Never underestimate the hazards involved in art-making processes, especially when chemicals or tools are involved.
- Be knowledgeable about the materials, equipment, or processes with which you are working, and follow any recommended safety precautions.
- Be alert to unsafe conditions and ensure that they are corrected as soon as they are detected.
- Know the location of safety equipment and emergency contact numbers in your area.
- Assume that substances of unknown toxicity are hazardous, and that a mixture of chemicals will be more toxic than its most toxic component.
Each studio in Dittmann was designed, for the purpose of safety, with specific chemicals and processes in mind. Our studios are limited to those functions. An ‘approved chemical list’ states what we can have around and where it may be used. Anything coming into the building that is not on the list must meet certain requirements.
- Faculty, staff, or students wishing to introduce new processes or chemicals into the system must review all information with the technical supervisor and the chemical hygiene officer, and prove compatibility with our system.
- Information on the hazardous characteristics of a substance, as well as its proper handling, storage, and disposal procedures must be known to those who will order, receive, and/or work with that substance.
The airflow schedule for each studio is posted on its door. The studio must not be occupied unless airflow is scheduled to be ON. Airflow indicates not only the air exchange rate necessary for safe use of the space, but also allows dust collection and localized ventilation systems to operate. These hours may not necessarily match building hours. Any changes during breaks will be posted on individual doors.
Protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, etc. should be used as necessary. See area professor for details.
- High-impact eyewear must be worn when operating power tools or machinery, or equipment with the potential for physical impact.
- Chemical-resistant splash goggles (indirect-vented) must be worn by all those present if hazardous chemicals are in use.
- For welding, eye protection of the proper sort must be worn: welding goggles with a shade 5 lense for oxy/acet welding and cutting operations, and a welding hood with a shade 10 lens for electric welding operations.
- High-impact face shields should be worn when grinding, power carving, etc.
- Chemical resistant gloves are the turquois colored nitrile gloves available in the tool room or from the tech. or prof. in each area and are the proper choice for most chemicals we use. Single use ‘exam’ gloves will keep some products off your skin, but do not provide protection from chemicals.
- Specific work gloves for casting, welding, firing and other processes are available in each area, or from the tech. or prof.
- Chemical resist aprons for working with acids are located in the printmaking studio.
- Fire resistant aprons for welding are the green ones located in the tool room.
- Denim or canvas work aprons protect from small impact by materials.
- Long hair, jewelry, loose shirt cuffs or shirt tales must be tied back, rolled up or removed to prevent injury when using power tools of any kind.
- Close-toe shoes must be worn when working with acids, chemicals, and tools.
- Leather boots must be worn when welding or casting metal.
- Steel toe protectors must be worn when working with heavy objects.
- Leather jackets, chaps, gloves, and leggings as well as head and face protection must be worn when casting metal.
Food/beverages are not allowed in studio/shop areas. Ingestion of toxic chemicals is best avoided if eating and drinking is kept out of studio areas, and by way of frequent hand washing. If ingestion does occur, seek help and have MSDS for reference.
- Hand washing should be done carefully and often.
- DO NOT use Gamsol or any solvent to clean skin.
- Use mineral oil followed by soap and water, or Boraxo.
- Use a nail brush to remove trace chemicals from under fingernails.
- Boraxo is available at most studio sinks for heavy-duty hand cleaning needs -- it is environmentally friendly as well as skin friendly.
Areas around eyewash and safety showers must be clear at all times, as must the passageway leading to the device.
Floor and airspace in front of electrical panels need to be clear of obstructions. The clear space must be 36” out from the front of the panel AND 30” or the width of the panel, whichever is greater.
Exits, Hallways, and Walkways
All exits from any room, also hallways and also walkways within rooms must be kept clear of obstacles and dry at all times.
- Clear isles must be maintained in studios at all times. These isles should be free of clutter and spills, allowing people to easily get to the exit at any time.
- Exit doorways may not be blocked.
- Fire doors and doors to spaces using ventilation may not be propped open.
- The enclosed (North) stairwell may contain no flammable materials. The open (South) stairwells act as temporary, short-term storage for the art department. Stairwell spaces are managed by the Technical Supervisor.
- All passageways on the dock must be clear at all times.
- No storage of student work is allowed on the loading dock.
- NO SMOKING IS ALLOWED ON OR NEAR THE DOCK.
Housekeeping is an environmental, health, and safety issue as well as an issue of respect and etiquette. A clean studio is more productive, safe, healthy, and cost-effective, and is better for the environment.
- Use ventilation and dust collection systems properly.
- Handle, store and dispose of materials properly. If you are unsure of the hazardous nature of what you are handling, ask a tech or prof.
- Some materials may not be thrown in the trash because they are considered hazardous waste. See technical staff for clarification.
- Clean up after each work session. Your mess is your responsibility. Sweep floors and work tables. Dispose of trash. When cleaning up clay or other fine dust, wipe with a damp sponge or rag to keep dust levels down. If a spill is hazardous waste, absorb and contain the spill in a baggie, then give to a prof. or tech.
- Keep work areas organized; store your artwork and supplies in the assigned space.
- Replace borrowed tools to the assigned location in a timely manner.