Safety is the most important part of completing any project successfully. When working with tools, it is important to keep in mind your protection and the protection of the equipment you're using.
Step 1: General Safety
1. If there is an emergency, call 911.
2. In the event of an injury, seek medical attention and let the instructor know as soon as is possible.
3. Never work alone! At least two people, that can see each other, must be present when working in the lab or when using power tools.
4. Inspect every tool before use. If a tool breaks, label it as broken, put it aside and notify a TA or instructor. Do not try to fix a broken tool.
5. Eye protection is crucial. You must wear safety glasses or face shields at all times when using any power tool or hammer or chisel. Additional PPE (dust masks, latex or nitrile gloves, face shields, hearing protection, etc.) is not required but is available for use on a voluntary basis depending on your specific project work.
6. Ear buds or music headphones are not allowed when using tools. These are not appropriate substitutes for hearing protection. Additionally, wires can get tangled in your work.
7. Never work when you are impaired. If you are too tired, under stress, in a hurry or impaired in any other way – do not come to the lab.
8. Do not operate any equipment unless you have been trained to use it and are familiar with its standard operating procedures. If you have any questions about operating procedures, ask.
9. If you are unsure about proper operational procedures, safety, machine and tool usage or any other aspect of a job – ask for help! An instructor or TA can help you out and decrease the chance of something going wrong.
10. Long hair must be tied back or covered to keep it away from moving/rotating machinery.
11. Wear clothing appropriate for the job you are performing and remove anything that can be caught in the moving or rotating machinery. Do not wear ties, loose clothing, jewelry, gloves etc. around moving or rotating machinery. Hand protection in form of suitable gloves should be used for handling hot objects, glass or sharp-edged items.
12. Closed toe shoes must be worn in the lab. You are welcome to leave a pair of appropriate shoes in your workspace in the lab.
13. Make sure to properly secure materials when using tools. There are a variety of clamps, vices and worktables available to secure materials when working.
14. Keep your hands away from rotating and moving machinery (spindles, blades, drills etc.) until moving parts come to a full stop!
15. Be careful when handling tools and newly machined parts – they can be extremely sharp and hot.
16. Act carefully and responsibly when working in the lab. Metal chips, spilled oil, dust, chemicals, and smoke can be very dangerous and can present a slipping and tripping hazard. Do not allow debris to accumulate.
17. If the power goes out while using a power tool, turn the tool off, remove your material and wait for the power to return.
18. Report dangerous behavior to instructor.
19. Do not use corridors as a work or storage area. Maintain unobstructed access to all exits, fire extinguishers, electrical panels, emergency showers and eyewashes.
20. Always clean up after you are done! Practice cleanliness and orderliness in the lab areas. Clean up first by using broom and dustpan then vacuum cleaners. Do not use compressed air to blow metal chips or dust. Any oil or dust spill is a potential slipping hazard and must be treated and removed. Leave at least 15 minutes for clean up.
21. Before leaving the lab every user is responsible for making sure that:
- All the tools are returned and put away
- Projects are removed from the machines and stored
- Work area is cleaned and organized
- Unwanted materials are disposed of
22. Note location of phone, first aid kit and fire extinguisher.
Step 2: Woodworking Safety
1. Before using a tool, examine it to make sure it's in working condition. If a tool is broken, label it as broken and set it aside for a lab manager or TA. Don't try to fix a broken tool.
2. Always secure your material using clamps or a vice. Unsecured material could easily fly out of your control, potentially injuring you or breaking your tool. It'll also make it much, much easier for you to work with.
3. When drilling holes, always use a backer board to ensure that you don't drill through your material into your workstation.
4. Before starting work, lay out your surroundings in order to prevent accidents and injuries. Make sure your material is clear and the space around your tool is not cluttered.
5. When using power tools, never work alone. Always work with a friend to help you make sure you're staying safe and to call 911 in an emergency.
6. When cutting, always make sure your tool has enough clearance to cut the material without cutting into your table. Don't accidentally cut into the side of a table because you didn't give your saw enough room.
7. Know how to use tools and what to use them for: if you don't know what something does, ask!
Step 3: Electronics Safety
1. Never work on a circuit while power is applied.
2. Don’t connect power to a circuit until the circuit is finished and you’ve checked your work carefully.
3. If you smell anything burning, immediately disconnect the power and examine your circuit to find out what went wrong.
4. Keep your work area dry.
5. Always wear safety goggles.
6. Be careful around large capacitors; they can continue to hold voltage long after they’re disconnected from power.
7. Be especially careful when you solder; a hot soldering iron can easily burn you.
8. Always work in a well-ventilated space.
Step 4: Cleanup
1. Make sure to unplug and put away all hand tools after you are done using them. Clean up as you go!
2. Make sure to put small items where they belong, especially drill bits. Keep track of which box you got a bit from and make sure you return it to the correct location.
3. Vacuum when done working, make sure to sweep off all surfaces.
4. Clean up the area around you as well, even if the mess isn't yours. It is a shared space!
5. If you used cordless tools, make sure to remove batteries and put them in the charging dock.
6. Store your project in a safe place so others don't mistake it as scrap.
7. Wash hands, especially if working with electronics.