Standard Operating Procedure
A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of written instructions that describes in detail how to perform a laboratory process or experiment safely and effectively. SOPs are a requirement of Stanford University’s Chemical Hygiene Plan http://chemhygieneplan.stanford.edu, as described in section 4.0.
The scope of an SOP can cover:
- 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.
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
Priority for SOP development should be given to any operation involving Restricted Chemicals, certain higher risk chemicals, such as particularly hazardous chemicals and highly reactive chemicals, and specified higher risk research procedures described in the CHP.