Stanford University

SOP Guidance

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.

Examples of SOP topics:

Lab Areas:

  • 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.

Non-lab Areas:

  • 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
Compressed Gases
Corrosive Materials
Cryogenic Liquids
Flammable & Combustible Liquids
Highly Acutely Toxic Materials
Highly Reactive/Unstable Materials
Irritants
Reproductive Toxins
Sensitizers
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.
 

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