HECHMET (Vertére) Chemical Inventory System

The University of Guelph has joined an ever-growing number of universities across Canada in adopting the HECHMET system for hazardous materials management. This system is based on Vertere’s chemical inventory management module and will work to ensure that we have up-to-date inventories that are easily accessible while providing valuable information for regulatory reporting and incident response.

Implementation of this system began in Spring 2020 with full roll-out expected in approximately 2 years.


What is HECHMET?

HECHMET is based on the Vertére Inventory Manager (VIM) software, a modular, web-based enterprise application used to track chemicals and other materials within the university working environment. Hazardous chemicals are tagged with a unique barcode label that cross-references to:

  • Storage location
  • Principal Investigator (PI) responsible for the item
  • Chemical properties and information
  • SDS-related information through ChemWatch

Other information (e.g., information is secured using Access Levels)

The chemical inventory system allows the University of Guelph to effectively:

  • Track chemicals from receipt to disposal using barcode labels
  • Monitor the locations and types of hazardous materials present
  • Facilitate appropriate disposal
  • Comply with regulatory requirements
  • Encourage sharing among colleagues to reduce waste and cost


Initial inventory set-up

User and location trees will be created within the Hechmet inventory by EHS. In the future, 2 co-op students will come to your lab during a predetermined period, add barcode labels to the chemicals and enter the chemicals into your lab-specific inventory.

Ongoing inventory maintenance

Procedures will vary between buildings and/or departments. Preferably locations will have a receiving site identified with a departmental representative who will apply a barcode label and assign the chemical to the labs.

What is to be included in the inventory?

  • Flammable/combustible liquids
  • Flammable solids
  • Oxidizers
  • Organic peroxides
  • Toxins/poisons (e.g. biological toxins, dyes, adhesives)
  • Corrosives
  • Hazardous formulations
  • Controlled products and substances
  • Compressed Gas cylinders

What is NOT included?

  • Dilutions and solutions prepared on-site
  • Stains and dyes for making microscope slides 
  • Non-hazardous buffers
  • Tissue culture supplies
  • Biological growth media (e.g. agar)
  • Enzyme preparations
  • Products available for retail purchase (e.g. household cleaners, paint thinner)
  • Hazardous chemicals under 1 g or 1 ml in weight or volume
  • Radioactive materials
  • Biohazardous materials
  • Non-hazardous substances (e.g. glucose, sodium bicarbonate)

While the chemical inventory offers various advantages to the entire University community, users are also able to use it to:

  • Search by chemical name, location, room
  • Retrieve the SDS for chemicals
  • Export or print search results for future reference

All Principal Investigators and laboratories will be provided with a unique username and password via email.

How to order chemicals to ensure your inventory is accurate

All-new chemicals shipped to your department will be barcoded and entered the U of Guelph VERTERE Chemical Inventory. A designated staff member in your department will barcode the chemical and enter it into the system to the appropriate lab and primary investigator (i.e. researcher). All this work will be done for you and will ensure the accuracy of your inventory and allow for the process efficiency.

When purchasing chemicals, it is very important that you include the lab location to which the chemicals will be going (lab room number in your building) as all lab locations have been assigned to PI’s in the VERTERE chemical inventory. Doing so will assist the barcoding individual in assigning a chemical to the appropriate lab location. 

If you receive a chemical that does not have a barcode on it, please contact the designated person in your department so that chemical can be barcoded and entered it into the system.


HECHMET (Vertere) Getting Started

Accessing the Database

Once you have received your login and password from EHS,

  1. Log in to Vertere Chemical Inventory Login.
  2. There is only one module right now "Chemical". Click on "Chemical".
  3. From the left-hand menu, click on View/Update under the “Chemical” heading to view your chemical inventory.

Searching your Chemicals

  1. Searching your Chemicals Procedure

Accessing the SDS 

  1. First click on View/Update and follow the instructions for viewing a chemical above.
  2. The last column has CW – this stands for ChemWatch which is an SDS database.
  3. Click on the CW for the chemical of interest and it will pull up the SDS.

Transferring your Chemicals*

*Only available to the Inventory Manager (most people have View Only access) 

  1. Transferring your Chemicals Procedure.

Changing the Barcode Number (if entered incorrectly)

  1. View/Update (instructions above).
  2. Choose the chemical by clicking the box to the left.
  3. Click on "Change Tag".
  4. Enter in correct tag number and save.

Removing Chemicals from the Inventory

  1. Rinse the empty container and remove hazardous waste for our hazardous waste contractor to scan on a Friday waste day.
  2. Remove the barcode from the empty/waste container, affix it to the Barcode Disposal Sheet and mail to EHS, Alexander Hall room 162. Please do not email, scan or fax this sheet because the barcodes become distorted.
  3. In the future you will also be able to place empty bottle with your hazardous waste and the barcode on the empty bottle will be scanned by the hazardous waste contractor. Once the bottle is scanned, discard the empty bottle as per established procedures or reuse for hazardous waste if desired.