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Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and Safety is a comprehensive program that strives to strengthen the safety culture by serving to protect employees and students who are at risk.  Risks are everywhere in the workplace and few jobs are without hazards. The health and safety of students and employees are of primary importance.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration - OSHA                           International Labour Organization - ILO


Safety Guidelines and Instructions

Workshop safety is everyone's responsibility, the following rules have been put in place to ensure the safety of all students, and are intended to reduce the risk of the more common hazards. Normally, a machine shop or experimental laboratory is a safe place to work. However, the presence of rotating machinery, heavy equipment and materials, hot materials and pipes, and hazardous materials requires that you take extra precautions to protect yourself. Please read the safety rules carefully and please observe these rules. Hazards can be avoided by thinking of the consequences before you act. If you are not sure of the safety aspects of your assignments, always consult an instructor. Laboratory specific safety rules may be required for specific processes, equipment, and materials, which should be addressed by laboratory specific SOPs.

  1. Supervisor or instructor MUST be notified whenever a student intends to work in an unsupervised area. Students are not allowed in the Lab without a supervisor.
  2. Students working must notify their supervisor or instructor whenever they intend to work in the Lab. No one is permitted to work in the shop or lab areas alone. This is to provide protection and assistance in case personal injury should occur.  
  3. Know locations of laboratory safety showers, eye wash stations, and fire extinguishers. 
  4. Know emergency exit routes. Follow the warning signs when unusual hazards, hazardous materials, hazardous equipment, or other special conditions are present.
  5. Use equipment only for its designated purpose. 
  6. Do not operate tools or machinery that you haven’t been trained for. Avoid using items unless you’ve been trained in proper handling. This is for your own safety as well as the safety of those around you.
  7. When working on any equipment the appropriate safety equipment for hand, eye and hearing protection must be used. 
  8. Wear the correct protective equipment for the tools you are using. If in doubt. Please ask!
  9. Safety glasses with side shields or goggles to cover prescription glasses shall be worn in the Machine Shop at all times. 
  10. Keeping arms and legs covered, avoiding dangling jewelry or ties, and wearing closed-toe shoes can go a long way in minimizing common workplace injuries and accidents. 
  11. Loosely fitting clothing may become entangled in rotating machinery; do not wear it in the shop or labs. 
  12. Clothing made of synthetic fibers should not be worn while working with flammable liquids or when a fire hazard is present as these materials tend to melt and stick to exposed skin.
  13. In the welding shop, long-sleeve shirts or equivalent are required to protect from u.v. radiation. Any damage to your clothes (e.g. oil marks) is your own responsibility. 
  14. In the welding shop, long-sleeve shirts or equivalent are required to protect from u.v. radiation. Any damage to your clothes (e.g. oil marks) is your own responsibility. 
  15. People with long hair shall wear it tied up or with protective covering to ensure that their hair cannot become entangled with machinery or burnt with welding equipment.
  16. Avoid wearing jewelry in the lab as this can pose multiple safety hazards. Rings and loose jewelry shall be removed while working with machinery.
  17. No contact lenses should be worn around hazardous chemicals – even when wearing safety glasses.
  18. Closed toe shoes will be worn at all times in the laboratory. 
  19. Perforated shoes or sandals are not appropriate. 
  20. Safety shoes with steel toes are preferred.
  21. When welding, special eye protection and gloves are to be worn. This will protect eyes from high intensity light and u.v. and hands from u.v. burns. Also, remember the workpiece is extremely hot and will remain so for a considerable time after actual welding is done.
  22. When working with machine tools, keep your fingers well away from the tool. 
  23. Make sure your work piece is fixed securely before work commences.
  24. Do not handle chips coming from the work piece as they are hot and have sharp cutting edges. 
  25. When using any wrench provided to tighten a tool bit or work piece, never leave the wrench in the chuck. 
  26. Check travel and clearance between the tool post and chuck to prevent contact.
  27. Minimize all chemical exposures. 
  28. Avoid skin and eye contact with all chemicals. 
  29. Do not taste or intentionally sniff chemicals. Assume that all chemicals of unknown toxicity are highly toxic. 
  30. Wash exposed areas of the skin prior to leaving the laboratory.
  31. Wash hands after using equipment and materials.
  32. Do not pour chemicals down drains. 
  33. Do NOT utilize the sewer for chemical waste disposal.
  34. Never consume and/or store food or beverages or apply cosmetics in the lab specially in areas where hazardous chemicals are used or stored.
  35. No cell phone or ear phone usage in the active portion of the laboratories, or during experimental operations.
  36. Avoid distracting or startling persons working in the laboratory. 
  37. Keep clear of any person operating tools and machinery (bumping an operator or get tangled in the lead could cause serious injury to you or the operator). 
  38. Do not talk to anyone operating electrical equipment and machinery.
  39. No horseplay will be tolerated. Fooling around and practical jokes in the workshop will not be tolerated. These students will be told to leave.
  40. Lift, bend, and stretch with care to avoid injury. Musculoskeletal problems caused by poor technique when picking up boxes or stretching to reach objects is a common cause of workplace injury. If you’re not sure how to best lift, bend or stretch at work, ask your supervisor or instructor. 
  41. Student affected by drugs or alcohol are not permitted in the workshop. Not only can drugs and alcohol affect your motor skills, they can also impair your judgment and ability to communicate. Even prescription drugs can have a serious effect on your ability to handle machinery and tools safely. 
  42. Students with any health problems that may affect workplace safety (e.g., medication, epileptic fits) must report these conditions to the workshop staff.
  43. Keep your working area neat and well organized; keep the floor clean of oil spills and metal chips. 
  44. Clean off your machine when finished and return all tooling to the storage bins, trays, etc. The area must be swept clean before leaving your machine. Failure to do so will result in curtailment of privileges.
  45. Before leaving check that any tools you have been using have been put away in the appropriate spots, clean up your work area and notify the workshop staff.
  46. In the event of any problems arising while operating a piece of equipment, shut down the equipment and report the problem to the instructor.
  47. Report any personal injury to the instructor for treatment. Report any hazard you notice to the instructor.  All accidents, cuts and abrasions must be reported before leaving the workshop. If an accident does happen, no matter how small, it must be reported to the workshop staff.
  48. Do not touch anyone who has been electrocuted.
  49. Do not cut corners or take unnecessary risks. 
  50. Workplace safety rules are often developed in response to hazard and risk assessments. They are by nature designed to minimize the chances of injury while carrying out assigned tasks.  All students should place emphasis on safety at all times. Anticipate the potential hazards and appropriate safety precautions before beginning any work.

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