All students working in any chemical laboratory must read the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and sign the student's statement. The department or college may opt to have students sign this statement annually or at the beginning of each semester, therefore ensuring that the SOP is reviewed consistently. The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (EOHS) will provide Laboratory Safety Training when requested.

    This SOP provides standard operating procedures for the safe handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous substances in chemical laboratories at the University of Akron.

  2. SCOPE
    This SOP is not a substitute for common sense or any other safety rules specific to laboratory activities formerly instituted by the department and based on the research objectives. It only suggests additional guidelines for safely working in a chemical laboratory. Particular attention should be given to good housekeeping, proper operation of hoods, and the required personal protective equipment.

    Most of the information contained in this SOP will be taken from 29 CFR 1910.1450 referred to as the Chemical Hygiene Plan. This regulation targets chemical laboratories using hazardous substances in a laboratory setting and covers items such as SOP for laboratory operations, control measures for chemicals, maintenance for equipment, training, medical surveillance, and special procedures for high hazard cases.

    This manual applies to all students working in any chemical laboratory. Additional safety measures specific to the department and the nature of the research will complement this manual.

    All students working in a chemical laboratory are responsible for:

    (a) Developing and demonstrating their competence to perform laboratory tasks.

    (b) Adhering to procedures, instructions, and guidance in this SOP in order to carry out their tasks in a safe and efficient manner.

    (c) Proper use of the required safety equipment (gloves, goggles, lab coat, hoods, shields).

    (d) Knowing emergency procedures.

    (e) Seeking advice from the instructor when in doubt.

    (f) Reporting all incidents immediately.

    (g) Participating in safety training and departmental safety meetings, when offered.

    All research supervisors are responsible for:

    (a) Providing guidance on the safe handling and storage of chemicals.

    (b) Periodically reviewing safety procedures for adequacy.

    (c) Ensuring that students have read and do understand the SOP.

    (d) Reporting any safety violation to the proper authority.

    (e) Ensuring that all students comply with safety rules including those of this SOP.

    (f) Reporting any major laboratory incident to the proper authority.

    Good housekeeping must be practiced at all times. The following is the list of suggestions enabling the laboratory to become a neat and pleasant place to work for all students. Remember, you are not the only one using the room and associated equipment. You would like to find it clean, so leave it tidy for the next person.

    (a) The laboratory must be kept neat and orderly at all times.

    (b) Keep the work area free from unnecessary apparatus, paper, chemicals, waste.

    (c) All spills must be cleaned up before continuing work or other tasks.

    (d) All paths to exits must be kept clear and unobstructed.

    (e) All paths to emergency shower and eyewash areas must remain unobstructed.

    (f) Label clearly all chemical containers for easy identification by all.

    (g) Rinse broken glassware before disposal into the "Glass Waste" container.

    (h) Safely transfer "organic waste" into the proper waste container.

    (i) Transfer waste paper, gloves, packing material, wood into the regular waste container.

    (j) Clean all your equipment and put it away before leaving.

    (k) Clean your work area completely before leaving.

    (l) Return all unused chemicals to their proper storage places or on the laboratory cart.


    (a) Do not store food in the laboratory refrigerator. It is for chemicals only.

    (b) Do not eat in the laboratory.

    (c) Do not drink in the laboratory.

    (d) Do not smoke in the laboratory.

    (e) Do not horseplay in the laboratory.

    (f) Do not bring visitors in the laboratory.

    (g) Do not wear shorts while working in the laboratory.

    (h) Do not wear sandals while working in the laboratory.

    (i) Do not bring or play a radio in the laboratory.

    The first rule of self-protection is to be alert at all times to potential hazards in the lab. Make a conscious effort to prevent accidents. Do not assume that others will watch out for you.

    (a) Wear your eye protection when working with chemicals.

    (b) Handle all chemicals with respect.

    (c) Do not allow chemicals to come in contact with your skin or clothing.

    (d) Do not breathe or taste chemicals.

    (e) Always recheck labels.

    (f) Consult your MSDS before working with chemicals on safe handling and storage tips.

    (g) Do not mix chemicals.

    (h) Use your hood to prevent inhaling chemicals.

    (i) Do not tamper with safety devices such as fire alarms.

    (j) Do not attempt to repair equipment that you are not qualified to repair.

    (k) Store left-over chemicals in their original container.

    (l) Always be prepared to leave the building when the alarm sounds.

    (m) Call 911 for emergencies.

    (n) Call 6866 or 7766 for spills.

    (o) Know how to use the eyewash and the emergency shower.


    (a) Each laboratory must have:

    1 hazardous waste can for halogenated waste (5-gal)
    1 hazardous waste can for non-halogenated waste (5-gal)

    (b) NO ORGANIC waste should be poured down the sewer

    (c) Organic waste should be transferred into the RED waste cans as identified.

    (d) Waste cans must be kept closed at all times.

    (e) Complete a Request for Waste Disposal.

    (f) Vacuum pump oil must be kept in a separate container labeled "Waste Oil."

    (g) Identify and label all your waste using the IUPAC nomenclature.
    Unknown waste or waste without a label will be identified at the cost of $75.00 per container and charged to the research group.

    (h) Make sure that the waste generated from your research has been safely disposed.

    (i) Only aqueous corrosives with less than 6.0 normality may be poured down an approved lab drain with copious amount of water.

    If you are planning to do research involving radiolabelled materials, x-ray generating equipment, or radioisotopes, you must first contact the University's Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) at 972-5712 or EOHS at 972-6866.

    The University is a large quantity generator of infectious waste. All research involving the handling of human tissue or bodily fluids, laboratory equipment associated with infectious agents, sharps and needles, is regulated by the Ohio Department of Health. Contact EOHS for specific guidelines.


    (a) Incompatibles

    Will react with each other. Acids and Bases such as:

    ACIDS: Sulfuric, Hydrochloric, Nitric, Phosphoric, etc. will reach
    BASES: Ammonia, Sodium & Potassium hydroxide, etc.

    Therefore, incompatible chemicals must be segregated from each other during storage

    (b) Shock-Sensitive

    Potentially explosive when subjected to shock or friction
    Hydrogen Peroxide (above 30%)
    Nitro Compounds
    Picrates (Nickel, zinc picrate)

    (c) Potentially Explosive

    Picric acid, perchloric acid, isopropyl ether, ethyl ether, vinylidene chloride, soda amide, metals (sodium, potassium), cyclopentene, cyclohexene

    (d) Water-Reactive

    Phosphorous pentoxide, alkali metals, halides of nonmetals (SiC14), inorganic acids (POC13, SO2C12)

    (e) Pyrophoric

    Metals (A1, Fe, Mn, Ti), Phosphorous

    (f) Inorganic/Aqueous

    Only acids and bases can be sewered after neutralization and with copious amounts of water


    (a) If you are pregnant, make sure that your doctor is aware of the chemicals used in your work.

    (b) If you have health problems associated with diabetes or epilepsy, inform your advisor who must notify EOHS personnel.

    (c) Make sure that your laboratory is a neat working place.

    (d) Secure or chain all compressed gas cylinders to a stable structure to prevent accidental falls. Cylinders containing explosives must be kept away from potential sparks and in an area with good ventilation. Lectures bottles are exempt. Make sure that your vendor can take the compressed gas cylinders back.

The following is a summary of steps to take if you are injured at work:

  1. Notify your supervisor immediately. If you are unable to notify your supervisor, call CareWorks toll-free at 1-888-627-7586 to report the details of your injury.

  2. You will need to have a CareWorks/Super Blue Works Identification Card with you when you receive your first treatment. These cards (and necessary forms you will need) have been distributed to and can be obtained from:

    Human Resources – Benefits Administration

    Physical Plant Operation Center – Dispatch

    University Police – Dispatch

    University Dining Services – Management Office

    Institute of Polymer Science – Assistant to the Director's Office

    University Health Services

    Wayne College – Business Office

    NEOUCOM – Human Resources & Safety Office

  3. As soon as possible, complete the First Report of Injury form with your supervisor. This form needs to be delivered to or faxed (330-972-5816) to Benefits Administration. The Benefits office is located in the Administrative Services Building (ASB) at 185 East Mill Street (University office hours Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

  4. You must select a provider from the Super Blue Works directory or a BWC-certified provider for your care. Please contact Benefits Administration for this information or you can refer to this directory at any of the offices listed above when you obtain your ID card. Please notify CareWorks of your selection to avoid delay of medical benefits.

  5. Present the Initial Physician Report to your physician to complete and fax to CareWorks. This will expedite the process of determining your Workers' Compensation claim allowance.

CareWorks will remain in contact with you and the Office of Benefits Administration until you are released to return to work or you have reached maximum recovery from your injury.

If you would like more information about CareWorks, please feel free to contact CareWorks toll-free at 1-888-627-7586.