Lab safety

Laboratory safety programs apply across many, if not all, campus laboratories. They are developed to ensure the health and safety of university members and to ensure regulatory compliance. The programs also set out the university's program-specific requirements as well as support education and training. The SFU Laboratory safety manual assembles key information from the SFU Laboratory safety program in a single document.

Lab hazard inventory


The online laboratory hazard inventory allows SFU to better meet important regulatory requirements. Use the system to create and manage your laboratory’s inventory of chemicals, lasers, X-ray equipment and/or high-powered magnets. Refer to the user guide for help with getting started.

Key system features include:

  • Email reminders for annual hazard sign renewal
  • User-specified email reminders for regular testing of peroxide formers
  • User-specified email notifications for out-of-stock items
  • Enables chemical sharing between laboratories, reducing over-purchasing and waste


The hazard inventory system is also used to update laboratory door hazard signs. For additional information visit our signage page.

What should be included in my chemical inventory?

As per the WorkSafeBC occupational health and safety regulations, your inventory should include hazardous substances, such as products covered by WHMIS, explosives, pesticides, hazardous wastes and consumer products. Examples include flammables, pyrophorics, oxidizers, corrosives, gas cylinders and chemicals causing health effects.  Non-hazardous items such as buffers, amino acids, sugars and growth media do not need to be included.

Do I need to include biohazardous or radioactive materials in my inventory?

No, these materials are tracked through separate systems.

When should the chemical inventory be updated?

Update your inventory on an ongoing basis to reduce over-purchasing. Review your laboratory inventory at minimum annually. The review will serve as a reminder to:

  • Check chemicals with limited shelf lives
  • Identify and remove expired or unwanted chemicals
  • Check the integrity of all storage vessels for cracks, aging or leaks
  • Prevent unnecessary purchase of chemicals already on hand