Standard Operating Procedures
A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of written instructions that describes in detail how to perform a process or experiment safely and effectively. SOPs may be utilized in laboratory and non-laboratory operations. Within the laboratory environment, SOPs are a requirement of Stanford University’s Chemical Hygiene Plan, as described in section 4.
EH&S is available for consultation on SOPs. Submit your request for EH&S review of an SOP by completing the SOP Intake Form. Please note that EH&S review supplements, but does not replace, PI/lab supervisor review and approval.
Examples of SOP topics:
- The specific use of a chemical or class of chemicals (such as a specific laboratory procedure).
- The generic use specific chemical or class of chemicals with similar hazards (for example, mineral acids).
- A generic procedure (such as distillation) that covers several chemicals.
- Radionuclide use in DNA and RNA labeling.
- Laser operations.
- X-ray diffraction machine operation.
- Use and maintenance of laboratory equipment or instruments.
- Specific work practices (such as lifting techniques) to mitigate physical/health hazards.
- Specific tasks that are unique to work performed at Stanford University.
Responsibility in Laboratories
The PI/Lab Supervisor is responsible for providing written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) relevant to health and safety for laboratory activities he/she directs involving hazardous chemicals. Laboratory personnel working autonomously or performing independent research are responsible for developing SOPs appropriate for their own work using the guidance below.
Prioritizing SOP Development for Laboratories
Priority for SOP development should be given to any operation involving Restricted Chemicals, certain higher risk chemicals, such as Particularly Hazardous Substances and highly reactive chemicals, and specified higher risk research procedures described in the CHP.
Guidance for Non-Laboratory Areas
The Supervisor is responsible for providing written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) relevant to health and safety for activities he/she directs that require specific work practices to mitigate physical and/or health hazards.
Prioritizing SOP Development in non-lab areas
Priority for SOP development should be given to any operation involving control of energy sources via lockout/tagout, confined space entry, fall protection use, and/or respirator use.
|What to do?||How to do this?|
|Prioritize SOPs to generate||Consult with PI/Laboratory Supervisor/Supervisor|
|Create SOPs||SU SOP Template
SU SOP Template for Alkali Metals
SU SOP Template for Toxic Gases
SU SOP Template for Nanomaterials
SU Non-lab Task Safety Analysis Template
|Incorporate General Use SOPs||Carcinogens
Flammable & Combustible Liquids
Highly Acutely Toxic Materials
Highly Reactive/Unstable Materials
|Maintain SOPs||Maintain copies of SOPs that are accessible to all lab members|
|Revise SOPs||Consult with PI/lab supervisor on a timeframe for re-evaluating and revising SOPs|
EH&S is available for consultation on SOPs.