Training and Safety Documentation


(or “tree killing”, thank you Laura Lemay)

I finally have time to start working on training and safety docs.

While I don’t want to copy the TechShop docs I’d like to use them for reference, but good and bad. Does anyone have copies of these docs? I shredded all my training docs when TS went under.

I’d also like to look at docs from other workspaces or universities. I am staff at CMU right now and can pull some of those, but if you are at Pitt or some other space and can get printed or electronic docs I’d appreciate a copy.

At first I see two categories of documents.

  • how to use the and not injure/kill someone. This would be a training doc similar to a SBD or CMU EHS course. Different tools would have different levels of docs, it’s damned hard to injure yourself with the laser cutter but the metal lathe will kill you given the chance.

  • a set of “how to work safely in this area of the shop” documents. If you’re doing lasercutting and want to talk to a friend at the metal lathe, here’s the procedure. Or if you’re working on the metal lathe, here is why on Gopod’s Green Planet you DO NOT use the air compressor to clean the shavings off your clothes and out of your hair. (No, really, don’t do that.)


Maybe it needs another topic, but first aid and CPR training for volunteers, staff, and (IMHO) pro-level members.

I’ll look in to our OHSA-approved training at CMU, these include classes like “fire extinguisher training” required for anyone using a laser cutter.


I’ve got a bundle of the SBUs you can peruse. I’ll put them in a box and leave it on the mail shelf either tonight or tomorrow.

How were you imagining distribution of “two categories of documents”? I mean, I sort of agree that there’s a ton of useful information beyond the “don’t get you or others killed” level that should be absorbed by people working in the shop that can’t all be covered in the safety course for a specific machine, but would that just be supplemental stuff that we have on hand for casual reading?

I believe Devin is looking into first aid/cpr training for the categories of people you listed.


I’m riffing on what we’ve done at other sites, but we usually had:

  • the documents everyone must read and agree to follow
  • the documentation for a specific machine or process that only the operator needs to observe

So, “don’t use the air-compressor to blow stuff out of your clothes” goes in the first document, along with “don’t interrupt people while they are working” and rules for first aid and emergencies.

The second document has all the SBD-like instructions for using a tool safely. If you’re welding, you’re in the welding space and it’s not your responsibility to make people wear their PPE but to stop welding if you notice they aren’t.

The biggest problem I’ve seen since 2001 or so (at Crucible in Oakland) is when people who do Thing A have to share space with people who do Thing B and neither group knows how to be safe around people outside their group.

Here’s a good example: I was at a Pittsburgh Glass blowing class a few weeks ago and was so nervous I could barely start participating in the class. They were super safe in their space, but if I saw people behaving like that in a welding space I’d tag them all and make them redo OSHA safety classes. After a half-hour or so I got used to the idea working with 1700F glass using a pair of pliers and not wearing gloves. (Did go home without any hair on the back of my fingers…)

If these glass blowers were sharing space with woodworkers it would be a (literally) flaming mess.


I did Red Cross First Aid/CPR class a couple of days ago, and my how things have changed since my last class in the mid-90s. AEDs have changed the world and we also have much better mobile phone tech than 20 years ago.

I’ll make a suggestion that all volunteers and staff have the Red Cross training, and maybe can get some group discounts for members.


Another thing that would help with docs, repo so we can manage “releases” of documents. I lean towards sourceforge because they support hg which has better/faster support of binaries docs than google. On sourceforge you can use both git and hg to interface a tree.

Sourcefourge account with private documents is free as long as we are non-profit and the docs are open source (which I’m fine with).


I agree that a discount for members who can show proof of a recent (<5 years old) CPR/FirstAid training. Maybe a free month? And PRO memberships should be especially encouraged to do so, since they are more likely to be alone in the shop or be the only person available to respond to another individual’s emergency. Extra incentive is built in there, too, since the PRO membership costs more.

Is it possible, as a non-profit, to get the Red Cross or some other agency to come in and do a free training? If so, I think all Area Leads and Volunteer Hosts should receive (mandatory?) training, free of charge, to help ensure (lol insure) a safe work environment.


I’ll check with Red Cross for discounted classes, our instructor said she was available for any sorts of questions about training.


I’ve been thinking about this since taking the RC class, and I think a good guideline (rule?) would be “at least one person in the shop has to have current first-aid/CPR training”. That doesn’t mean you can run the metal lathe solo, but that there’s always at least one person on the scene who knows the basics of what to do in an emergency situation.


Picked them up tonight, thanks.