2. Standard Operating Procedures

The OSHA Laboratory Safety Standard states that a laboratory’s CHP include: “Standard operating procedures relevant to safety and health considerations to be followed when laboratory work involves the use of hazardous chemicals.” A “hazardous chemical” is one for which:

“…there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees.”

Given the diverse nature of laboratory work at UCSB, it is incumbent on individual lab supervisors to develop lab-specific SOPs for operations which involve the use of a “hazardous chemical”, and

  • SOPs should contain information about potential hazards and how these hazards will be mitigated
  • Special focus should be on SOPs for “Particularly Hazardous Substances” (PHS) – human carcinogens and reproductive toxins, acutely toxic materials. (see C.6). In many cases chemicals with similar hazards and safety controls can be grouped together into a single SOP (“control banding”).
  • SOPs should be written by lab personnel who are most knowledgeable of the experimental process and approved by the supervisor
  • SOPs should be kept where workers can easily access them

Specific guidance on how to prepare SOPs are given in Section I. Some “UC communal SOPs” are available for sharing. This sharing process has already been completed for UC departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry. However, to adequately meet regulatory requirements, it is necessary that individual PIs/lab supervisors customize any communal SOP to meet their specific need.