Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

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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 hazardous chemicals. SOP documentation is required for work involving particularly hazardous substances (PHS), which includes select carcinogens, reproductive toxins and acutely toxic chemicals.  SOPs may also be used when working with hazardous biological substances and organisms as well as serve as a detailed outline of commonly used laboratory research and husbandry procedures

SOPs are approved by EH&S, and in certain circumstances, may necessitate consultation with subject matter experts.  If requested, EH&S will provide assistance in the development of the written SOP. 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?

Please reference our informational page on Particularly Hazardous Substances, to determine if a chemical requires an SOP.  SOPs 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.

Writing the sop?

Detailed instructions for writing an SOP can be found BOTH in the Chemical Hygiene Plan AND SOP Instructions documents.  These instructions are used to complete the general SOP form; Additionally, EH&S has developed SOPs for commonly used hazardous lab chemicals at GU.  PIs and lab managers may use these SOPs as a starting point for the chemicals in their lab and change the aspects that are relevant to their specific laboratory environment along with their experimental protocol.    

Submission and approval?

The PI or lab manager must submit the signed SOP to EH&S (Kavita Mizin, Sr. Occupational Health and Safety Specialist) for final approval.  EH&S may return the SOP with comments or corrections.  After final EH&S approval, 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 Chemical Safety Binder, along with the Record of Training for review during lab inspections.