This page provides more information on chemical inventories, labelling, and SDS management at the University of Waterloo. 

The University of Waterloo is transitioning from eRPortal to Risk and Safety Solutions

We will have a 2-3 month inventory down time. All labs should complete the Data Transfer Form to request their erPortal data and provide the safety office with necessary information for the transfer.

Chemical inventory system and labelling

The University of Waterloo is in the process of creating inventories for all individual labs and laboratory groups. The purpose of this initiative is to comply with the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Act and to reduce the overall risk associated with using, handling, and storing chemical products or agents.

To be clear, any laboratory without a current and up to date laboratory inventory and associated SDSs is in contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The University of Waterloo also has access to Chemwatch GOLD FFX to help manage SDSs and chemical labelling on campus. Chemwatch can be accessed through this page for the next six months.

    Developing a Chemical Inventory Through the Software Transition

    Starting from Scratch

    For those that have not yet created a chemical inventory, use the Inventory Template for Importing a Laboratory Inventory in preparation for the new chemical software. All Yellow fields are mandatory. Please email your completed copy to Katelyn Versteeg

    For those who are just starting your laboratory inventory review, here are a couple of recommendations to help with the process:

    • Take the opportunity to discard of old chemicals that will never be used, rather than take the manpower to relabel and add to your inventory. Contact if you expect to be discarding large quantities of chemicals. More information is available on our Hazardous Waste Website.
    • Similarly, inspect bottles for damage during the inventory process.
    • Remember that only some bottles need relabeling. These are:
      • Bottles labelled prior to WHMIS 2015 (The suppliers were legally required to have their labels transitioned to WHMIS 2015 by December 1, 2018)
      • Bottles with illegible labels
      • Bottles with incorrect labels

    Maintaining a Previous eRPortal Inventory

    For those of your who used eRPortal and would like to maintain your existing inventory. Request an excel copy of your inventory using the Data Trasfer Form. From this excel form you may add, delete, and edit items. The excel form will be sent in a format that allows for bulk upload to the new system. Again, all Yellow fields are mandatory. 

    Alternatives to Safety Supplied Inventory Software

    Having a current chemical inventory and SDS library is mandatory and the Safety Office strongly recommends the use of of the Safety Office provided software as it is accessible for emergency purposes, has accessible SDSs, and aids in regulatory reporting. Yet, currently, laboratories may choose to use other methods. If a laboratory chooses to use another method it must meet the following minimum requirements.

    The inventory must include for each chemical the similar components of erPortal:

    • Date purchased
    • Location
    • CAS Number(s)
    • Description/Name
    • Number of Containers
    • Size
    • Expiration Date (if applicable)
    • Physical State

    For the SDSs:

    • SDSs must for available for each worker. If using a digital system, workers must be able to log in to their system on their own and should not have to rely on a lab manager or supervisor for access. SDSs must be up to date and maintained.
    • Only current products in the inventory may be kept in the SDS files.
    • If workers are not able to log into the online system, an up to date paper copy of SDSs must be available.


    Making Custom Labels in Microsoft Word

    Not all chemical labels format well in Chemwatch so there may be times that you will want to make customized labels in Microsoft Word. The following templates can be used to create labels based on Avery labels.

    To help determine if you labels require redoing, you may use this document to Compare Pictogram Types to determine if a label if from WHMIS 2015


    The following templates and manuals will help you navigate and use the erPortal and Chemwatch systems.  Please open the appropriate links below to continue: