Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

For the purposes of research safety, an SOP is a written set of procedures that explains:

  • how to utilize and manage hazardous materials,
  • appropriate processes, and
  • procedures to prevent or minimize health and safety concerns.

The development and use of SOPs are integral parts of a successful safety program and are required by state and federal regulatory agencies. Safety SOPs are intended to inform and educate laboratory personnel about hazards in their workplace and how to prevent exposure.

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or area supervisor to review and approve the SOPs ensuring that the protective equipment and procedures outlined are in place. All staff must be trained on the SOPs applicable to their work before conducting hazardous activities. While the lab’s LATCH risk assessment is to be completed annually, a safety SOP should be reevaluated, updated, and communicated to all lab personnel when the procedure changes or progresses beyond the scope covered in the original SOP. While PIs/Area Supervisors decide where their SOPs are saved,  EH&S encourages groups to save them in “Files” tab in LATCH as a best practice.

Please refer to this guide for more information on what should be included in a safety SOP.

It is highly recommended to use EHS’s SOP templates. If using your own template, you must include all sections covered in the EHS templates.

Additionally, a Standard Operating Procedure Example Library has been provided to facilitate the creation of SOPs. These are provided as a resource guide only that can be downloaded and modified as needed.
All modifications and procedures need to be validated and approved by the Principal Investigator or work area supervisor prior to implementation.

Please contact the EH&S Chemical Hygiene Officer if you are willing to share your hazard specific SOP as part of the library resource. All lab identification parameters will be removed prior to publication.