SOP for Laboratory Safety : Pharmaguideline

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SOP for Laboratory Safety

Standard operating procedure to store the chemical and solvents safely and first aid during accidents.


To lay down the procedure for laboratory safety.


This SOP shall be applicable to Quality Control Dept.


Supervisor Quality Control


Sr. Manager Quality Assurance


5.1 Solvent Extraction

5.1.1 Release the pressure developed on shaking in the Separating funnel by Inverting the funnel with the stopper securely held and opening the tap with care. Point the funnel away from the eyes and the naked flames, or heating mantle.
5.1.2 Ensure that the condensing system above a Soxhlet extraction unit is adequate to cope up with the solvent in use.
5.1.3 Do not handle volatile, flammable solvents anywhere near an open flame or another source of ignition e.g. electric motor or electric heater.
5.1.4 Dialkyl ethers and tetrahydrofuran form peroxides in contact with the air or on exposure to sunlight. They should, therefore, be stored in dark bottles with the airspace above the liquid kept to a minimum.
5.1.5 Solvent stripping involving flammable substances should be carried out using a water-bath or electrically heated bath.
5.1.6 Before opening the closures (caps, bungs etc) of all solvent bottles and containers, Especially those containing low boiling solvents, they should be cooled at least 20° C below their boiling point. Protective eye goggles and gloves must be worn.

5.2 Organic Preparative Reactions

5.2.1 Never leave preparatory experiment unattended. Arrange for supervision by another competent person until you return.
5.2.2 Never increase the size of a preparation without prior consent from the Chemist incharge.
5.2.3 Remember that a stirrer, which efficiently agitates 500 ml flask, may be useless in case of a 2.0 liter flask or container.
5.2.4 Magnetic stirrer hot plates are a useful and convenient means of heating and stirring small-scale experiments. It may not be able to cope up if at some stage the viscosity increases or thick precipitate forms.
5.2.5 A thermostatically controlled silicon oil bath offers both convenience and safety as a means of heating medium sized organic preparations. Stirring should be carried out with an over-head stirring motor.
5.2.6 Ensure that the size of the reaction flask is adequate enough to allow for possible frothing.
5.2.7 Condenser capacity should always be in excess of requirements.
5.2.8 Always make provision for rapid removal of the heating source. Ensure free access to electrical switches, gas and water taps.
5.2.9 Never look down into the neck of a flask, which is being agitated.
5.2.10 Limit the size of:
- All first-time experiments.
- Experiments involving the alkali metals, inorganic cyanides etc.
- Halogenations, particularly brominations.
- Alkylations
- Reactions involving fluorine, hydrochloric acid etc.
- Nitric acid oxidations.
- Reactions involving the use of hydrogen peroxide at 50 volumes or above.
- Perchloric reactions.

5.3 General Laboratory Techniques

5.3.1 Experiments

- Never start an experiment on a bench already crowded with apparatus.
- Avoid leaving a laboratory experiment unattended.
- In case an experiment should be left overnight, you should take an account of the nature of the materials involved in the experiment and the level of the supervision available.
- Before starting an experiment familiarize yourself and your assistants with the known hazards of the starting materials and end products. Decide on appropriate safeguards and remedies. Greater care must be taken with unknown combinations of chemical reagents. If Anything unexpected occurs during your experiment, consult your immediate supervisor.

5.4 Machinery

5.4.1 Always handle moving machinery with great care. Observe necessary safety precautions as described in the safety manual.
5.4.2 Never remove the guards or safety devices from the machine.

5.5 Glass Apparatus

5.5.1 Use lubricant and a cloth for protection when inserting glass tubing, rods or thermometers into bungs or tubing.
The safest way to carry lengths of glass rod/tubing is in the upright position. Cut ends of glass rods/tubing should be fire polished before use. Take care in handling glass capillaries.

5.6 Hazardous Chemicals

5.6.1 Experiments using hazardous chemicals should be carried out in fume cupboards so as not to danger coworkers. Suitable respiratory protection should always be on hand.
5.6.2 Observe special precautions when handling new organic substances of which the toxic hazards are unknown.
5.6.3 Protective eye goggles and gloves must be worn.
5.6.4 Always use appropriate pipette filler. Never fill pipette using the mouth.
5.6.5 When boiling a solution in a test tube, keep the mouth of the test tube away from co-worker next to you or your own self.

5.7 Flammable Solvents

5.7.1 Use a water bath, steam bath or electric heating mantle when using large amounts of flammable solvents. Isolate such experiments. Ensure that adequate fire extinguishers are available in the Laboratory.
5.7.2 Get to know the position of the main laboratory controls for electricity, gas and water see that they are not in anyway obstructed.
Remember That
- Water immiscible solvents must not be poured down drains.
- Always use the approved facilities for disposing of flammable.
- Never mix waste solvents in a common bottle. Use separate containers clearly marked “ WASTE FOR DISPOSAL”.

5.8 Condensers

5.8.1 Check the condition of flexible condenser tubing and ensure that it does not become trapped.

5.9 Glassware

5.9.1 Examine all glassware before use for damage, star crack or even a scratch.
5.9.2 Never store broken glassware in cupboards. Either send it for repair or ensure its proper disposal.

5.10 Store-Room/ Refrigerators

5.10.1 Laboratory storerooms and refrigerators should be inspected regularly. Hazardous chemicals should not be stored indefinitely but safely disposed of after a project is completed.
5.10.2 All samples should be properly labelled. Liquid samples should be in closed vessels and should be placed on metal trays.
5.10.3 Electrical controls and switches inside refrigerators and freezers may cause sparks, which could be a source of ignition for flammable vapours. Do not store flammable solvents in the refrigerator. Do not store food items in the refrigerator.

5.11 Handling of Cyanides

5.11.1 System Control

Handling of highly poisonous compounds, especially cyanides, calls for special regulatory control procedures. Use of such compounds in the laboratory should be restricted and only selected group qualified chemists /analysts should be allowed to handle the materials. Training to cover handling, storage and disposal of cyanides( in the event of an accident) and familiarity with first aid procedure is considered essential.

5.11.2 Precaution

- Handle cyanides with caution.
Store cyanides in, poison label cupboard, securely locked. Ensure containers are well sealed, after each use, and then placed in the cupboard.
- Maintain a separate register showing stock held, quantity used, balance stock and get signature of an authorized person.
- Work under fumes hood. DO NOT Inhale cyanide fumes.
- Always use mechanical pipetting devices for cyanides solutions.
- After using cyanides wash the work place and contaminated glassware with mild alkali solution followed by water.
- Small quantity of cyanide solution may be disposed of in the laboratory drain, followed by alkaline solution and flushing with plenty of water.
- Do not pour acids in drains immediately following disposals of cyanide solution.
- Keep cyanide antidotes and Amyl Nitrates capsule handy in the laboratory.
- Wash any contacted skin area with soap and water at once.

5.12 First Aid Procedures

5.12.1 Remove the victim from the exposure area and keep him warm. Break a capsule of Amyl Nitrates and allow the victim to inhale for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat it every 2 to 3 minutes.
5.12.2 If breathing stops give artificial respiration.
5.12.3 If cyanide is swallowed give antidote solution.

5.13 Glass And Rubber Tube/ Bung Connections

5.13.1 Ensure that the glass tube end is ground smooth or rounded smooth.
5.13.2 Hold rubber tube / bung between the thumb and index finger, not in the palm of the hand.


6.1 SOP: Standard Operating Procedure
6.2 QA: Quality Assurance
6.3 QC: Quality Control
6.4 Dept.: Department
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