[hackerspaces] Tragedy in Oakland

B F bakmthiscl at gmail.com
Sat Feb 4 14:07:56 CET 2017

I suggest any Hackerspace develop a "laboratory safety plan" and
procedures.  Google that term and you'll find such plans for university
labs.  Not all points will apply, but you can get a gist what you should
put in your plan.

Basically, consider each and every possible hazard, including
near-worst-case scenarios, and develop means to avoid the latter, and
methods to response to accidents.  For example, to avoid trash can fires,
don't  dispose of oily rags improperly.  This means you must have proper
receptical for such rags, or at least an alternative to such (expensive)
recepticals.  (Cigarettes disposed in trash cans or dropped into upholstery
are probably more a fire issue worldwide than oily rags, but I doubt many
makerspaces allow smoking for other reasons.)

Also have fire extinguishers.  You're probably required to anyway, whether
you know it or not.  (Get class ABC extinguishers, by the way.  You should
really know "why" if you think you need CO2 or Halon extinguishers --
they're not as effective generally.  Get a class D extinguisher if working
with flammable metals. Water extinguishers should not be used in a
Makerspace for good reasons.  Make sure your people know how to use your
extinguishers.  There are probably YouTube videos to help.)

One thing that differs between most labs and most makerspaces -- the former
prohibit eating in the lab.  There have been terrible cases of poisoning.
Not applicable to all spaces, but consider it for your plan.

Note that a lab safety plan includes a floor plan. This is to document
storage, fume hoods, work spaces, aisles, doors, fire extinguishers,
emergency eye wash stations, safety showers (common for labs but a rarity
for a makerspace), escape paths, etc.  It also contains emergency contact
phone numbers.  Of course 911 covers most of that these days, but the
number of the building owner or manager or other such additional contacts
could be useful in an emergency.

If you're going to have a safety plan, safety inspections are called for to
ensure it's being followed.  Get three people together to inspect the place
at least monthly.  Give them ad hoc authority to FIX problems encountered.
This brings up the point that it's a LOT easier to enforce neatness rules
if the motivation is safety -- not merely nuisance.

If your makerspace has been safety conscious all along, there will probably
be few real changes needed.  Use the plan to educate newbies.  But in
reviewing potential hazards, it is not uncommon to find one that nobody had
noticed before.  That's the main purpose.

On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 3:08 PM, opit <opit at technariumas.lt> wrote:

> ++ on linseed oil. We nearly had a fire at Technarium recently due to
> exactly that -- luckily, someone was at the space.
> BTW, there's a relief effort underway:
> https://helpghostship.tumblr.com/post/154052779705/ghost-
> ship-fire-relief-december-8-2pm-8pm
> #o
> On 12/04/16 18:10, Sascha Kaupp wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> >> If you have a machine shop, dedicate a lidded metal trashcan for oily
> >> rags!
> >
> > Since day one of owning linseed oil, it lives in a sealed ammunition box
> > together with its rags and brushes. Kinda creepy to see what happens if
> > you hurl one of those rags around for fun but still my fav for
> > conserving wood!
> >
> > </h0uz3>
> > _______________________________________________
> > Discuss mailing list
> > Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> > http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> --
> http://technariumas.lt
> http://blog.technariumas.lt
> http://wemakethings.net
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

- BF
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