Student Shop Safety Policy

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    The objective of this policy is to establish safe work practices for students using machine, carpenter and fabrication shops located and/or affiliated with the University of Florida. Safety guidelines and training requirements designed to minimize the risk of injury are provided in the policy. The policy only applies to academic shops and does not apply to shops and work areas associated with University physical plant and maintenance units unless also used by students.


    By authority delegated from the University President, the Vice-President for Business Affairs is responsible for the safety of all University facilities. Under this authority, policies are developed to provide a safe teaching, research, service, housing and recreational environment.

    Governor’s Executive Order Number 00-292; OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart O and 29 CFR 1926 Subpart I


    The Student Shop Safety Policy establishes the minimum requirements necessary to allow for the safe use of various shops located at the University of Florida by students. The policy covers all student used shops including but not limited to those affiliated with the sciences, medicine, fine arts, performing arts, engineering and hobby shops. Each shop shall post a copy of their access policy, hours of operation and shop safety rules and protocols.


    Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
    EH&S will establish and post safety policy pertaining to the use of student shops. Questions concerning policy exceptions or clarifications must be directed to EH&S for review and comment before initiating at the shop level.

    EH&S will periodically conduct safety audits of all student used shops.

    EH&S has final authority over all safety issues and may immediately halt any operations or procedures it considers unsafe at any time at its discretion.

    Principal Investigators (PI) and Shop Supervisors
    The PI and shop supervisors are responsible for enforcing the provisions of this policy including the provision of required training and personal protective equipment for students using shop equipment.

    Shop supervisors must keep required machine guards in place and remove damaged equipment from service.

    Shop supervisors have the authority to halt unsafe operations at any time and to restrict access to a shop to any student violating the provisions of this policy.

    Shop supervisors are responsible for providing required personal protective equipment (PPE) and enforcing its correct use.

    Students (Graduate and Undergraduate levels)
    Any student using a UF shop is expected to follow all safety requirements as presented in this policy and as posted within each individual shop.

    All students must receive required training prior to working with any power tools, woodworking equipment or other shop related equipment.

    All students must properly use any required personal protective equipment while working in a shop.

    All students must abide by any individual shop restrictions (i.e. hours of operation) and must only work in a shop when the supervisor is present.

    Any injury as well as any unsafe conditions, actions or near-miss incidents must be reported to the shop supervisor.


    General Shop Safety Rules
    All projects must be approved by the shop supervisor.

    Never work alone. At least two people must be present when power tools are in use.

    No horseplay is allowed. The use of personal electronic equipment including using ear buds or headphones is not allowed while working in a shop. The playing of loud music is not permitted.

    Never work while impaired.

    Never use any tools or machinery without first receiving training.

    Never remove machine guards.

    Always wear appropriate eye protection.

    Always wear closed toe shoes.

    Always wear hearing protection when working with or around power tools or other machinery.

    Keep long, loose hair restrained and securely tied back to prevent machine and tool entanglement.

    Secure or remove loose clothing that can potentially get caught in power tools or other shop appliances.

    Food and beverages are allowed only in designated areas.

    Maintain good housekeeping by regularly cleaning work areas. Floor areas must be kept free of debris and other hazards that may result in slips, trips or falls.

    Always use the dust collection system, if one is available.

    Report all damaged tools and devices to the shop supervisor.

    Machine Guarding and Electrical Safety
    Guards on stationary machines and portable power tools must never be disabled or removed.

    All newly purchased power equipment should have required guards installed by the manufacturer.

    Older equipment or equipment without factory installed guards should be retrofitted with the appropriate guards.

    Guards are required to remain in place during equipment operation unless having the guard in place creates an even greater hazard.

    Machines designed for a fixed location must be securely anchored to prevent walking or movement of the machine.

    Bench top machines (i.e. grinders, drill press) must be securely anchored to prevent movement while being used.

    All machinery must be installed according to the manufacturer’s requirements and according to the National Electric Code (NEC).

    Machine controls must never be wedged to allow continuous operation.

    Control switches must be located within easy reach of the operator at his/her operating position.

    On/Off controls must be easily identifiable.

    Electric power tools should always be disconnected from outlets by pulling the plug rather than the cord.

    Equipment must be allowed to come to a complete stop before adjustments are made or service is performed.

    The requirements of the University’s Hazardous Energy Control (Lock Out/Tag Out) Policy) must be followed for anything more than minor/routine equipment service.

    Training Requirements
    Training must be provided before a student is allowed to work in a shop.

    General shop safety requirements and machine specific training is required to be provided by the shop supervisor to anyone using a student machine shop.

    Required training must include the following elements:

    • Information on the hazards associated with a particular machine or piece of equipment.
    • The necessary safety precautions that must be followed when working with a particular machine or piece of equipment including the purpose and function of any guards that are in place.
    • The types and limitations of any personal protective equipment (PPE) that is required to be used in the shop.
    • Limitations of the particular equipment.
    • Procedures to be followed in the event of a machine malfunction or damage to the equipment.
    • Procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency (i.e. injury).
    • Equipment and general shop maintenance and cleaning procedures.

    All training must be documented in writing with the records maintained by the shop supervisor.