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EHS > Chemical Safety > Programs & Guidelines >

Standard Operating Procedures

Definition: A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a written hazard analysis document detailing how to safely work with hazardous chemicals.

Why SOPs Are Required: In order to make the Chemical Hygiene Plan a legal document, principal investigators must add laboratory-specific SOPs to their individual safety plans. As an administrative control, it serves as a way for PIs to ensure they are apprised of their employee’s activities, and take the opportunity to discuss safety in a structured format.

When SOPs Are Required: SOPs are required when the chemical or process you will be using has unique hazards not covered by the general chemical information in the MSU Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Some examples of chemicals and processes that require SOPs at MSU are:

The SOP process: Employees can use the templates available (clink on the links above), or create their own using the blank SOP template.  Italicized items on the SOP templates are information required to be answered before submittal to EHS. Once the draft SOP is reviewed by EHS, a final copy is returned to the employee.  This final copy must be signed by the PI, the employee(s) and EHS – and kept on the premises where the activities will take place.  EHS inspectors will ask to see the SOP during routine safety inspections.

Questions on SOPs: Call the MSU EHS office at 517-355-0153 and ask for a member of the Chemical Safety Team for assistance.


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