[hackerspaces] People in hackerspaces - ages?

Josh Pritt ramgarden at gmail.com
Fri Jan 17 04:45:41 CET 2014

We've had 7 year olds come in and use the electronics bench with their mom or dad there to show them how to solder.  I've never seen a young person come in and use the table saw or anything like that but I'd hope they could learn how it works by watching someone use the big tools with all the safety gear of course.  It just needs to be in your membership agreement that members sign away their understanding that power tools and soldering irons and the like are inherently dangerous and can maim or kill you or your loved ones. So as long as it's a member running the tools they know that if the young one gets hurt they assume all risk.  We also have a policy that says even members can't use the dangerous tools until they are watched by another member that is skilled with that tool or has been hurt by the tool to get that member "checked out" on that tool.

This might even call for a separate waiver or form to sign to cover you legally before they use any power tools.  The best bet is to just not let non members or the young members use the dangerous tools.  

I think this topic has already been covered before on this list.

On Jan 16, 2014, at 9:16 PM, Shirley Hicks <shirley at velochicdesign.com> wrote:

> How do other hackerspaces and makerspaces handle small children within the space?
> We've set our initial policy as no-one under the age of 18 will be a member or will operate shop tools.
> However, we're in a town in where many people have young families -- and we're much more likely to 
> have people use the space more frequently if we have a way for them to have their children nearby or 
> have a safe area for the kids to hang out. 
> What decisions have you made at your spaces? If you have decided to accommodate small children, how
> have you handled the liability and safety issues?
> Shirley Hicks
> Board member-at-large
> Red Mountain Makers
> 5502 1st Avenue North
> Birmingham, AL 35212
> Email: redmtnadm at redmountainmakers.org
> www.redmountainmakers.org
> -----------------------------------------
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