As a resolution with the EPA to meet the requirements of an SEP, UNHCEMS® was created in the fall of 2001. Since then, over thirty institutions have joined in a collaborative effort to extend the software to meet current and future needs of the group. View more information on the development and use of UNHCEMS®.
To determine if UNHCEMS® is right for your institution, read this document, view the User Guides, view an introductory training video, sign up for the demo, and share your experience with others at your institution. When you are ready to take the next step, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to request a web conference if additional information is required that is not already covered in this document, training videos, or demo. Suggest a date and time convenient for you.
Our partner, GeoInsight, is an additional resource that specializes in UNHCEMS® deployment strategies and on-site training. GeoInsight's UNHCEMS® support services are priced independently.
We strive to ensure all information necessary in evaluating UNHCEMS is available on this web site. If you feel something is missing, or need additional clarification, please email email@example.com with your questions. We often include questions asked by other institutions in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this web site.
Contact our licensing specialist at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the latest license agreement.
The agreement and above pricing are for a single geographical location (single campus) where UNHCEMS® has been installed for in-house chemical inventory management purposes. It does not include multiple campuses of a single entity, including satellite campuses.
UNHCEMS® does not have an absolute set of requirements because they vary based on number of simultaneous connections, network environment, and whether other OS services are running. Most sites will run CEMS on an existing Apache web server. You may decide to do the same and if performance becomes a problem, buy a dedicated server. Your CEMS license does not tie you to specific hardware. UNH hosts six CEMS sites on one server with the following specification.
You may find the following information useful in deciding if UNHCEMS® fits into your institution. Feel free to contact email@example.com if you have questions.
Any computer with Internet connection running a current standards based web browser such as Internet Explorer >= 9, Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari is required to access CEMS. Each computer that will be used to add inventory, should also have a barcode scanner, and preprinted barcodes. Make sure the barcode type you choose is plastic coated and cold resistant. When ordering barcodes, use unique numeric Code 128 barcodes with at least 9 digits (preceding zeros are OK). UNHCEMS® customers can receive a discount when ordering from https://idlabelinc.com/ or (847) 265-1200.
Any generic barcode scanner will work. You can confirm compatibility by verifying that the scanner supports Code 128 on the specification sheet. It is difficult to make exact recommendations because the products change frequently. Some of the scanners also support Bluetooth integration and may be used with mobile devices.
If you plan on using the NFPA Door Sign Maker, you may want to plan on getting door sign holders (module 8.11). UNHCEMS® door signs can be printed on regular 8.5x11 paper with any laser / ink jet printer.
From experience we have found the following steps to work well for most sites. Feel free to consult us on how this plan can be altered to fit the needs of your institution.
Key stakeholders should form a group to evaluate UNHCEMS. Start the evaluation by visiting the UNHCEMS info site http://cems-info.sr.unh.edu, watch an introductory training video, review documentation, and sign up for the demo. The demo contains a full version of the software which is available for all members of your institution. If the group has questions, email the UNHCEMS support staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
estimated time: 1 month
Stakeholders should identify areas where the software needs to be extended to meet institutional needs. Communicate these needs with the UNHCEMS support staff at email@example.com. Evaluate which items are required at the intial roll out. Prioritize remaining items for future development.
estimated time: 1 week
A CEMS database administrator is responsible for executing the project plan, maintaining data in the system, providing on site user support/training, and will be the primary contact when requesting additional support from UNH. Most sites utilize existing EH&S staff to fill this need. A CEMS database administrator must have general knowledge in how a database, spreadsheet, web browser, and record forms function. The CEMS database administrator does not need expertise in SQL, programming languages, or server administration.
Communicate your decision to the UNHCEMS licensing manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
estimated time: 2 months
After UNH receives the signed license agreement and subscription fee, the UNHCEMS software will be made available. For UNH hosted sites, the site usually is available within 1-2 business days. After the installation is complete the designated CEMS database administrator will receive a welcome email with instructions on how to set a password.
estimated time: 1 week
The designated CEMS database administrator should familiarize themselves with their new CEMS site by adding new chemical inventory, user, department, SDS records. Additional training videos and documentation are available within the CEMS system. Additional online training is available by contacting UNHCEMS support at: email@example.com. If on site support is required please contact GeoInsight.
estimated time: 1 week
The best way to collect an initial inventory is to gather workers in teams of two and inventory locations throughout your institution. Hiring and training students over their summer break is one of the easiest ways to approach this hurdle. One team member will be responsible for handling containers, and the other one responsible for data entry. The process of entering a container usually entails typing in a product number, verifying chemical information, then scanning a barcode. From past initial inventories, we have found that each team of two can inventory approximately 45 containers per hour. Make sure each team has a computer that can access the internet, a scanner, and a roll of barcodes. The initial inventory is also a great time to do lab clean outs.
estimated time: 3 months
Set up one or more areas where new inventory can be inspected and barcoded. It is very important that all new chemical containers get into the system. The best way to ensure that this happens is to have trained users take delivery and enter the containers into CEMS. This requires that all users within your institution address their chemical orders to the receipt and transfer station. Most vendors and delivery persons will also route all shipments to a designated address. Each receipt and transfer station will need a computer meeting the client requirements.
estimated time: 1 month
Formulate a policy defining what groups of chemicals need to be tracked. From experience we recommend:
Once the inventory is in the system, advertise CEMS to your institution. Set up some training sessions and require all employees working with chemicals to attend. You may also want to contact your human resources department monthly to get a list of new employees so that you can contact them. Once enough users have accounts, word will spread and users will start requesting accounts directly from the CEMS site.
Once the inventory is in the system, start looking into how other modules such as NFPA Door Signs, Compliance Reporting, and Emergency Response may fit into your institution.
After using CEMS for a period of time, institutions may discover they have additional needs than what the system provides. Please communicate these needs to the UNHCEMS support staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is often the case that your needs are also the needs of the other subscribers. When this is the case, UNHCEMS support staff will implement new features and deploy them to all sites. Custom site modifications are also available.
The CEMS dashboard contains a My Responsibilities section that is custom tailored for each user. In this section, CEMS automatically displays to do tasks. For example the following reports, when enabled, may appear on a user's My Responsibilities. The success of a CEMS site depends on user response to their assigned responsibilities.