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 standard operating procedures (SOPs) be established for work with any hazardous chemicals. This requirement is stated in the 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 involving hazardous chemicals under their direction.

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

What is 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 is grouping chemicals based on their hazard classes and assigning a unique control banded SOP template to a particular 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 these 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 Chemical

H300 H301 H302 H303 H304 H305 H310 H311 H312 H313 H370 H371 H372 H373


H350 H351


Corrosive – Strong Acids

H290 H314 H315 H316


Corrosive – Strong Bases

H290 H314 H315 H316


Flammable and Combustible liquid

H224 H225 H226 H227


Flammable gas & Gas under pressure

H220 H221 H222 H280 H281

Flammable solid


Potentially Explosive Compounds

H200 H201 H202 H203 H204 H205


Peroxide Forming Chemicals

Refer to the PFC update, & H240 H241 H242 – organic peroxides

Pyrophoric (liquids)

H250 H251 H252


Pyrophoric (solid)

H250 H251 H252


Reproductive Hazards

H360 H361


Strong Oxidizing Agents

H270 H271 H272


Water Reactive

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). Copies of SDSs are available in all labs and updated SDSs are available from manufacturers.

Each control banded SOP template has a section where laboratory specific information relating to specific processing, handling, storage, worker safety etc. must be added by the researchers.

Upon completion of these steps, 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 all relevant SOPs.

Click Here for sOP Templates.