The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires standard operating procedures (SOPs) covering health and safety considerations for any work with hazardous chemicals, processes, or equipment that pose unique hazards in research laboratories. SOPs are intended to be specific to your laboratory and are needed even when published methods are being utilized.

Based on this requirement, EH&S has developed SOP Creation Guidelines and an associated SOP Template to assist researchers in writing lab-specific SOPs. The SOP Template can be modified making writing your SOP more efficient. Once completed, SOPs should be reviewed and approved by one or more members of your laboratory that are experienced with the process. We recommend you review your SOPs at least annually and to make necessary changes as needed.

SOP Guidelines and Template

In addition, EH&S has provided several example SOPs for some commonly used hazardous chemicals and processes at Washington University in St. Louis.  Research groups which use these SOPs should use them as a guide, complete the necessary sections and add pertinent lab and process-specific information. Please refer to the Guidelines for Creating a Laboratory-Specific SOP for additional information.