Written Standard Operating Procedures, or SOP for short, must be developed and made
available for anyone working with a particularly hazardous substance (PHS) or performing
a procedure that poses a serious risk of injury or harmful exposure. The SOP describes
how to handle a hazardous material safely, including the amount and concentration
of material you will use, how you obtain or create the working solution, special handling
& storage procedures, engineering controls, personal protective equipment, waste disposal
considerations, and emergency procedures in the event of an accident or spill. The
SOP must be read and signatures documented by all personnel who may be exposed to
the hazardous situation.
A Particularly Hazardous Substance (PHS) is defined as a select carcinogen, reproductive toxin, pyrophoric, water reactive,
explosive, or acutely toxic material.
For your convenience, SOP templates for some commonly used particularly hazardous
chemicals and a general SOP template are available to download. The templates must
be completed by the lab PI/Supervisor to include lab specific information, actual
procedures used, and must be read and signed by the lab personnel. The SOP is used
as documentation of lab specific training and should be available for review during
To download the templates, access the Safety & Risk Management SharePoint. Please contact the Laboratory Safety Officer to request an additional SOP template
for a specific chemical or procedure.
- Specific chemical - use this template to document the safety considerations and procedures when using
a specific particularly hazardous chemical (i.e. chemical reaction involving benzene).
- Class of chemical - use this template to document the safety considerations and general working procedures
for a similar class of chemical (i.e. highly corrosive, carcinogens, reproductive
- General procedure - use this template to document the safety considerations and procedures for a specific
procedure that uses high-risk chemicals or hazardous equipment that poses the risk
for serious injury.
High risk procedures are those which are likely to require engineering controls beyond those found in
the standard laboratory. These include the use of chemicals or toxins which require
medical surveillance, vaccination, special antidotes, or exposure monitoring, and
operations that pose significant risk of fire, explosion, or exposure to personnel
if a malfunction were to occur (utility outage, runaway reaction, broken container,
or chemical spill).
Contact the Safety and Risk Management Office (828-227-7443) if you have questions
regarding High Risk Procedures or if you need to obtain permission for any of the
- Large quantities of liquid nitrogen or other cryogens which could deplete oxygen in
the air. Large quantities would be more than one freezer and one attached Dewar per
room, filling a cryocart or cooler, or liquid nitrogen (or other cryogen) piped in
from a tank located outside the building.
- Heat concentrated perchloric acid (requires a perchloric acid approved fume hood).
- Use pyrophoric gases or other reactive Particularly Hazardous Substances (PHS).
- Use hydrofluoric acid or other chemicals for which an antidote or specific first-aid
treatment is required.
- Use formaldehyde at the level which may require exposure monitoring or respirator
- Create or synthesize nanomaterials.
- Use botulinum toxin, tetanus toxin, or other toxins for which vaccination is recommended.
- Perform a procedure or use other equipment that is likely to require engineering controls
beyond those found in the standard laboratory.