Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

This Document Must be Downloaded and Opened with your Computer's Adobe Reader or Acrobat.

Sample SOPs Forms

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are written instructions, required by OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1450, "Occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories", that document work practices and processes that must be followed when using a hazardous chemical. SOPs are approved by EH&S, and in certain circumstances, may necessitate consultation with subject matter experts. SOPs also serve as a detailed outline of commonly used laboratory research and husbandry procedures.

SOP documentation is required for work involving particularly hazardous substances (PHS), which includes select carcinogens, reproductive toxins and acutely toxic chemicals. If requested, EH&S will provide assistance in the development of the written SOP. When the SOP is complete and approved, EH&S and the PI will sign the document.

*NOTE: A Chemical Safety Committee review may be required for substances considered to be highly hazardous. 

Current SOPs must be readily accessible for reference in the workplace to all laboratory/facility personnel using the material.

Which chemicals require an SOP?

You can find a list of many chemicals for which an SOP is required on the PHS List, but this list is not exhaustive and an SOP may be required for chemicals with similar structures and/or similar properties as those on the list. They may also be required for chemicals with significant physical hazards (e.g., pyrophorics), or for chemicals of unknown toxicity (e.g., novel chemicals). If in doubt, check with EH&S.

How is the SOP developed?

Example SOPs, in a fillable PDF format, for certain chemicals are linked below and available on the EH&S Forms page. EH&S can help you adapt these to your planned experiments or to other similar chemicals. These are provided as guidance only. Based on the location, amount of substance used in the procedure, or process involved, the SOPs may be modified to specific laboratory experiments.

Section 11 of these SOPs, provides a bulleted list to guide you in completion of the protocol applicable to this chemical. Please provide a detailed description of this protocol. If an item does not apply to your protocol, provide a statement that the item is not applicable.

Sources that may help in compiling the required information include the Safety Data Sheet for the substance, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) summaries, the US National Library of Medicine's TOXNET database, and other hazard information sites.

What is done with the completed SOP?

The PI or designee will provide the SOP to EH&S, who will review and sign the SOP.

Once EH&S has signed the SOP, each member of the lab who will work on the protocol, or may be involved with any work pertinent to the use of the substance (e.g., cleanup operations) must be trained in the SOP. The SOP Record of Training must include the names of each of these lab members. The completed SOP must be kept in your lab's files, along with the Record of Training for review during lab inspections.

If you should have any problems or questions please contact EH&S at 7-4712.