10 Laboratory Safety Manual Environmental Health and Safety 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 safe. 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 injuries. SOPs must be specific to each laboratory operation. SOPs must be reviewed and approved by the Principal Investigator (PI) or the laboratory supervisor. Laboratory personnel must be trained (document this training) on the elements of the SOP before performing an experiment or operation. SOPs should be updated as needed, and must be reviewed at least annually by the PI and/or laboratory supervisor. 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 specific procedures for cleanup. See Section C of this manual, “Emergency Planning,” for more details. SOPs must be readily available in the laboratory where the experiment or operation will be performed.