Standard Operating Procedures

Laboratory safety procedures for general laboratory operations can be found in the University Laboratory Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan. However, protocols for specific laboratory operations must be provided by departmental personnel.

Departments, departmental safety and health committees, and PIs/ supervisors will develop written standard operating procedures for work area specific operations.  Standard operating procedures must be provided to affected employees.

For work involving extremely toxic chemicals, select carcinogens, and reproductive toxins, standard operating procedures must include the following provisions where appropriate:

1.   Establishment of a designated area;

2.   Use of containment devices such as chemical hoods or glove boxes;

3.   Procedures for safe collection of contaminated waste; and

4.   Decontamination procedures.

ORS will assist laboratory personnel in developing general and specific standard operating procedures for chemical use in laboratories. Due to the diversity of research and the number of labs involved, it will be the responsibility of each laboratory, department, or college to ensure that their practices and procedures are adequate to protect their workers who use hazardous chemicals.

It will be up to the Principal Investigator or Department Chair to ensure that written safety procedures are developed for work in their labs, and that controls and protective equipment are adequate to prevent overexposure.  Guidance provided by ORS in the Lab Safety Manual may be helpful or adopted as a lab’s standard operating procedure.


Whenever employee exposures exceed the action level (or in the absence of an action level, the lower of the PEL or TLV), the department must implement control measures to reduce employee exposure to hazardous chemicals including engineering controls, the use of personal protective equipment and hygiene practices.  Exposures to extremely toxic materials, select carcinogens, and reproductive toxins must be maintained as low as reasonably achievable.