General Safety Rules

These are the very basic safety rules for all shops and studios.  They are based on many years of experience and are essential for working safely in the shop.  Learn these rules and follow them at all times.

Personal Safety 

  1. Eye protection must be worn at all times when in the workshop. This applies regardless if you are working on machinery or not. Activities of others can affect your safety.
  2. No student is allowed to work in the any shop alone. You must have at least one other person with you. If there is an accident, the other person can call for help and come to your aid.
  3. Obtain first aid immediately for any injury. Report all accidents/injuries to a monitor and/or instructor, no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time. This will help us to mitigate hazards in the future.
  4. Do not operate machinery that you have not been authorized to use. This will protect both you and the equipment from harm.
  5. Only students on the authorized list are permitted to use the workshop.
  6. No pets are allowed in the workshop. Pets are a distraction and become a tripping hazard by roaming the shop floor. 

Dress Code

  1. No open-toed shoes or high heels allowed. To provide secure footing, choose shoes with softer soles and stable platforms. Wearing appropriate footwear will help protect feet from falling objects and hot sparks or chips.
  2. No loose clothing allowed. This includes but is not limited to ties, scarves and loose-sleeved shirts. Short sleeves or sleeves rolled above the elbow are preferred. When welding, long sleeves are required for protection from arc-flash and metal sparks.
  3. No shorts, short dresses or skirts allowed when working in the Boliou metal shop or anywhere in the Mudd Instrument shop. Burred edges of freshly cut metal, such as sheet stock, are razor sharp. Wearing of long pants will protect you and those around you. Additionally, hot chips will burn/cut exposed skin, potentially startling the operator.
  4. Remove all jewelry that could be caught in moving machinery. This includes rings and loose bracelets. Remove necklaces and the like, if not securely restrained.
  5. Restrain all hair, including beards, that has potential for entanglement with moving machinery.
  6. Wearing of gloves when working on moving machinery is prohibited. Gloves can easily become entangled in moving machinery and thus are not allowed. The only exceptions to this rule are:
    • The wearing of gloves while using a bench or portable grinder or buffing wheel.
    • The wearing membranous gloves (such as latex or nitrile) for personal protection from chemicals or contamination control.

Machine Maintenance 

  1. Do not attempt to oil, clean, adjust or repair any machine while it is running. Performing maintenance on moving machinery exposes you to additional hazards.
  2. Ensure that all machine guarding is in place and functioning properly. Inform the monitor if the guarding is damaged or malfunctioning.
  3. Do not leave machines running unattended. Others may not notice the machine is running and may be injured by moving parts.
  4. Do not try to stop the machine with your hands or body. Stopping the machine with your body can result in entanglement. Let the machine come to a stop naturally.
  5. Always keep hands, hair, feet, etc. clear of all moving machinery at all times. Be aware of all moving parts, especially cutting tools and chucks.
  6. Remove chuck keys, wrenches and other tools from machines after making adjustments. Chuck keys left in the chuck when the machine turns on become dangerous flying objects.
  7. Listen to the machine(s)—if something does not sound right, shut it down. If the machine sounds abnormal to you, it probably is not operating properly. Inform the shop monitor of problems.
  8. Never use compressed air for cleaning machinery. This will embed particulates into the precision machine parts and will drastically reduce the life of the machine. Use the supplied chip brushes and rags to clean machinery.
  9. Never use compressed air to clean your clothes or any part of your body. Particles can become embedded in skin and eyes. In extreme cases, air can be introduced into the bloodstream.

Work Practices 

  1. Double check that tooling and work pieces are properly supported and clamped prior to starting a machine.
  2. Heavy or unwieldy work pieces often require special support structures to machine safely. Ask for help if you are unsure if your work piece requires additional support.
  3. Ask for help when moving awkward or heavy objects. This will protect you and those around you from injury.
  4. Deburr sharp edges of freshly cut stock. This includes the piece of stock that goes back in the stock rack. Eliminating burred edges minimizes the chances for personal injury and marring of precision machine surfaces.
  5. When working with another person only one person should operate the machine.
  6. Do not lean against the machines; it is poor etiquette. If you need a rest, grab a chair.
  7. Do not talk unnecessarily while operating a machine. Do not talk to others while they are operating a machine. Do not become a distraction to others. Concentrate on the work and the machine at all times; it only takes a moment for an accident to occur. If you must talk, turn off the machine.
  8. Be sure you have sufficient light to see clearly when performing any job. Well lit workspaces are much safer and less straining on the operator.
  9. Work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Rushing will compromise safe working practices, along with part quality, and will increase the chance of damaging equipment.
  10. If you do not know how to do something—ASK! Do not engage in any activity that may have unusual risk. Trust your judgment. Check with the monitor if you have any doubts about what you are doing.
  11. Excessively loud music is prohibited. You need to hear operation of machines and be able to have conversation.  Headphones and earbuds are never allowed.

Shop Cleanliness Rules 

  1. Keep floors free of sawdust, oil, grease or any other liquid. Clean up spilled liquids immediately, they are slipping hazards.
  2. Store materials in such a way that they cannot become tripping hazards. Immediately return all excess material to its proper storage place.
  3. Put tools away when not in use. This prevents loss of tools and also makes them available to others.
  4. Place all scrap in scrap containers.
  5. Stop work 10 minutes prior to the time you need to leave the shop. This will provide ample time to clean and replace tools to their homes.
  6. KEEP THE SHOP CLEAN AT ALL TIMES. It is all of our responsibility to keep the shop clean. There is no excuse for a cluttered or messy workspace. If your workspace is cluttered, then you are working too fast. Slow down. Know this: you will not anger someone if you clean up after them. In fact, they will likely do the same for you.