Basic Steps to Comply with Government Regulations


When government inspectors visit MU to determine compliance with hazardous waste regulations, they frequently visit laboratories and other locations where hazardous materials are used. EHS recommends the following eight steps to ensure that all areas are in compliance with these regulations:

  • Label All Containers: Each container must have the chemical name displayed. Unwanted hazardous materials must have a Hazardous Materials Label.

  • Accumulation Start Date: Each container of unwanted hazardous materials must show the date (month/day/year) when accumulation began. There is a box on the yellow Hazardous Materials Label for this information.

  • Dispose of Unwanted Hazardous Materials in a Timely Fashion: According to MU policy, all containers of unwanted hazardous materials are to be turned over to EHS within six months of the accumulation start date.

  • Avoid Large Accumulations of Unwanted Hazardous Materials: Do not accumulate more than 25 gallons of unwanted hazardous materials. For Acutely Hazardous Materials, do not accumulate more than one pint. Contact EHS for removal before these limits are reached.

  • Securely Fasten Lids: Lids on containers of unwanted hazardous materials must be securely fastened except when filling or removing materials from the container. Do not leave open funnels in containers or open containers in fume hoods.

  • Segregate Hazardous Materials by Hazard Class: Do not store solely by alphabetical order.

  • Use Compatible Containers and Closures: Containers for unwanted hazardous materials must be of good condition and not react with the unwanted hazardous materials they hold.

  • Good Housekeeping: Good housekeeping is the most important action to improve safety and minimize waste. Clean up spills promptly and thoroughly. Do not overfill containers. Make sure storage and work areas are not cluttered, so that visitors are presented with a good visual impression and no suggestion of general mismanagement.