Risk Management & Safety


Knowing what chemicals are present in a particular room on campus can be vital not only to keeping those materials and those around them safe, but also to assist the users of those chemicals in easily knowing how much of any one material they have. Risk Management and Safety's Chemical Inventory management program is tasked with maintaining the inventory of all hazardous chemicals on campus through CHIMERA. These listings allow RMS to obtain Safety Data Sheets for those chemicals that may pose a hazard to those working with them, while also providing a simple means for lab personnel to track what materials are in their possession. The chemical inventory process also assists RMS in complying with current and future policies mandated by federal, state, and local regulations—such as those set by the Department of Homeland Security: Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards.

The inventory process is quick and easy for most rooms. Inventory can be scheduled around sensitive times, such as during the performance of experiments, if the Chemical Inventory specialists at RMS are contacted beforehand. Follow-up visits may sometimes be required to verify certain chemical data, and rarely take longer than the time to find the chemical alone.

Receiving of Chemicals

In addition to the inventory process, Risk Management & Safety works with Central Receiving to ensure that the inventory shown in CHIMERA is as close to real-time as possible, and to ensure Safety Data Sheets for new chemicals are on-hand. Packages processed through chemical receiving are not delayed from the original delivery date, and are delivered directly to their intended locations after being inventoried.

Frequently asked questions

Who should I contact with questions or issues involving shipments?
Contact UNLV Receiving and have the shipper's bar code number (FedEX, UPS, DHL, etc.) which is used to track the status of your item.
How are chemical shipments identified?
Some, but not all, chemical shipping containers are marked with DOT (Department of Transportation) labels indicating the hazards of the contents; flammable liquid, oxidizer, toxic, dangerous when wet, corrosive, etc. Also, well known chemical suppliers such as Sigma-Aldrich, Fisher Scientific, Alfa Aesar, Strem Chemicals, and others (Bio-Rad), suggest chemical contents.
How are non-chemical items from vendors of chemicals identified or handled?
Some chemical suppliers such as Sigma-Aldrich, Fisher, VWR and others also supply non-chemical items such as laboratory equipment, glassware, etc. In some cases, boxes have external markings identifying the contents (such as beakers or pipettes), which alleviate the need for further inspection. Any box transferred to RMS by UNLV's receiving department will be opened to check for chemicals. Boxes that do not contain chemicals will be immediately re-sealed, and delivered on the same day they were received.
How are biological samples or animal shipments handled?
Samples containing biological materials are usually externally labeled (identifying the contents) and will not be intercepted. Animal shipments will not be intercepted by RMS.
How are cold-packed shipments handled?
Perishable items are usually shipped on dry ice and externally labeled (identifying the contents) will not be intercepted by RMS.
Will chemical bottles be completely removed from their packaging for inventory and will they be re-packaged for delivery?
Chemicals will be removed from their packaging (except containers in metal cans) to place a UNLV Bar Code label on each container, then re-packaged in the same manner as originally sent by the supplier and according to federal DOT (Department of Transportation) regulations.
What if the chemical bottle is packaged inside a metal can? Will the can be opened?
No. Metal cans containing chemicals will not be opened. The item will be inventoried and a notification and a barcode will be tapped to the can. Please, place the barcode on the chemical after opening the metal can.
I paid extra for express overnight delivery of my chemicals. Will they be delivered to me the same day they arrived at UNLV?
These packages will be intercepted by RMS, and delivered on the same day. However, if the buyer needs it prior to the RMS delivery, they can go to receiving and pick it up.
What do I do if I receive a chemical that accidentally hasn't been intercepted and bar-coded?
You can inventory the chemical yourself using CHIMERA, or contact Robert Deaver at robert.deaver@unlv.edu or (702) 895-4386 with your name, the building and room where the chemical is used/stored and a phone number where you can be reached. An RMS staff member will contact you and visit your lab to inventory the item. Please keep the box until after RMS arrives so that we can better understand why the item was overlooked, but please proceed with your use of the item.
What happens if RMS breaks a bottle while doing the inventory?
The purchaser will be notified and RMS will replace the item.
What happens if the container was broken by the shipper and was found to be leaking when delivered?
If a chemical container is found to be broken due to shipping (not due to RMS activities), RMS will notify the purchaser, so a claim can be filed with the manufacturer to replace the item. The event will be documented, and the contents of broken chemical containers will be moved to the university's hazardous waste accumulation area. Once it is safe to do so, the other items in the package will be delivered to the purchaser as soon as possible.
What about large gas cylinders such as those containing nitrogen, oxygen, acetylene, carbon dioxide and other common and frequently used gases? They are usually delivered directly to my lab by the supplier. Do they need to be delivered to central receiving?
No, do not instruct suppliers to send large gas cylinders containing the gases listed above to receiving. You may continue with the delivery of large gas cylinders directly to your lab from the supplier. Medium sized cylinders and small lecture bottles with custom gas mixtures or specialty gases can however be delivered to receiving, especially if a local supplier is not available and the item is shipped via traditional shippers (UPS, FedEx or Ground Fright).
What about cryogenic liquids, such as liquid nitrogen and helium?
If they are currently delivered directly to your lab or re-filled in your lab, you can continue that practice.
This document was last modified on October 26, 2016.