There are various hazards associated with the use of machine shop equipment and tools. To prevent accidents and injuries, it is important to follow shop safety guidelines. Employees, students and visitors at Bemidji State University may be exposed to hazardous machinery, physical hazards, hazardous materials or procedures that could result in injury.

Shops and maker spaces on campus are used for a range of activities, including teaching, research and facility maintenance and repair. The potential hazards in these areas depend on the equipment and activities that take place.

Departments at Bemidji State University are required to create 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 departments and users to ensure these areas and equipment are used and maintained safely. EHS provides resources to help address health and safety issues in shops and maker spaces.

How to Develop a Shop-Specific Accident Prevention Plan

  • Identify a shop safety coordinator to provide supervision, advice, training and enforce shop safety rules.
  • Conduct a hazard and personal protective equipment (PPE) assessment and provide necessary PPE.
  • Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for hazardous equipment, activities and substances.
  • Limit access to the shop to trained and authorized persons.
  • Develop safety rules for working alone in the shop.
  • Identify and mark hazard zones and walkways.
  • Provide general and shop-specific safety training for all users before allowing access to the shop, equipment and tools.
  • Maintain an 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 and ensure tools, equipment, PPE, first aid kits and fire extinguishers are ready for use.
  • Conduct safety inspections at least annually to identify hazards and follow up on actions; participate with EHS during periodic shop safety surveys.
  • 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
  • Supplement the plan with standard operating procedures for equipment such as:
    • Bandsaw
    • Drill Press
    • Grinding-Buffing
    • Iron Worker
    • Laser Cutter
    • Lathe
    • Tablesaw
  • 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 understanding and observing the requirements of their shop’s specific health and safety plan.

Personal Safety

Employees, students and other shop users must:

  • Take designated shop training classes and refreshers as assigned.
  • Observe all safety precautions and remind others as needed.
  • Read, understand, sign and follow 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.


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 or ELM system.

Shop safety coordinators or designees must provide shop-specific orientation and training to employees and students before granting them access to machinery, tools and hazardous materials.