Laboratory Safety


A safe operating procedure (SOP) is a document that describes the safe handling, use and disposal of hazardous chemicals. An SOP can be procedure or process specific, chemical specific, hazard class specific, or equipment specific.

Which Chemicals Need an SOP?

According to the USF Chemical Hygiene Plan, SOPs must be developed and made available to laboratory personnel. A determination for developing an SOP will be made in collaboration with the USF Laboratory Safety program staff and the Principal Investigator.

Always follow Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs) approved by your supervisor. Written procedures are required for work involving hazardous chemicals including EPA p-listed, DHS listed, carcinogens, toxic gases, time-sensitive, and pyrophoric. These classifications are automatically identified in your HITS inventory.

For a list of specific chemicals recommended to have an SOP please use this tool Extremely Hazardous Chemicals Chart

Due to the chemical and physical hazards associated with some extremely hazardous chemicals, specific guidelines are provided below to assist you in developing SOPs for these types of chemicals, along with some examples of SOPs. Please note that you should not cut and paste contents from the SOPs provided without reviewing. SOPs should be customized for your specific laboratory operations.

Guidelines for Developing SOPs

Health Hazards

Physical Hazards

SOP Library

EH&S will post examples of laboratory-specific SOPs, collected from various labs, for the purpose of sharing this information among our researchers. If you have an example of a lab-specific SOP that you developed using the above template and you would like to share, please submit to

Safe Operating Procedure Template

Chemical SOPs

Procedural SOPs

Workshop SOPs