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DrillSafe Articles

Safety information and collaboration forum for the exploration drilling industry in Southern Africa.

What does an SOP look like?

Drill Safe

By Colin Rice
Colin Rice Exploration Drilling Advisory -


A standard operating procedure (SOP) is essentially made up of two parts:

SOP-breakdown1 copy.png
  1. the front end: which will include detail about the purpose of the SOP, applicable legislation etc.

  2. the body: which details the tasks, the hazards and the actual steps to be followed.

The front end of the SOP must include the following detail:

  1. A clear statement of the scope of the SOP – this will then clearly define the title or name of the SOP.

  2. A unique identification number for version control.

  3. A reference to all applicable legislation that stipulates why the SOP is necessary.

  4. A clear explanation of any definitions that are used in the body of the SOP.

  5. An explanation of any abbreviations that are used in the body of the SOP.

  6. A clear statement of what special tools and / or PPE are required in carrying out the procedure.

The body of the SOP is the most important part and it will detail the steps to be taken, the hazards associated with each step and the safe work procedure to be followed so that the hazard does not cause harm.

Are you ready to develop SOPs for your business? Read the next article, “What are the steps in developing an SOP?”