Standard Operating Procedure Example

Revised January 2023

The following is an example of a correctly used Standard Operating Procedure form.


Inorganic Acids Other Than Hydrofluoric Acid

Revision Date:

June, 2009

Prepared By:

Joe Public

Lab Supervisor:

John Doe


This procedure is for laboratory operations in Dr. John Doe’s laboratory, Building XX, Room YY.

Hazards and Precautions:

Strong inorganic acids are highly corrosive to skin, eyes, and the respiratory system. Avoid skin contact and inhalation of vapors. Dilution with water produces heat. When diluting, always add acid slowly to water (do not add water to acid).

Nitric acid is a powerful oxidizing agent and can react explosively with most organic substances. Nitric acid can also react violently with metals producing flammable hydrogen gas.

Engineering Controls:

Concentrated acids (6 N or greater) must be handled in the laboratory hood. Less concentrated acids should be handled in the hood whenever possible.

Administrative Controls/Designated Area:

No special controls or designated area required.

Personal Protective Equipment

Concentrated acid:

  • Chemical resistant Gloves:
    • hydrochloric acid: butyl or nitrile gloves
    • nitric acid: butyl gloves
    • sulfuric acid: butyl gloves
  • Safety goggles; with face shield also recommended. Face shield required when using containers with a volume of 4L or greater, or when spray or splash is likely.
  • Lab coat; with acid resistant apron also recommended
  • Protective equipment can be reduced to lab coat, safety glasses and double disposable latex or nitrile gloves (or chemical resistant as above) when using a small volume (< 250 ml) or when concentration is less than 6N but greater than 1N. If concentration is less than 1 N, lab coat, safety glasses, and single pair of disposable gloves is required.

Note: disposable gloves only provide protection against incidental contact (such as small splashes). If contact occurs while wearing disposable gloves, immediately remove gloves, wash hands thoroughly, and put on new gloves.

Safety Equipment

A safety shower and eyewash must be readily available when working with these chemicals.

Transport and Storage

Transport concentrated acids (6M or greater) and breakable containers in an unbreakable secondary container. Store inorganic acids in designated acid storage area according to laboratory chemical hygiene plan.

Incident Response

  • Skin Contact: Immediately flush affected area with cold water using sink or safety shower as appropriate. Remove clothing and jewelry as necessary to reach all affected areas. Seek medical attention if burning or redness is present.
  • Eye Contact: Immediately flush eyes with cold water using eyewash. Physically hold eyes open if necessary. Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Minor Spill: Wear the following minimum PPE: goggles, butyl or nitrile chemical resistant gloves, and lab coat. Use spill kit located in lab to clean up spill per CHP instructions or laboratory SOP.
    • Minor spills are generally considered to be spills that have a risk equivalent less than that of a spill of one liter of concentrated acid.
  • Decontamination of Materials: Use absorbent pads to collect the bulk of the acid, then neutralize with acid neutralizer provided in chemical spill kit, and rinse affected area with water.
  • Major Spill:
    • Warn others and evacuate area as necessary to reach a safe location.
    • Decontaminate personnel (use water) as necessary.
    • Call 327-5040 (EH&S) during normal business hours; or 911 when a full hazardous materials response is obvious, when personnel have significant contamination, or when outside normal business hours.
    • Isolate area to prevent other personnel from entering.

Experimental Procedure (indicate if attached):

See attached procedure.

Prior approval: is prior approval required before performing this procedure?


Glove Selection Guidelines