Shop Safety

There are common hazards associated with the use of machine shop equipment and tools; shop safety is a critical part of accident and injury prevention. Employees, students, and visitors may be exposed to hazardous machinery, physical hazards, hazardous materials or procedures that could result in injury.

Shops are rooms or areas where fabrication and repair activities occur, using tools and machinery that present physical hazards to occupants. Shops at Bemidji State University include a broad range of uses that support teaching, research and facility maintenance and repair. Maker spaces, similar to workshops, vary widely in their purpose and the type of equipment they have on hand. The potential hazards in shops and maker spaces reflect the equipment and the activities that take place in the space.

Bemidji State University departments are required to develop a health and safety plan to prevent injury and exposure to hazardous materials in their specific shops and maker spaces. It is the responsibility of the departments and the users to ensure these areas and equipment are used and maintained in a safe manner. EHS provides resources listed below for shops and maker spaces to help address the health and safety issues they may encounter.

Developing a shop-specific accident prevention plan:
  • Develop and implement a shop-specific health and safety plan.
  • Identify a shop safety coordinator, or responsible person to provide supervision, advice, training, and enforce shop safety rules.
  • Conduct a hazard and personal protective equipment (PPE) assessment- documents coming soon.
  • Identify needs for and provide personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for hazardous equipment, activities and substances- document coming soon.
  • Control access to the shop, only trained, authorized persons can use the space.
  • Develop safety rules for working alone in the shop.
  • Identify and mark hazard zones and walkways.
  • Require general shop safety training and shop specific safety training for every user before allowing access to the shop, equipment, and tools.
  • Maintain accurate inventory of hazardous substances and materials and provide the inventory to EHS annually.
  • Ensure all users know how to access and read Safety Data Sheets in MSDS Online.
  • Maintain good housekeeping.
  • Maintain tools and equipment, PPE, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers so they are ready for use.
  • Conduct safety inspections at least annually to identify hazards and follow up actions; and participate with EHS during periodic shop safety surveys- documents coming soon.
  • Ensure equipment safety through safeguarding methods, air filters or exhaust ventilation, lockout/tagout procedures, proper securing of non-portable equipment/machinery, and regular maintenance and inspection of specialized machinery such as automotive lifts and hoists.
  • Shops with hot work operations (welding, cutting with a torch, etc.) must obtain permits and implement programs to prevent fire and injury.

Report all injuries, illness and near-misses to supervisors and Human Resources.

Department Responsibilities

Departments are responsible for developing and implementing health and safety plans for individual shops and maker spaces within their organization. This includes incorporating all the plan elements described above.

  • Use the Template Shop Safety Plan- coming soon.
  • Supplement the plan with standard operating procedures for equipment such as:- templates coming soon
    • Bandsaw
    • Drill Press
    • Grinding-Buffing
    • Iron Worker
    • Laser Cutter
    • Lathe
    • Tablesaw
    • Or use the Blank Template Shop SOP- coming soon
  • Share safety information on specific equipment, such as:
    • 3D Printers
    • Laser Cutters
    • Milling Machines and CNC Mills

All personnel, students and other users of shops and maker spaces are responsible for knowing and observing the requirements of the shop health and safety plan that applies to their specific shop.

Personal Safety

Employees, students and other shop users need to:

  • Take designated shop training classes and refreshers as assigned.
  • Observe all safety precautions and remind others as needed.
  • Read, understand, sign, and follow your site-specific Shop PPE Assessment
  • Follow SOPs for equipment, activities and chemical/material use.
  • Report potential new hazards to the shop safety coordinator.
  • Report injuries and near-misses.
Training

EHS and Human Resources will assign online training courses as needed. It is the responsibility of faculty and staff to take those through the D2L system or at the start of 2020 the ELM system.

Shop specific orientation and training must be provided by the shop safety coordinator or designee before employees and students may be granted access to machinery, tools, and hazardous materials.

Glossary

Shop- shops are defined as a designated room or area where fabrication and repair activities occur, using tools and machinery that present physical hazards to occupants. Shops at the University include a broad range of uses that support teaching, research and facility maintenance and repair where physical hazards from tools and machinery are more prominent and would be considered hazardous to an untrained person.

Maker Space- Maker spaces, are places to gather, exchange ideas, invent, and create. These spaces are found in libraries, dormitories, academic and other workshops both on and off-campus. The tools and equipment often include hand tools, computers and software, and may include three dimensional printers, laser cutters and milling machines. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring organization and the users to ensure that the spaces and equipment are used and maintained in a safe manner.