5.2 Standard Operating Procedures

Each PI must have written Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for high-risk materials and research protocols conducted in their laboratory.

Laboratory-specific SOPs are valuable research tools that supplement the Lab-Specific Hygiene Plan. The process of writing SOPs requires an individual to think through all steps of a procedure, perform a risk assessment assessing each step, and implement any relevant safety controls before beginning work. The SOP provides a written means to inform and advise researchers about hazards in their workplace, allows for standardization of materials and methods, and improves the quality of the research.

SOPs should include exposure controls and safety precautions that address both routine and accidental chemical, physical or biological hazards associated with the procedure. Hazard class SOP templates for developing new SOPs are available on the UHS website.

Like the Chemical Hygience Plan (CHP), lab SOPs must be accessible to all researchers. Keeping hard copies in the lab or having them on a computer in the laboratory fulfills the accessibility requirement. SOPs developed through UHS will be posted periodically on the UHS website.

SOPs should be reviewed every three years for accuracy. If a lab procedure changes, a new risk assessment must be performed and the SOP must be modified.

Resources