Working Safely in Your Workspace

Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) consults with U-M departments to help insure the safety of all personnel working, studying, or volunteering at the University of Michigan.  Each department can supplement the guidance from EHS and their Chemical Hygiene Plan, Biosafety Manual, or Hazard Communication Plan by writing standard operating procedures (SOPs).  SOPs are written for or about tasks that expose personnel to hazardous substances, work environments, and equipment used or serviced as part of their work responsibilities.

The SOPs can be used as part of a training curriculum in your department or as a resource for your personnel.  Topics in an SOP usually include safety information about a procedure, chemical, or piece of equipment, safety controls, and moving, storing, cleaning up, and disposing of all hazardous substances and materials used in the task.

To help you write standard operating procedures, EHS offers templates for you to use.  If you would rather use your own template, feel free to refer to the Procedure-Focused SOP Inventory to verify you have all the sections needed for a comprehensive SOP.

Chemical- and Equipment- SOP Templates

These templates enable the author of the SOP to inform the reader about a hazardous substance or equipment being used that is not yet available in the list the EHS chemical- and equipment-specific SOPs on the Chemical Web page.  When writing your SOPs you will to include the following information:

  • A description of the hazard.
  • A list of potential hazards and controls used to reduce the likelihood of an illness, injury, or incident.
  • An explanation of how to transport and store the hazard.
  • An explanation of how to properly dispose of waste generated by the hazard.
  • A description about how to respond to an exposure, illness, injury, accident, and spill.
  • A record of training events.


These templates are also located on the Chemical Web page.

EHS Chemical- and Equipment-Specific SOP

EHS and some U-M faculty (which EHS has reviewed) have written chemical and equipment SOPs for you to use as is or to customize to your specific situation.  These templates contain the same sections as the SOP Template Prior LD Approval and SOP Template.

These SOPs are located on the Chemical Web page.

Procedure-Focused SOP Template

Procedure-focused SOPs are organized like a recipe including the hazard and control information within the steps of the procedure.  This template includes information about the hazards and safety precautions of the hazardous substance or equipment as they pertain to the procedure.  This template is divided into sections and within each section is a list of information or questions the SOP author can ask as they draft an SOP.  These sections include:

  • Description of Procedure or Equipment
  • Hazards
  • Materials
  • Procedure
  • Waste Disposal

Additional sections to include in your SOP or elsewhere in your work location are as follows:


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