Shop and Makerspace Safety
Academic shop and maker space activities play an important role in the education of many NYU students in the arts, sciences, and engineering. These spaces include a broad range of uses and vary widley on the types of equipment they have on hand. Safety is a shared responsibility that involves the institution, the user, and staff. University guidelines have been developed which help define these safety standards, as well as roles, responsibilities, and authority. NYU Departments are required to develop a health and safety plan to prevent injury and exposure to hazardous materials in their specific shops and maker spaces. It is the responsibility of the department and the shop/maker space supervisors to ensure these areas and equipment are used and maintained in a safe manner.
Hierarchy of Controls
A hierarchy of controls is used as a means of creating a safer system.
The five groups are stacked as progressively smaller section of the inverted triangle. Ranging from most effective hazard control to the least effective. The groups, from largest or most effective to smallest or least effective, are: Elimination, Substitution, Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls, personal protective equipment (PPE).
Elimination and Substitution
Elimination and substitution are the most effective at mitigating hazards. An example of substitution would be replacing a hazardous chemical used during a cleaning process with a less hazardous one.
Engineering controls are used to control – not eliminate - a hazard. Well-designed engineering controls will be independent of worker interactions and provide a high level of protection. Interlocks, machine guards, ventilation systems, and guardrails are examples of engineering controls
Administrative controls are behavior-oriented. Training, written procedures, inspections, lights, sirens, and warning signs are administrative controls.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is the last line of defense and is used to supplement other hazard control measures in the hierarchy. Examples of PPE are gloves, safety glasses, protective footwear, and dust masks.
General Shop & Maker Space Safety Rules
- Never use a machine if you are not trained. A training program must be established and competency measures to qualify independent users, including students on machines. At least some portion of the training and competency measure must be machine or tool specific.
- Written safety procedures must be established. Shop supervisor or PI must develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for hazardous equipment, activities, or substances. Maintain written safety procedures for each machine. These written procedures should address safety precautions for routine risks such as changing cutters, as well as more significant risks that may require full lock-out tag-out.
- All Shops and Makerspaces must be registered in SciShield. Emergency contact numbers must be entered into the virtual lab.
- Establish shop hours and control access to the shop. Only trained authorized persons can use the shop.
- Restrictions must be made on working alone. At least two adults must be in the shop when power tools are being used. You must get permission from your Supervisor for off-hours and weekend work if the shop permits off-hour work.
- Never wear items that may become entangled in machines. Long hair, necklaces, ties, loose clothes, may get caught in tools can drag you along resulting in serious injury or death.
- Ensure all users have the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Always wear appropriate safety glasses or goggles when working or cleaning tools. Prescription glasses with plastic lenses must meet ANSI Standard Z87.1 for safety. Each shop supervisor must complete the Shop Hazards PPE Assessment form to identify the appropriate PPE.
- Hazard zones and walkways should be identified and marked. Emergency contact numbers and hazardous communication must be posted on all entrances.
- All hot work activities have a current hot work permit and a certified fire watcher present.
- Emergency egress and equipment. Keep aisles, exits, and access to emergency equipment clear.
- Wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Never wear open-toe shoes. In most cases, appropriate clothing will include long pants that protect from chips or flying debris.
- No food or drink is permitted in the workshop.
- Establish a daily equipment inspection process. Ensure that machines and tools are in good working order and are equipped with effective safeguards (e.g. machine guards and shields). Participate with RLS during periodic shop safety surveys.
- Never make any adjustments to a machine when it is in operation. Before make adjustments speak with your shop supervisor.
- Never leave broken or damaged tools in circulation and unreported. Broken parts or equipment can result in serious injuries. Always inform your supervisor so damaged or broken equipment can be locked and tagged out or completely removed from service.
- Maintain good housekeeping. Always clean up after yourself. Before you leave your work site all tools must be returned to the toolbox and your work area cleaned. Leave 10-15 minutes for clean up at the end of your shift.
- Compressed air may not be used for cleaning skin or clothing. Never use compressed air greater than 30psi pressure for cleaning equipment.
- Conduct self-inspections at least annually. In addition to equipment daily checks to identify other shop hazards and follow-up actions.
- Maintain accurate inventory of hazardous substances, materials , and equipment in SciShield. Inform users on how to access Safety Data Sheets (SDS) in SciShield or in paper form. If equiment can not be adding to the equiment module please upload an inventory to the documents tab.
- Cell phones and other personal electronic devices must not be used when working at any machine.
- Investigate all incidents and report them to RLS. Use the Incident Reporting Form found in SciShield.