Makerspace Safety Month

Posted: March 27, 2018 10:14 pm

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in our safety month activities, either in the forums or at our quarterly member meeting on March 24. The rule to “Make Safely” is a huge one at MakeICT and we had a lot of great discussion about what we can do to keep improving.

With our Safety Month drawing to a close, here is this list of 10 things I’d like all of you members to know about.

Extension cords – We’re going to be installing more outlets to reduce our dependance on extension cords. Extension cords are for temporary use only, not a permanent way to power frequently used equipment. If you’d like to help out or learn to install outlets, contact info@makeict.org

Fire extinguishers – We’ve had all our fire extinguishers inspected and serviced as required. This is an annual task that we’d let go a bit but now we are all up to date. Make sure you know the location of all fire extinguishers. Walk around the space and look for them near light switches.

Signage – We’re going to be adding more signs all around the space for emergency exits and escape routes.

Hazardous fumes – Many area access policies are in review right now, so we’re going to add policies that forbids the use of spray paints and finishes. If you’re using a chemical with noticeable fumes please move outside.

Children – Kids have always been welcome at our makerspace as long as they’re directly supervised by an adult member. The ages for areas have all been different so we are going to level-set our age limits in the policies to help members keep track. Here’s what we’re working towards: kids under 12 can only enter an area with tools if the area lead has granted special permission. Kids 12-16 can use equipment they’re authorized for if supervised by a parent who is an authorized member. Any member over 16 can apply for their own key.

Trip hazards – need to be removed from hallways and aisles. If you’re not sure where to move something, ask a lead.

First aid kits – Make sure you know the location of first aid kits, and notify safety@makeict.org if you use anything out of a kit.

Pest control – Don’t throw away food trash in a trash can without a lid. We’ve had issues with mice in the past and they can lead to serious health issues. Throw away food trash in the outside dumpster or black lidded trash can in the break area.

Muscle Strains – Don’t try to lift heavy objects by yourself. Get a dolly or ask another member to help lift things that are too heavy.

Education – Don’t use tools you’re not comfortable with. If you’re new or it’s been a while since you used a tool or area, feel free to check the calendar and re-take the safety class. Many instructors will let former students sit in for free if they’ve already taken the class and just need a refresher.

Safety is every member’s responsibility. When I tell people about MakeICT, I always try to make sure they know that we’re a collaborative shared makerspace, so anyone can come up to anyone if they see a better, safer way to work. Don’t be afraid to bring someone a pair of safety glasses if you’re worried they might forget. Don’t be afraid to ask an unattended guest of any age who’s supposed to be supervising them.¬†You don’t have to be the president to make our space safer. If you feel like a fellow member is ignoring you, that’s when you can pull in a leader.

If you have concerns or want to bring up another issue, please contact our safety lead Mike Barushok either at the space or via email to safety@makeict.org.