Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

An SOP is a documented set of instructions, used to standardize a method and communicate hazards for a specific procedure, process, chemical class, chemical or piece of equipment. Below are specific examples of where SOPs may be required.

Chemical Classes

Commonly used chemical hazard classes are often treated in a similar manner, and a hazard class SOP is sufficient to document the safe use and handling of the entire class. University Health and Safety has created hazard class SOP templates with general recommendations of safe use and storage of several hazard classes of chemicals. As always, customize the SOP to fit your own lab-specific limitations.

Examples: flammables, oxidizers, reactives, corrosives, compressed gases, toxics

Individual Chemicals

Certain high-hazard chemicals may require their own SOP, especially if special working procedures are required or if the hazard posed by the chemical requires special emergency treatment upon exposure.

Examples: hydrofluoric acid, osmium tetroxide


Some laboratory equipment may require the use of an SOP for safe and proper use. Consider SOPs for equipment that involves high hazard operations (i.e. high/low temperature, high/low pressure, etc.)

Examples: UV lights, rotary evaporators, glove boxes, anaerobic chambers, lasers

Chemical Process or Procedures

Common lab chemical processes or procedures may require an SOP depending on the hazard level and the desire for reproducibility. For hazardous lab processes, an SOP should document the finding of a hazard assessment of the process.

Examples: acid digestion, acid or base cleaning baths, hydrogenation reactions

Your lab-specific SOPs must be documented in your LSP.

Hazard Class SOP Templates
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