Fire Code Reporting within Reach for Your Inventory
Do you spend the months of February and March in crunch time to meet regulatory report deadlines? Accurate, real-time fire code reports may be just a double click away with the right chemical inventory system. Fire code reports are an integral part of a lab management strategy. The ideal lab situation starts with safe lab construction, fire code compliance and safety training. Fire code compliance and reports are a key precautionary step that will save lives in the case of an accident. The information on the hazardous chemicals in the building goes to the local fire departments that will respond to an emergency.
If we keep the reports in mind when we set up a lab, then reporting can be easily dovetailed with inventory management. Better inventory management and reporting means avoiding any costly audit penalties. It’s never too late to start, so even existing labs can take advantage of chemical inventory software that creates fire code reports for you.
This month at the ChemSW blog, we are covering fire code reporting, and there is one more essential resource to mention before the month is over. For the EH&S professional who is looking for a good review of fire code reporting, here is a recent AIHA webinar to check out, sponsored by ChemSW.
Online Webinar about Fire Code Reports
In the fire code reporting webinar mentioned above, you can listen to Jeff Tarter, chemical industry expert, and Bryan Billings, ChemSW inventory management consultant, as they lead you through industry best practices.
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reports and Tier II Inventory reports set reporting quantities in the hundreds or thousands of pounds for regulated materials. However, when we look at the International Fire Code, the reporting quantities are much more stringent. This makes sense because the fire code is looking at hazard classifications, not individual chemicals. In the lab, we look at isopropyl alcohol, ethanol and methanol as different entities of course, but for fire code reporting, they are all just Class 1-B Flammable Liquids.
The EH&S professionals in the house will know that the IFC is looking for submittal of a Hazardous Materials Management Plan (HMMP) along with a Hazardous Materials Inventory Statement (HMIS). In this statement, the reportable quantity for many hazard categories may be one gallon or one pound or “any amount.” Looking through the hazard classification of every single chemical on-site can be a monumental task, so let’s look at inventory solutions.
Why Manual Spreadsheets Aren’t Best Practices
In some labs, we may still see manual inventory practices with researchers filling out spreadsheets. But when it comes time to generate reports, there may be a point when it is not efficient to pull this information for reporting through these manual processes. There may be cases of out-of-date spreadsheets, researchers turning in the same spreadsheet year after year with no changes, or oh no! not including enough information on spreadsheets to complete reports. Also, with this method, classifying all the chemicals would require hours of research to compile the hazard classes. The EH&S professionals could accomplish so much in that time.
Chemical Inventory Management Software Will Make the Reports for You
Labs are looking to chemical inventory management software for real time inventory data. They want to know, what materials are on site? Where are they located? In what control areas? Are they in compliance? If you can deliver the answers at any given moment, then the lab is ready, set, go for an ad hoc audit and the yearly reports. ChemSW’s CISPro™ is a software solution that will bar code and track chemicals from entry to disposal. It is also accessible on multiple devices, with email reminders when maximum allowable quantities are reached or chemicals are about to expire. Leveraging this bar code technology will enable turnkey regulatory reports for not just fire code reporting, but also HMIS, Tier II, and Title 19. Hey, that’s time and money back in the lab’s pocket.
For more goodies on fire code reporting, take a look at the webinar above and come visit ChemSW.com to find out more about our services.