Safety – DRAFT

The Center offers access to a diverse set of powerful, expensive and potentially hazardous processes and techniques. Actively ensuring the safety of all student members and employees is the first concern of the Center. Stewarding Center resources to be of the most benefit to the most students is the second.


  • HazCom: Hazard communication, including Right-to-Know, etc.
  • PPE: Personal protective equipment, e.g. safety glasses, gloves, etc.
  • Process: members use processes to create a results in the Center. This may involve one or more machines, hand tools, application of industrial products, etc. Note machines can often be used in very different ways based on the process which can change the hazards present, and PPE required.
  • SOP: Standard Operating Procedures are pre-approved methods of using equipment, products, tools, etc. as a part of Center processes.


The Center provides safety and controls hazards with an integrated safety plan which includes both policy and controls:

  1. The Buddy System
  2. Control Banding
  3. Tying individuals’ access to spaces and processes to their training and available supervision through tracking and reservations built into the OS1 Project Management System

The Buddy System

The Buddy System has been recorded in print from 1920, and has been defined as: “an arrangement in which two individuals are paired (as for mutual safety in a hazardous situation)” by Merriam-Webster.

All access to spaces or use of processes in the Center requires every individual to have a designated Buddy to guarantee timely assistance in an emergency

To qualify as a Buddy requires, at a minimum, all of the following:

  1. See or hear you
  2. Can physically get to you freely
  3. Will periodically confirm you are fine
  4. Has all required HazCom training for the space they are in
  5. Has consented to be your Buddy for this session
  6. Commits to informing you when they no longer qualify (e.g. leave the Center)

Note: Center Employees on shift both provide, and must consent to, being a Buddy.

External Buddy

It is permitted for an individual to recruit a Buddy from an individual who is not interested in using the Center, and let them into the Center to act as a Buddy. They may only engage in activities which will not disqualify them meeting the Buddy requirement. As an example, if they are listening, then completing an assignment would be fine but not listening to loud music with headphones. The Buddy must have completed the Center agreement and all appropriate HazCom for the spaces.

Buddy Examples

Here are several minimal examples that qualify as the Buddy System. Note, in both cases the Buddy must have been informed and consented for this specific work session:

  • The individual is working in BIDC 103B Hot Works with the door propped open to BIDC 103 Manufacturing where their Buddy is present and can hear them.
  • The individual is using one of the enclosed CNC Machines in BIDC 103 Manufacturing next to the glass wall shared with BIDC 1H01 Front Corridor with the door propped open to BIDC 1H10 where their Buddy is present and can see them.

Control Banding

Control Banding has been widely adopted since the 1970s. It replaces large numbers of individual hazard controls with a hazard classification framework that groups hazards and controls into a small number of “bands”. Each hazard can now be classified into a band, labeled, and all band controls, e.g., PPE & Dress, SOPs, and HazCom, now apply. Control Banding is simpler to communicate, train, apply and enforce, vastly improving compliance and safety.

Control Banding in the Center is based on “A Control Banding Approach for Safety in Shops and Makerspaces” by Wilczynski, V. (2018).

For every machine:

  1. If you are unsure, stop and seek help
  2. You must be wearing appropriate PPE for the space AND the process/machine
  3. You must have a Buddy
Responsible Individuals

Every policy is specified by individual’s level of responsibility. Note you can always meet a responsibility with a more responsible individual.

In ascending order:

  1. Student Member untrained
  2. Student Member trained on the process/machine
  3. Student Member trusted on the process/machine
  4. Peer Mentor trained on the process/machine
  5. Supervisor Peer Mentor trained on the process/machine
  6. Graduate Student trained on the process/machine
  7. Graduate Student trusted on the process/machine
  8. Staff
Minor injuries, addressable with first aid kit / ice
Power ≤ CLASS II
0.25 HP, 4 Amp, 120 VAC, 18 VDC
Not energetic, lowest risk, hand powered, fully enclosed and interlocked w/o tool loading, lasers​
Normal Policy
Unsupervised use
After-Hours Policy
Member: Use supervised by employee
Trusted User: Unsupervised use if employee
Late Policy 12am – 6am
Unsupervised use
CLASS I + injuries potentially requiring medical assistance
0.25-0.5 HP, 10 Amp, 120 VAC, 10-24 VDC
Energetic & well guarded, has power that is engaged and remains on until stopped. All other machines and the angle grinders (not cutoff)
Normal Policy
Untrained Member: Supervised Use
Trained Member+: Unsupervised Use
After-Hours Policy
Member: Supervised use by graduate trusted user +
Graduate Trusted User+: Unsupervised use
Late Policy 12am – 6am
Energetic & unguarded
CLASS II + serious lacerations and minor amputations requiring medical assistance
CLASS II < Power
>0.5 HP, >4 Amp, ≥120 VAC, ≥24 VDC
Energetic & unguarded, has power that is engaged and remains on until stopped. All other machines and the angle grinders cutoff
Normal Policy
Member: Supervised use
Trusted user+ : Unsupervised use
After-Hours Policy
Member: Supervised use by staff
Staff: Unsupervised use
Late Policy 12am – 6am