the Chemical Safety page.
  • In case of emergencies or spills of hazardous materials, refer to SDSs and follow the proper emergency response and spill procedures outlined in the Laboratory Safety Manual on the Laboratory Safety page.

Additional chemical and laboratory safety resources

For more information, including roles, responsibilities and requirements to assist workers who may be exposed to a range of chemical and physical hazards, visit the Chemical Safety page and Laboratory Safety page.

Visit the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, external link for additional safety resources.