No, this is NOT standard procedure, nor should it be. It is certainly reasonable for them to have access to copies of the SDS for chemicals on hand, but it is not their place to ok which chemicals you order. This is what it sounds like they want to do. You are the chemistry professor and you decide which experiments you have your students do and therefore which chemicals you need. The EH&S officer is supposed to aid you, not encumber you. Don’t give in to pressure to do this. It will be counterproductive in the long run.
Morehead State University
Our EH&S officer has decided that we have to send him the SDS for every chemical we are going to purchase so that he can review it before we are allowed to purchase the chemical. Then, he wants us to send him the SDS that came with the chemical.
Is this a standard practice? I can see reviewing SDS for very hazardous substances, but even for chemicals sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate? I can understand his reviewing the SDS for substances we've never previously used on campus.. However, I think he'll drive himself (and us) crazy if he looks over every single SDS every time we make a purchase.
I fought to get the administration to allow us to make purchases with a credit card so we could make purchases shortly before we used chemicals in class. This procedure let us order smaller quantities and has helped us reduce our inventory, since we no longer had to "over purchase", just to guarantee that we would have enough material for our classes should the purchasing paperwork get held up.
Please let me know what level of EH&S scrutiny of chemical purchases is considered standard practice at undergraduate academic institutions.
I look forward to your responses.
Janet Rogers, Ph.D.
230 Scotland Road
Edinboro, PA 16444
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