Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Find the appropriate control banded SOP templates for your lab.

 click here for SOP templates

For assistance with using these templates, consult your DSA.


Cal/OSHA requires that standard operating procedures (SOPs) be established for work with any hazardous chemicals. This requirement is stated in 8 CCR §5191(Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories, “Laboratory Standard”) under the provisions of the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
SOPs document the laboratory-specific procedures for the safe handling, storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals.

Principal investigators and laboratory supervisors are responsible for establishing SOPs relevant to health and safety for laboratory activities under their direction that involve hazardous chemicals.

In order to alleviate the need for hundreds or thousands of chemical specific SOPs for all of the hazardous chemicals in a lab’s inventory, EH&S at UCSF has introduced the system of control banding SOPs.

What is a control banded SOP ?

Control banding is a process that matches a control measure (e.g., ventilation, engineering controls, containment, etc.) to a range or “band” of hazards and exposures. The control banding system group chemicals in a lab’s inventory according to similar physical and chemical characteristics, how the chemical is handled or processed, and what the anticipated exposure is expected to be.

EH&S groups chemicals based on their hazard classes and assigns a unique control banded SOP template to each hazard class.

Hazard classes and H-codes

All chemicals are assigned codes (GHS#s/H-codes) based on the nature and severity of the hazards. H-codes are useful in determining which materials require a SOP as the definitions are standardized worldwide.

Each of the control banded SOP templates correlates to a hazard class that is encompassed by one or more H-codes as listed below.

Control Banded SOP

Hazard Class


Acutely Toxic Chemicals

H300 H301 H302 H303 H310 H311 H312 H313 H330 H331 H332 H333


H350 H351

Compressed Gases



H290 H314

Cryogenic liquids


Explosive and Potentially Explosive Compounds

H200 H201 H202 H203 H204 H205. Other potentially explosive compounds based on structure. See SOP template for more information.

Flammable gases

H220 H221

Flammable liquids

H224 H225 H226 H227

Flammable solids


Peroxide Forming Chemicals

No H codes. See SOP template for lists of common peroxide formers.

Pyrophoric liquids


Pyrophoric solids


Reproductive Hazards

H360 H361 H362


H317 H334

Strong Oxidizers

H270 H271 H272

Water Reactives

H260 H261


Determining the control banded SOP template needed for a chemical

Principal Investigators (PIs) and researchers must first identify which hazard class a chemical belongs to from their H codes. Following the classification they will choose a control banded SOP using the table above.

Information about hazard classification of a chemical can be found on the container label or Safety Data Sheet (SDS). SDSs are available from manufacturers or via UC SDS Search. H-codes may not always be present on a SDS, but the associated hazard statement will always be present. You can also look up H-codes for chemicals in your UC Chemicals inventory.

Completing a control banded SOP template

Each control banded SOP template has sections marked with red text where laboratory-specific information & safe working procedures must be added.

Upon completion of the template, the SOP must be reviewed and signed by the PI and all researchers planning to use the chemical. A hard copy of the SOP must be stored in the lab and will be inspected by the Departmental Safety Advisors (DSAs) during their inspections.

All lab personnel, who perform hazardous operations, need to document that they have read and understand all SOPs relevant to their research. New students/employees must be given hands-on training for hazardous operations, which should include a review of all relevant SOPs.

Click Here for sOP Templates.

EHS Categories

Labs and Research Safety