Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

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In addition to the examples provided here, EH&S can provide additional SOP templates for other hazardous substances.

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 include select carcinogens, reproductive toxins and acutely toxic chemicals.  
  • Hazardous biological substances and organisms, and commonly used laboratory research and husbandry procedures.
  • Chemicals possessing significant physical hazards such as flammability, reactivity & explosivity.
  • Novel chemicals of unknown toxicity.

SOPs must be reviewed and approved by EH&S, and in certain circumstances, may necessitate consultation with subject matter experts.  When 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.

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 for final approval.  EH&S may return the SOP with comments or corrections.  After final EH&S approval, any lab staff member who works with or near the substance 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.