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Art, lab and studio safety policy

It shall be the policy of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Department of Art that a safe, healthy environment shall be maintained at all times within Department of Art facilities. We recognize that some techniques, materials and practices used within the Department of Art have inherent risk.

If those risks cannot be adequately minimized and controlled through proper training, equipment and use of appropriate precautions, those techniques and materials may not be used within the department. Furthermore, ignoring proper procedures, precautions and restrictions is not acceptable and will not be allowed. 

All faculty, staff and students must be especially diligent in following safety rules that apply to the different areas within the Department of Art. The galleries and the different art studios have unique health and safety requirements.

Failure to follow the appropriate safety rules may result in injury. Therefore, failure to follow required safety rules may result in immediate temporary and possibly permanent removal from a given activity or class.

In addition to these general guidelines, the instructors of courses in Studio Foundations, 2D Studio, 3D Studio, Design and Art Education will provide the appropriate media specific training to students working in each discipline specific area. The Gallery Director and/or faculty/staff supervising gallery related activities are responsible for proper safety training related to those gallery activities.  

Handling Safety Issues
It is the policy of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Department of Art that no safety concern is unimportant. All personnel and students within the Department are encouraged to bring such concerns to the attention of the faculty and staff.

In no way will doing so reflect badly on or be held against the person making the report. Rather contributing to the health and safety of all personnel is everyone's responsibility.

Any perceived safety concerns or hazards, large or small, should be reported to the faculty or staff in charge of the area or directly to the Department Chair.  Steps will be taken to correct the problem or to report the problem to the appropriate University authorities for action.

Access to Studios and Galleries
No one is allowed access to a studio area unless they have been properly trained to use the tools and materials in that area. No unauthorized personnel are allowed to work in the studio or gallery areas. 

Access to some studios is restricted to times when lab assistants are available, staffing the studio during non-class times. No one shall be permitted to work in or operate any of the power tools in the Department Woodshop without successfully completing Woodshop training. 

First Aid, Accidents and Reporting
A First Aid Kit is maintained in each studio area. The faculty/staff member(s) who teach in that studio are responsible for maintaining the kit and keeping it stocked. All kits are easily accessible; the location of the First Aid Kit within the studio is part of the general studio health and safety introduction of each class. 

The First Aid Kit is intended for First Aid only. In the event of anything other than minor incidents, accidents are to be reported immediately to the faculty/staff in charge of the area, if they are not present, contact the Department Office 424-2222 or after hours, contact University Police at 424-1212, who is authorized to contact the proper emergency services.

If the incident is serious or life threatening, you should call 911 immediately. University Police should then be contacted as soon as practical. Render whatever first aid can be applied until emergency services arrive to relieve you. All incidents must also be reported to the Department of Art Chair, as soon as possible, after the incident. 

General Department Studio Safety Rules

All required safety rules must be followed at all times.

The following should be considered as guidelines for working in the studio areas in the Department of Art. They have been written and are enforced for your safety, and as such should be followed at all times.

If you have any questions regarding the safe operation of any tool or use of any material, please feel free to ask the faculty/staff. You are responsible to know and understand the following: 

1. All persons working in the studios shall be properly attired. The following studios need to wear closed-toe shoes: functional design, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, metals, 3D Design, and woodshop).  At no time will anyone wearing sandals be allowed to work in the studios as they do not give sufficient protection to the wearer. Also, long hair is to be tied back to avoid any chance of getting it caught in moving machinery. 

2. Ear and eye protection (safety glasses and/or goggles) is required in several studios. In general, when operating any power tool, safety glasses are to be worn. Safety goggles are required when using certain chemicals and machines. Also when participating in any amount abrasive sanding or spray painting, respirators are also to be used in addition to safety glasses. 

3. Gloves and other protective clothing such as aprons may be required when working with certain chemicals.

4. Every attempt should be made to keep your work area clean and organized. This means periodically sweeping up excessive waste and returning tools to their proper places. Consumption of food or drink in most studio areas should be avoided. 

5. No person shall work in the studios while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Prescribed drugs that cause drowsiness, lightheadedness or disorientation should also not be used. Any student using such prescribed medications should notify the faculty/staff in charge. 

6. Any time that you have a problem with any tool or machine, bring it to the attention of the faculty/staff in charge so they may assist you. Never attempt to repair or adjust any machines. If a machine or tool is accidentally damaged, bring it to the attention of the instructor. Please do not try to hide or cover up any damages. 

7. At no time shall any student operate or attempt to operate any of the power equipment in the department without proper training and permission. This includes but is not limited to: the table, radial arm, circular, band and sabre saws; the drill press and any pneumatic power tools. Before operating any power tools, make sure all hand tools, chuck keys or other foreign materials are clear of the machine's work area. 

8. Dangling necklaces or large rings, long loose scarves or loose sleeves should not be worn in some of the studios, as they may become entangled in moving machinery. 

9. Always make sure that all power tools are turned off and the electrical power disconnected before leaving the machine. Never leave an unattended machine running, even for "one second". Always unplug or disconnect from the power source all power tools before changing blades, bits or attachments. 

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for chemicals and other supplies/materials used in the studios are maintained and stored by the university. In addition copies of MSDS for each studio area can also be found in the studio.

If you do not understand or have questions about anything in any MSDS, or about any process, see the instructor for clarification.

Ventilation Systems
The studios in the Department of Art are equipped with media/technique specific ventilation systems, which must be used at all appropriate times. The use of spray paint, varnishes, adhesives and/or fixatives is permitted only in a properly working spray booth.

There is a general access spray booth located on the second floor of the AC. Training will include directions on the use of the spray booth ventilation system.

The dust collection system in the Woodshop must be operating when table saw, band saw, or radial arm saw is in use. Welding/soldering shall be allowed only in the designated studio areas with the appropriate ventilation.

The use of solvents, acids and some powders will also only be allowed in areas designated for their use and those with proper ventilation. Training in the proper use of these tools and materials will include training on the ventilation system.

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