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Section XVI

Standard operating procedures (SOP) are intended to provide you with general guidance on how to safely work with a specific class of chemicals or type of hazard. While SOPs provide only general guidance, observance of all the safety practices listed in them is mandatory. If compliance with all the requirements of a specific standard operating procedure is not possible, the principal investigator must develop a written procedure that will be used in its place. This alternate procedure must provide the same level of protection as the SOP it replaces. The Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety is available to provide guidance during the development of alternate procedures.

In order to provide flexibility, standard operating procedures are generic in nature. They address the use and handling of substances by hazard class only. In some instances multiple SOPs may be applicable for a specific chemical (i.e., both the SOPs for flammable liquids and carcinogens would apply to benzene). If you have questions concerning the applicability of any item listed in this procedure contact the Office of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety (898-4453) or the Principal Investigator of your laboratory.

There are currently fourteen standard operating procedures written for the university. Additional SOPs will be added on an as needed basis. Current SOPs are available for:


Laboratory Fact Sheets are available below:

How to use SOPs

The Standard Operating Procedures in the following section are written for situations where the quantity of chemical that is handled is large enough to pose a risk to the worker. Obviously if you are working with microliter quantities of flammable liquid you do not need to work in a fume hood. Similarly, microgram quantities of most acutely toxic materials can be safely handled on the bench top rather than in a fume hood or glove box. The selection of the control mechanism (i.e., fume hood, biosafety cabinet, glove box) must be based on the quantity and the particular hazard of the chemical you work with. Questions concerning proper handling procedures should be directed to your Principal Investigator or to Environmental Health and Radiation Safety.