Safety Rules & Guidelines

Best Practices


  • always ask a monitor or manager for assistance if you're uncertain about a machine or a tool
  • be aware of what other shop users are doing on neighboring machines
  • stay focused on your machine operation. Avoid unnecessary conversation and other distractions.
  • use proper lifting techniques such as lifting with your legs—not your back—and ask for assistance whenever necessary
  • immediately report all damage and/or malfunctions to shop staff (failing to do so may result in someone getting injured or equipment becoming further damaged)


  • create trip hazards (bundled cords and other materials on the floor)
  • leave protruding objects (clamps, project elements, etc.) anywhere where they might injure someone
  • place heavy objects in precarious position that might injure others
  • leave a running machine unattended
  • remove safety guards from any machine—always ask the monitor or manager for assistance
  • force materials and tools; instead, develop a sensitive touch
  • spray compressed air toward any part of your body—particularly your eyes or ears

Additional Safety Rules & Guidelines

Never work while impaired in any way (e.g., under the influence of alcohol, drugs—including prescription medication that impair one's ability to operate machinery—sleep deprivation, exhaustion, stress and/or emotional strain). Whenever possible avoid last-minute shop work in favor of a consistent weekly effort. Deadline-driven haste can lead to carelessness that may result in ruined projects and/or serious injuries.

Never attempt to operate unfamiliar machinery or tools. Do not experiment with tools. All tools are designed for specific applications. Check with a monitor or manager if you think you may be pushing the limits of a tool. Studio staff is onsite to help you.

No horseplay or running is allowed in the shops.

Proper attire is required. No open-toed shoes (e.g., sandals, flip-flops) are allowed in the shops. Loose clothing, rings, jewelry, and other personal items that could become entangled in the machines should be tucked in, removed, or secured. Likewise, long hair should be tied back.

Do not wear gloves when working with shop machines. They can become entangled in moving parts and pull your fingers toward the machines, causing significant injury.

Eye protection is required at all times. Safety glasses are available for use while working in the shops. Note: Sunglasses are not allowed in the shops.

Hearing protection should be used when necessary. Foam earplugs and headphone-style ear muffs are available for use while working in the shops. (**Note: Headphones are not allowed in the shops. You must not only be able to hear what is happening around you at all times but also keep everything on your person from becoming entangled in the machinery.)

Respiratory protection is required in the Sanding Area, the Sanding Room, and the Spray Booth. Respiratory protection is also recommended when using certain materials (e.g., foam, Renshape) in other locations. The Studio shops supply shared respirators for use while working in the shops; dust masks are also available (to purchase).

Rags that have absorbed any amount of oil- or solvent-based material should be saturated with water and immediately placed in the red flammable waste containers as a precaution against spontaneous combustion. (Waste containers are located in the Spray Booth and Vapor Room. Note: waste containers are to be used solely for this purpose; no other materials should ever be placed in these containers.)