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Laboratory Safety Manual

B. Process Planning

Working safely in the laboratory does not happen by accident. Planning

laboratory processes will help you identify hazards, establish hazard

control measures, and ultimately keep you and other lab personnel


Standard Operating Procedures

Process planning must begin with each investigator or laboratory

group completing hazard assessments and developing

standard operating procedures

(SOPs). The purpose of a hazard assessment

is to identify and evaluate all chemical, biological, radiological, and

physical hazards associated with laboratory operations and describe

safety precautions necessary to avoid employee exposures and


SOPs must be specific to each laboratory operation.

SOPs must be reviewed and approved by the Principal Investigator

(PI) or the laboratory supervisor. After approval, SOPs are then

incorporated into or attached to written materials and methods.

Laboratory personnel must be trained on the elements of the SOP

before performing an experiment or operation. At a minimum, SOPs

must include the following:

• Health and safety information for materials used

– list

and briefly describe the chemical, biological, radiological,

and physical hazards associated with the operation. Identify

available resources like

safety data sheets (SDS)

and specify

where they can be accessed.

• Hazard control measures

– include containment devices,

ventilation, specific personal protective equipment, and hygiene

practices as recommended by the SDS or other authoritative

guide. Evaluate whether special procedures discussed below

will be required.

• Waste disposal practices

– establish procedures for the safe

and timely removal of laboratory waste. Reference

Section H, “Waste and Recycling,

” as appropriate or develop written

procedures if necessary.

• Decontamination procedures

– develop procedures and

include required frequency and duration.

• Spill/release containment and clean up procedures

develop procedures using Section C, “Emergency Planning” of

this manual.

SOPs must be readily available in the laboratory where the experiment

or operation will be performed and should be reviewed and updated