By Lee Slaton, Vice President of Healthcare; Smart Training

Last month, we discussed how to identify what products in your practice are considered hazardous. (We created a two-page guide you can download here.)

We also dismissed the notion that a practice has to keep SDS sheets for all products it uses. Your SDS book only needs to contain sheets for products deemed hazardous. I’ve seen that sentence cut the size of a practice’s SDS book by more than half!

Now that you’ve reduced the size of your SDS book, what’s next? Creating your hazardous chemical inventory list.

What is it?

A hazardous chemical inventory list is simply a list of all products your practice has that have hazardous properties.

The hazardous chemical inventory list is an OSHA-required item—and one of the first things an OSHA inspector will want to see. I’ve seen practices fined several thousand dollars for not having one.

It’s also one of the first things emergency responders will want to see if you have a fire or other emergency in your office, because it quickly identifies what products are present that could harm them.

How do you create one?

  • If you haven’t already, pare down your SDS book to only include hazardous products, and organize the SDS sheets alphabetically.
  • Make an alphabetical list of the items in your SDS book. We recommend you create it in a spreadsheet, because that makes updating it (e.g. adding or deleting a product) easy.
  • For each product, include the manufacturer name and the product name.

Now, your hazardous chemical inventory list also is the table of contents of your SDS book.

That’s all there is to it. What are you waiting for?

If you have questions regarding your SDS book and hazardous chemical inventory, you can contact Lee Slaton at