University Safety and Assurances

Art Studio and Shop Safety Rules for Powered Equipment

Safety Rules for Powered Equipment:

Safety Rules

In order to maintain the highest level of safety and efficiency in the work area, it is necessary to conform to standard work practice behavior. When working with equipment of any kind you must be aware of the potential for injury and observe behaviors that will eliminate risk. Organization and planning are fundamental aspects of safety.

Work Behavior:

Please observe the following in the work area. You are using a shared space, so sensible and considerate behavior will enhance the community experience.

  • Do not rush. Be organized and plan in advance what equipment you will use
  • Plan the type of work activities you will be engaged in
  • Respect others' space and working time. Distractions cause accidents
  • Keep your working area tidy and organized.
  • Ask questions about equipment and technique. If you are unsure, request individual help
  • Do not run or move quickly in the space
  • Be aware of who is using what, and the location of others in the room
  • Concentrate when using hand tools and larger equipment
  • Wear sensible clothing
  • Use the right tool for the right job
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke in the work area
  • Wash your hands when you have finished
  • Do not work in inappropriate areas

All pieces of powered equipment are potentially very dangerous if mishandled. You must comply with all safety regulations when using the equipment. The following are general safety guidelines for use of some of the powered equipment typically found in studios and shops.

Specific Tool Safety:

Band Saw Safety pdf format, Adobe Acrobat Required

  1. Do not operate under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication
  2. Always wear eye protection
  3. Remove ties, scarves, rings, necklaces and other jewelry and roll up sleeves
  4. Tie back long hair
  5. Safety guards should be in place at all times
  6. Make sure the saw blade teeth point downward to the floor
  7. Adjust the upper blade guide about 1/8 of an inch above the material being cut
  8. Make sure the blade tension and blade tracking are properly adjusted
  9. Stop the machine before removing off-cuts
  10. Always keep your hands and fingers away from the table
  11. Hold work piece firmly against the table. Do not attempt to saw stock that does not have a flat surface, unless a suitable support is used
  12. Hold firmly and feed into blade at moderate speed
  13. Turn machine off if the material is to be backed out of an uncompleted or jammed cut
  14. Make release cuts before cutting a long curve
  15. Shut off power and clean the band saw and work area before leaving the machine

Bench Grinder pdf format, Adobe Acrobat Required

  1. Do not operate under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication
  2. Always wear eye protection (safety glasses or a face shield).
  3. Remove tie, rings, watch and other jewelry and roll up sleeves.
  4. Make sure the wheel guards are in place. Grinding creates heat; don't touch ground portion of workpiece until you are sure workpiece has cooled.
  5. Adjust the spark guards to be close to the wheel, and re-adjust these spark guards as the wheels wear down to a smaller diameter
  6. Be sure blotters and wheel flanges are used to mount the grinding wheels onto the shaft of the grinder.
  7. Stand to one side of the wheel when turning on power
  8. Tool rests should be adjusted close to the wheels and thoroughly tightened in place so they cannot shift position while in use
  9. Inspect the wheels before turning on the power. DO NOT use wheels that have been chipped or cracked.
  10. When grinding, use the face of the wheel only.
  11. Dress the wheel on the face only. Dressing the side of the wheel would cause it to become too thin for safe use.
  12. DO NOT use a wheel that vibrates. Dress wheel, replace the wheel, or replace the bearings of the shaft if these are worn. Grinding creates heat; don't touch ground portion of workpiece until you are sure workpiece has closed.
  13. Shut off the power and do not leave guards as the wheels wear down to a until the wheel has come to a complete stop and the work area is clean when finished using machine.

Also see: US & A webpage on benchgrinder safety.

Drill Press Safety pdf format, Adobe Acrobat Required

  1. Do not operate under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication
  2. Always wear eye protection
  3. Remove ties, scarves, rings, necklaces and other jewelry and roll up sleeves
  4. Tie back long hair
  5. Safety guards should be in place at all times
  6. Clamp work to table if it is too short to contact the column. Hold the material securely with a vise or clamps
  7. Clamp work when using hole saw or cutting tools larger than 1/2" diameter. DO NOT exceed recommended speed for the drill, accessory and workpiece material
  8. Remove chuck key from the chuck before activating the drill press
  9. Make all adjustments with the power off
  10. Adjust the table to depth stop to avoid drilling into the table
  11. Be sure the drill bit or cutting tool is securely locked into the chuck
  12. Shut off power, remove and put drill bit or cutting tool away and clean the table before leaving the machine

Sander Safety pdf format, Adobe Acrobat Required

  1. Do not operate under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication
  2. Always wear eye protection
  3. Remove ties, scarves, rings, necklaces and other jewelry and roll up sleeves
  4. Tie back long hair
  5. Maintain minimum clearance between table and sanding belt or disc
  6. Make sure belt is tracking correctly and properly installed on the belt finishing machine
  7. Make sure belt is not torn or loose
  8. Always keep hands away from abrasive surfaces
  9. Always use a backstop when using the belt finishing machine in a horizontal position
  10. Never use gloves or hold the work with a rag when sanding
  11. Always sand on the downward side of disc when using the disc finishing machine so that the work is held securely on the table
  12. Shut off power and do not leave until the machine has come to a complete stop. Clean the work area when you are finished.

Table Saw Safetypdf format, Adobe Acrobat Required

  1. Do not operate under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication
  2. Always wear eye protection
  3. Remove ties, scarves, rings, necklaces and other jewelry and roll up sleeves
  4. Tie back long hair
  5. Blade guards should be kept in place and used whenever the cutting operation permits
  6. Always use saw blade guard, splitter and anti-kickback fingers for "through sawing"
  7. Keep hands out of the path of saw blade
  8. Stand to one side, NOT in line with the saw cut when ripping
  9. Always use a "push stick" when ripping narrow work
  10. Know how to avoid "kickbacks"
  11. Do not perform any operation freehand. Always hold the work firmly against the miter gauge or fence
  12. Never use the fence when cross-cutting
  13. When using a moulding cutterhead, never run the stock between the fence and the moulding cutterhead
  14. Never reach around the saw blade
  15. Keep the saw blade sharp and free of all rust and pitch
  16. Make all adjustments with the power off
  17. Shut off power and clean the saw before you leave

Radial Arm Saw Safety pdf format, Adobe Acrobat Required

  1. Do not operate under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication
  2. Always wear eye protection
  3. Remove ties, scarves, rings, necklaces and other jewelry and roll up sleeves
  4. Tie back long hair
  5. Blade guards should be kept in place and used at all times
  6. Always use saw blade guard and anti-kickback fingers for "through sawing"
  7. Keep hands out of the path of saw blade
  8. Know how to avoid "kickbacks"
  9. Do not perform any operation freehand. Always hold the work against the fence
  10. Make all adjustments with the power off
  11. Never reach around the saw blade
  12. Keep the saw blade sharp and free of all rust and pitch
  13. Never start the machine with the workpiece against the blade
  14. Never perform a cross arm cut
  15. Return the cutterhead to the full rear position behind the fence after each crosscut operation
  16. Never perform layout, assembly or set up work on the table/work area when the machine is running
  17. Shut off power and clean the saw before you leave

Other Equipment Specific Safety Guides:

"Tool Safety Rules" Template Word Document (Blank sign to be used to create your own tool specific posting.)