Workshop Health & Safety

Safety Code of Practice


1: Introduction

2: Control and Supervision

3: Areas of the Workshop

4: Labelling of Machines

5: Housekeeping

6: Accidents and Emergencies


1 Introduction

1.1 This code of practice is to give structure and guidance to all staff and students that have responsibilities in the workshop or undertake work in the workshop

1.3 All workshop users have a duty to maintain high standards in safety practice as an example to less experienced workshop users

1.4 The workshop must always be regarded as a place of relatively high risk. The workshop houses fixed machinery and portable power tools that can maim or kill in a moments negligence, the greatest care must be taken at all times


2 Control and supervision

2.1 Workshop supervision 

Workshop 11.0013 is managed by Samuel Sheard, who with support from Phil Hudson – Design Support Team Leader, Sandra Joyce -Faculty H&S Manager, the Universities H&S Unit and Facilities Management are responsible for all health and safety within the workshop

2.2 Employees and Workshop Users

All employees and workshop users have a duty to ensure that safety procedures are carried out by themselves and by those around them. Even persons of minimum skill and experience have a duty to themselves and to others and must work in a safe manner at all times. (Health & Safety at Work Sections 7 & 8). It is particularly important that you should seek advice on safe methods of working from the workshop manager if you ever find yourself unsure. Students are here to learn and improve their skills by observation, practice and experience. This must never be gained by being exposed to risk

Students and staff are to be supervised by a full-time Workshop staff member when using high risk machinery until the they are confident in their ability to work without supervision and that they themselves are comfortable to do so. See section 2.4 below

2.3 Training of operators

Despite safe guarding machines to the required standards, a residual risk will always remain, hence a measured degree of training is necessary:

1) General. The basic skills and knowledge common to all machines. This will include aspects of good housekeeping plus knowledge of the relevant risk assessments and codes of practice

2) Machine specific. The basic skill in the operation of a particular machine, including the position and function of emergency stops; basic safety rules related to the operation of a machine or class of machines; the use and adjustment of guards and other safety devices

3) Familiarisation. Operation of machinery under supervision

No student or staff member may be allowed to operate machinery without first being adequately instructed in its use, by an authorised person. If an authorised person is seen using the workshop or its machinery in an unsafe manner, their privileges will be reviewed and potentially revoked until reassessed

If a person who is yet to reach the required induction level needs to use a specific machine, please give the workshop manager prior warning, so that they may assist you either by operating it on your behalf, or advising of the induction process 

2.4 Supervision

a) Supervision is required by a Workshop staff member during the first use of the machines 

b) No student may work unaccompanied in the workshop. Due to the inherent dangers of the workshop, another person within sight and hearing who can render assistance in the event of an emergency must always be present

c) No employee may work unaccompanied in the workshop unless appropriate precautions have been established and documented for the relevant activity

d) No Children in the Workshops

e) No animals are allowed in the workshop other than accompanying guide dogs, so long as due warning is given to ensure the risks have been assessed and appropriate actions can be taken ahead of arrival

2.5 Entry control

a) The workshop shall, so far as is reasonably practicable, be securely closed when proper supervision is not available. If this is not possible, all hazardous equipment will be secured to prevent unauthorised use. Apart from those regularly employed as workshops operators; permission to use any machine must always be first obtained from the person in charge

b) Before entering the workshop you must be dressed appropriately, failure to adhere to the following will restrict your access:

  • Hair and head scarves must be securely tied back.
  • Wear tough enclosed footwear
  • Remove or contain loose clothing (scarves, hoodie cords etc.)
  • Roll-up your sleeves or wear short sleeves
  • Remove loose jewellery and ID lanyards
  • Wear the safety glasses provided
  • Use the PPE provided where indicated (ear defenders, dust mask, gloves etc.)

When in the workshop you must follow the Workshop Safety Policies at all times

Safety Policies

  • First use of the machines and tools must be supervised 
  • Appropriate Clothing and PPE must be worn at all times – see above 
  • A full-time Workshop staff member must be present when operating Medium Risk – Orange W3 rated equipment
  • Never talk to or distract someone that is operating machinery. Wait until they have finished an the machine is powered down
  • Never leave machinery running unattended
  • Any faults with the equipment must be reported to the Workshop Manager 
  • Unless agreed and signed out tools or equipment can not be removed from the workshop
  • No food is allowed within the workshop and drinks must be covered
  • No headphones whilst operating the machines 
  • In the interests of safety, the person in charge has the right to refuse or limit entry to the workshop

2.6 Legislation

All machines/equipment and chemicals must comply with relevant Regulations, eg The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 as applied to machinery, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, Electricity at Work Regulations. It is not encouraged but recognised that personal equipment and appliances will occasionally be brought to the workshop by staff and students. It is the responsibility of the owners (or where appropriate the persons in control) of such items to ensure that they are safe and conform to current British Standard specifications and the requirements of PUWER (provision and use of work equipment regulations)

Personal equipment brought into the University must be CE Marked and should be portable appliance tested

2.7 Codes of practice

a) The Workshop Manager will keep copies of relevant codes of practice, guidance notes and risk assessments, so that they are readily available to students and workshop employees. These are kept on this blog and on the H&S Ms Teams channel 

b) Where necessary if new machines are brought into the workshop or new practices developed the Workshop Manager will produce a detailed Risk Assessment and Codes of Practice which will give more detailed information on the health and safety for these activities

2.8 Safe work rules

a) The completion of work by safe methods must always take precedence over any deadlines

b) Personal protective equipment, appropriate tools, etc must be used as required by regulations

In particular, Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, and Noise at Work Regulations 2005

c) New work/processes involving the use of hazardous substances must not be started unless a COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) Risk Assessment form has been completed, whereby appropriate proper controls must be implemented. Please bring the MDS sheet for the substance to aid the completion of the COSHH Risk Assessment 

d) The Workshop Manager or other competent authorised person must ensure that work equipment Risk Assessment forms are completed and are readily available

e) All persons are responsible to ensure that spillages are cleaned up immediately using the relevant kit, and that walkways are kept clear of personal affects to reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls

2.9 Personal hygiene

a) Food must not be consumed in the workshops at any time and drinks must be covered

b) Due care must be taken when in contact with minerals and chemicals such cleaning fluids, solvents, acids/alkalis, etc Contact with skin should be kept to a minimum by using provided gloves and eye wear. Any contact should be washed immediately and contaminated clothing removed and cleaned as soon as is appropriate. Any noticeable irritation should be reported to the workshop manager or the nearest fist aider for treatment and documentation


3 Areas of the Workshop

3.1 Machinery within the workshop is arranged in such a way that its use does not endanger people using machines nearby. Machinery must not be moved from or altered at its location without prior consent from the workshop manager. Any observations of the latter should be reported to a workshop staff member 


4 Labelling of machines

4.1 All machinery is colour coded to indicate the level of its inherent risk

GREEN – W2 Low risk: These can be used anytime the workshop is open. 1st use following an induction must be under direct supervision from a staff member or staff assistant

ORANGE – W3 Medium risk – Can only be used when a full time staff member is present in the space. 1st use following an induction must be under direct supervision from a staff member or staff assistant   

RED – W4 High risk –Induction only for staff members, workshop staff assistants and final year students who the workshop manager deems experienced and capable enough to use the Table Saw. Can only be used when a full time staff member is present

BLUE – W5 Bookable paid for machines. All student receive a face to face induction on the Laser Cutters. Inductions for all other machines are at the discretion of workshop staff members. 1st use following an induction must be under direct supervision from a staff member or staff assistant


5 Housekeeping, lighting, ventilation and temperature

5.1 Environment

All persons using the workshop must ensure that the working environment is satisfactory and that any deficiencies are brought to the attention of the workshop staff member 

5.2 Temperature

a) The workshops should always be comfortable. Working at low or high temperatures can lead to mistakes and accidents can occur. Let a staff member know if you feel the environment conditions are uncomfortable 

5.3 Waste

a) Due to manual handling regulations, rubbish bags must not be overloaded

b) Types of Rubbish and the disposal method:

  • Knife blades/sharps – yellow plastic bins on the end of the Open Bench tables – collected by Suez 
  • General waste and small workshop waste, excluding metal – black bagged galvanised bins – emptied by the cleaners each day
  • Paper, card and recyclable plastic/metal – green recycling bins – emptied by the cleaners each day
  • Larger workshop waste items – blue 240ltr bins – collected by Suez 
  • Chemicals & Hazardous substances – external flameable waste chests – collected by Suez

No rubbish of any kind must be allowed to accumulate in the workshop area 

5.4 Lighting

Lighting must be adequate for the task at hand . Any lighting that is not functioning must be reported to a staff member 

5.5 Ventilation and extraction

a) Building management are responsible for the maintenance and performance of the ventilation system in the space, report any issue to the Workshop Manager

b) Workshop staff must carry out the relevant preventative maintenance on the external extraction and dust extraction system (LEV) to keep it functioning adequately. All extraction systems are externally inspected and tested every 12months by BOFA

c) Users of the space must ensure extraction systems are used when specified on the machine/process Code of Practice 

6 Accidents and Emergencies

6.1 Accidents

All accidents/incidents/safeguarding concerns that occur on University premises and during University activities must be completed using the online reporting system

This  system allows for all work or study-related incidents (injury, illness, non-injury including near miss, property damage, environmental, road traffic accident, etc.), threatening behaviour/physical abusesecurity (theft, loss, trespass, &/or fire alarms or safeguarding concerns to be reported online by anyone, anywhere including when travelling overseas. Staff are able to report via the staff services tab on the portal and students from the portal help & advice tab

6.2 First aid

First Aid boxes are is situated near the entrance. The Workshop Manger must ensure that the first aid box is checked regularly and restocked when needed. The designated First aider in the workshop is the Workshop Manager – Samuel Sheard 

6.3 Fire

Workshop employees and students should know the University Fire Evacuation Policy for Stockwell St and follow this policy to evacuate the space in an appropriate and timely fashion


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