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Studio Safety Guidelines

The Cilker School of Art & Design has a commitment to protecting the health and safety of each of its students through supervision and training.

Because each student will chart a different course throughout their work life, the institution should impress upon the student their need to make a commitment to safety, and show the student the specific resources and habits to help them maintain their own safety regimen, beyond the immediate need to fully inform them about the materials and processes they work with while attending University.

The purpose of this policy is to set forth both general safety guidelines for the Cilker School of Art & Design and safety procedures for individual studio practice, with the goal of providing the safest possible working and educational environment for faculty, staff, and students. The safety procedures will follow the provisions of the West valley College and any other applicable local, state, and federal regulations.

Faculty and Staff

Each faculty member and teaching assistant is subject to all campus health and safety regulations, and is responsible for the dissemination of information to students and employees under their active academic jurisdiction. Their responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Explain to students the safety regulations and procedures pertinent to their specific tasks or activities.
  • Assure the safe and appropriate labeling, use and storage of materials in lab and studio areas.
  • Require students to use personal protective devices and clothing as needed for the proposed instruction or activity. Such devices and equipment must be maintained in good repair.
  • Inspect instructional areas frequently for identification and prompt elimination of unsafe practices and conditions.
  • Seek prompt medical treatment for any student injured by calling 911.
  • Notify the Department Chair and Dean of all accidents involving students, faculty, or staff, even those that do not require medical attention. This information is used statistically to plan future safety policies.
  • Submit recommendations for the improvement of the immediate academic environment to the Dean or Department Chair.

Students and Student Employees

College students are subject to all campus health and safety regulations. They are responsible for understanding and complying with all University and Department safety instructions, both written and oral.

  • Use only tools and equipment approved or provided by the supervisor or instructor.
  • Use all appropriate safety equipment and guards, and follow all safety procedures that pertain to your planned operation.
  • Report any unsafe conditions, practices or equipment to the instructor or supervisor.
  • Inform the instructor or supervisor immediately of all injuries or accidents, and assist injured persons in obtaining prompt medical treatment when necessary.
  • Request information about any equipment, material or procedure you expect to be exposed to that has not been explained to you. Ask for clarification about any aspect you do not understand.
  • Students are responsible for helping keep the studios clean and organized. Clean up your work area every time you finish using any studio space or lab.
  • If you come in to studio to work outside of regularly scheduled class, and there is another class in session, ask permission from the instructor before beginning to work.
  • Please take note of all posted signs and instructions—they are for your safety.
  • Report broken equipment and tools to your instructor or the shop supervisor.
  • Make your work area safe by removing clutter, scrap and unused tools. Keep the floor clear of cords and debris.
  • Handle other students' work even more carefully than you would your own.
  • Reported any suspected thefts to your instructor.
  • As is the case in all campus facilities, alcohol and smoking are prohibited on campus.

General Safety Conditions and Procedures

Accident and Emergency Preparedness

  • Activate the fire alarm
  • Alarm stations are usually located at or near building exits and in each studio.
  • Exit the building using the nearest marked exit and call 911.
  • On your way to the exit, identify and assist people who are disabled or unable to leave the building under their own power.
  • Assemble outside as a group to ensure everyone has left the building safely.
  • Do not return to the building until the all clear is given.
  • During bad weather, check your phone or tune your radio to get updated information. Take shelter immediately inside the building.
  • Move to the lowest interior corridor or stairwell.
  • Stay away from doors and windows.
  • Cover your head and face. Kneel facing walls.
  • First, if building is equipped, pull the yellow lockdown lever in the studio.
  • Stop what you are doing and call 911.
  • If it is safe to do so, try to escape from the building. Notify others of the danger as you exit.
  • If escape is not feasible, close and lock the door. Barricade the doorway.
  • Turn out lights, get out of view and hide until police arrive or you can escape.
  • Always call 911 in situations where there is a physical threat to you or someone else.
  • Help the person to sit down or move into a safe position. Do not move seriously injured people unless there is an immediate risk of further harm.
  • Assess the injury and situation, and call 911 if necessary. If you have called 911, post students at the entrances to assist medics.
  • Check to see that there is no other safety threat (i.e. turn off running equipment).
  • Apply first aid if able. Wear rubber gloves and do not touch any bodily fluids.

Emergency Equipment

First aid kits are located in every art and design studio. Know the location of the closest first aid kit to your classroom. If you do not see one, ask your instructor.

Eyewash stations are located in the Art Labs.

Fire extinguishers are located in every classroom. Know the location of the closest fire extinguisher. If you do not see one, ask your instructor.

Communication with the Department Administration and Staff

During business hours, faculty and staff should report all emergencies or major injuries to the main office and fill out an incident report form.

After business hours, call 911 on a school phone to reach campus police.

Personal Safety

Back injuries can occur from lifting heavy objects. Get help if the object is heavy. Proper lifting uses the muscles of your legs, while keeping your back straight and holding the load close to your body. Never lift and twist your waist at the same time.

To prevent motion-related injuries, select appropriate tools and use neutral postures (for example, a straight wrist) while performing tasks. Take frequent rest breaks to stretch muscles, and alternate tasks to use and rest different muscles. Use as light a grip as possible when holding tools. If you cannot relieve joint pain by taking time off or reducing stress on the joint, seek medical assistance. Repetitive motion disorders can be disabling if not treated early.

Repetitive motion, particularly of the hands, wrists, and arms, can lead to painful inflammation of muscles, tendons, and nerves over time and cause the eventual deterioration of those tissues. The symptoms associated with repetitive-motion disorders can include pain, warmth, swelling, and difficulty moving the joint involved. Continuous, often extreme bending of wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints leads to these disorders.

Grip positions that use high-force finger pinching along with a bent wrist have been associated with the disorder called carpal tunnel syndrome. Hand polishing and sanding and drawing and painting in awkward postures are examples of high-risk repetitive tasks.

Using power tools for long periods of time may result in vibration injuries. Vibration injuries can affect the nerves, vascular system and muscles to varying degrees; if allowed to progress, they can cause irreversible loss of function in fingers and hands. Early signs are tingling, numbness and whitening of fingers and hands, and impaired sensitivity and dexterity.

Be sure to let your instructor know about any health conditions that may affect your safety or ability to perform the tasks that will be expected in studio. It is the student's responsibility to inform a faculty member if they need to substitute technical procedures because of an existing health condition.

  1. Pregnancy
    If you are pregnant, nursing, or planning a pregnancy you should avoid the following materials:
    • Dye materials
    • Solvents
    • Epoxies
    • Some adhesives
    • Photography chemicals
    • Gases from welding, cutting and brazing
  2. Asthma
    If you have asthma, be sure to let your instructors know. Always carry your inhaler or other supplies you may need. Tell your instructor where you keep these items so they can help in case of an episode.
  3. Allergies
    If you have serious allergies, be sure to let your instructor know. Always carry any supplies you may need to suppress a reaction. Tell your instructor where you keep these items so they can help in case of an episode.
  4. Contact Lenses
    In dusty environments, contact lenses can trap dust against your eye and cause irritation. When working near acids and solvents they can trap gases or in some cases even partially melt and adhere to your eyes. Wearing glasses instead can offer you additional protection in any environment where your eyes may be at risk.
  5. Prescription Drugs
    If you are using any prescription drug that can influence your ability to operate machinery, you must notify your instructor. Do not risk injury by attempting to work while impaired.

As is the case in all campus facilities, alcohol and smoking are prohibited on campus. Never use hazardous materials, tools or equipment while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  1. Shoes In most labs it is advisable to wear closed-toe shoes, and in the wood and metal shops it is mandatory.
  2. Jewelry
    Keep jewelry to a minimum, or remove it and keep it in your locker when using machinery or working with tools.
  3. Hair
    Tie back long hair to avoid getting it caught in spinning machinery.
  4. Clothing
    Avoid loose clothing when working near machinery. In labs where you may be exposed to intense heat or open flame, wear natural fiber clothing. Artificial fibers are very combustible and can melt when exposed to heat or flame, adhering to skin and causing severe burns. When welding or cutting using arc equipment, wear long sleeves and pants and be sure not to leave any skin exposed; arc processes produce intense ultraviolet radiation and will burn exposed skin.
  1. Safety Glasses and Face Shields Use safety glasses when handling any dyes, solvents or chemicals, using spray booths to spray paint or to clean screens, spraying paint outdoors, or working with epoxies, resins or other finishes. When using machinery, safety glasses are a minimum level of protection; a face shield may also be required. When welding or cutting using oxy-gas or arc equipment, or looking into a kiln or furnace, wear the proper goggles or mask with the appropriate shade lens; if you are unsure of the shade required for your activity, ask your instructor.
  2. Dust Masks and Respirators
    Use dust masks to keep from breathing nuisance dust, such as wood or clay dust or dust from general cleaning. Protecting yourself from breathing toxic particles, gases and vapors requires a respirator. A wide variety of cartridges attach to respirator masks to protect a user from different kinds of hazards; this means the correct type of cartridge must be installed in the respirator to protect you from a specific hazard. Be sure you have chosen the proper cartridge for your brand of respirator, and that it is rated to protect you from the hazard you will be exposed to. Test your respirator before each use to be sure it is functioning properly.
  3. Gloves, Barrier Creams
    Consider using barrier creams or latex gloves to prevent casual contact with toxins and solvents, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
  4. Lab Coats and Aprons
    Consider wearing a full-length smock or coveralls in the studio and do not wear them outside the studio. Wash them frequently and separately from other clothing. If toxic materials are being used, wear a full-length disposable smock or coveralls that are removed and properly disposed of in the studio. This not only provides an additional barrier between you and potentially harmful chemicals, it also protects your clothing.

Wash your hands thoroughly when you finish working or leave the studio. Never wash your hands in a solvent. If your hands have cuts or are chapped, wear gloves. Chemicals can pass through breaks in your skin and enter directly into your bloodstream. Use skin moisturizer to prevent dry, cracked and broken skin. Good personal hygiene is one of the most important ways you can reduce exposure to toxins.

Last Updated 9/11/20