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Standard Operating Procedures

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are written instructions that detail the steps that will be performed during a given experimental procedure and include information about potential hazards and how these hazards will be mitigated.  SOPs should be written by laboratory personnel who are most knowledgeable and involved with the experimental process. The development and implementation of SOPs is a core component of promoting a strong safety culture in the laboratory and helps ensure a safe work environment. PIs/LSL is required to develop and implement laboratory-specific SOPs for certain process that involve hazardous chemicals and “particularly hazardous substances”. The SOP must include a Process Risk Assessment to determine the level of risk associated with the specific experiment or process. The assessment evaluates the hazards associated with each task and corresponding safety controls to assist in determining whether or not the risk is acceptable.

The SOPs must be submitted and reviewed by the EH&S prior to implementation. For certain hazardous chemicals and hazardous substances, or specialized practices, consideration must be given to whether additional consultation with safety professionals is warranted or required. Circumstances requiring prior approval from the PI/LSL must also be addressed in laboratory-specific SOPs. SOPs must be upload to BioRAFT using the Document’s tab on the PIs profile page. Contact EH&S to obtain a SOP template.

EH&S created Chemical Safety Summaries (CSS) for over 250 chemicals used at the university. The summary provides the following information on the specific chemicals. 

  • Chemical Name
  • Hazard Rating
  • Hazards
  • Label Requirements
  • Permissible Exposure Limits
  • Personal protection equipment required.
  • Precautionary Statements

Principal Investigators, supervisors, and laboratory safety liaisons should utilize the summaries to complete the required standard operating procedure and risk assessment for every process in the laboratory.