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Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 33587

Chemical inventory system (erPortal) and labelling

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

Chemical inventory system (erPortal)

Chemical labelling and SDS management (Chemwatch GOLD FFX)

Chemical inventory system and labelling

The University of Waterloo has adopted erPortal's hazardous materials management system to create laboratory inventories for 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 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, or directly through your erPortal inventory.

    Getting started

    In order to begin using erPortal, you will need two user IDs and associated passwords.  

    Please email Katelyn Versteeg and indicate your name and lab location(s). You will receive a response providing you with the following:

    • One userid and password specific for the faculty member
    • One userid and password to be shared among your research group

    With these login credentials you will be able to begin using the system.  Please see the manuals attached below for more specific guidance. If your room number or common suppliers are not available in the eRPortal dropdowns, contact Katelyn Versteeg to get them added.

    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 Greg Friday at ESF 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 2015
      • Bottles with illegible labels
      • Bottles with incorrect labels
    • If you expect large changes in your inventory, you can use the Inventory Template for Importing a Laboratory Inventory and email it back to Katelyn Versteeg for a bulk upload.
    • Our updated Hazardous Materials Spills poster is available for posting to post worker log-in credentials. Contact the Safety Office for a copy.

    Alternatives to erPortal

    Having a current chemical inventory and SDS library is mandatory and the Safety Office strongly recommends the use of erPortal. This is because it links to Chem Stores purchases, is accessible for emergency purposes, the inventory links to SDSs, and is easily available during department and JHSC inspections. Yet, labratories may choose to use other methods. If a labratory chooses to use another method is must meet the following minimum requirements.

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

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

    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.
    • Only current products in the inventory may be kept in the SDS files.
    • If eRPortal is not used, an up to date paper copy of SDSs must be available for review during inspections and during emergencies.


    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.


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