Policy/ Health & Safety Policy

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This is an official London Hackspace policy. Please don't edit it yourself - suggest changes on the Mailing List.

Health & Safety is the responsibility of every Hackspace Member. It is your duty to make sure that you, and others in the space, are not endangering themselves or others!

The following policy has been written to help everyone live up to that responsibility. It is not a complete list of every rule and guideline - for these see the other policies, risk assessments and information pages specific to the individual machines and activities that happen at LHS.

Those who do not follow this policy may be warned, asked to leave, or banned.

Who is Responsible

  • All space users have a responsibility to follow this policy, and to generally look our for the health and safety of others while using the space.
  • Designated maintainers of specific equipment (as listed on the wiki) are responsible for preparing risk assessments, rules and inductions for the activities under their care
  • The trustees are responsible for the management of health and safety, and for administering the Grievance Procedure against those who breach the rules (see 'Failure to Follow this Policy')

General Principles

  • If in doubt - ask. We all come to the space to learn new techniques and tools, it's OK to be new and inexperienced but it is NOT OK to wade in without thinking. We all learned at one time and most members are keen to share that knowledge, whether in person or on the mailing list/ Discord.
  • Much of the equipment in the space has it's own Wiki Page where rules, risk assessments, guidelines (as well as helpful tips for use!) can be found. Read up on each tool before using for the first time and if in doubt, always ask.
  • The tools that present the highest risk require an induction before use. Never use one of these tools without induction, even if you have used them many times elsewhere - there will be features and rules specific to our space that you may not know about.
  • Tools that do not require induction can still present a significant hazard - do not treat them lightly and always seek help if unsure
  • Clean up after finishing work - this is not just polite, but reduces the likelihood of slips, falls and fire.
  • Always use the correct PPE. If the space has run out of PPE, post on the Discord or mailing list and it will be replaced.
  • Warn others before switching on any tool that requires ear protection, to give others time to put theirs on too. This should be done via a shouted warning - "EARS, GOING LOUD".
  • Do not disturb other members while they are operating machinery (e.g. tapping them on the shoulder or making sudden movements). A distraction or a flinch can result in an accident.

Equipment Damage

  • Inspect all equipment before use
  • If there appears to be a maintenance issue, please 'tag' the equipment as such (for example, unplug it and tape a note note to it explaining the situation) and inform the maintainers via the Discord/ mailing list.
  • Wear and tear are part of the hackspace process and you will not be disciplined for damage resulting from fair use.
  • Damage caused by abuse (when you "should have known better") may be subject to some action when reported (such as being asked to pay for repairs) but the one thing that will always make the situation worse is trying to hide or cover up damage, or repair it yourself if you don't know what you're doing - this puts others at risk, as well as being a nuisance.

Fire

  • Familiarise yourself with the locations of fire alarms, fire escapes and fire fighting equipment.
  • Raise the alarm immediately upon discovering a fire
  • Use the firefighting tools only if it is safe to do so, and immediately call the fire brigade.
  • Only perform hot work operations in accordance with the equipment rules, in the designated locations.

Please note that as London Hackspace only occupies a small portion of the space within the EX2 building the landlord (RoPR) is responsible for the overall fire evacuation plan. This is displayed on various posters in the communal areas of the building

Failure to follow this policy

If any member witnesses someone doing something against this policy, or who seems likely to injure someone, then the witness should do one of the following:

Quiet Word

  • Often, a quiet word with someone not following this policy is enough to remind them of the risks, and to follow the policy - it is better to let someone know that their behaviour is liable to break the policy, than for them to break it.
  • Try not to shout at or surprise a member performing a dangerous operation - this could startle them, causing them to lose concentration and increase the likelihood of an accident. If the danger is not imminent, wait until they have finished that cut/ pass/ operation.
  • Only have a 'quiet word' if you feel safe and comfortable to do so
  • If you do not feel safe and comfortable, or the member ignores you, or appears to listen but then resumes as soon as you turn your back, then it is time to inform a maintainer or trustee (see below)

Informing a maintainer or trustee

  • If the behaviour of a member warrants it, then any member may report an accident to a maintainer/ trustee. This could be verbally, via Discord, or to trustees@london.hackspace.org.uk
  • Please do not post about others unsafe behaviour publicly on Discord/ mailing list - the maintainers will share any 'lessons learned' if needed but there is no benefit in name and shame
  • The maintainers/ trainers will listen to the report and decide on a course of action, which could be:
    • No action - if the member's behaviour was actually acceptable. This can easily happen - for example when an experienced member performs an advanced operation which looks dangerous to others, who might not understand some specific risk mitigations that experienced member is making. There's no shame to the reporter if this happens, they've still done the right thing in coming forward
    • A 'quiet word' direct from the maintainer/ trustee
    • A requirement to repeat the induction for that equipment
    • A ban on that equipment (in accordance with the Grievance Procedure)
    • Formal warnings or a general ban from the space (in accordance with the Grievance Procedure)