Workshop safety rules are designed to keep everyone safe in a design and technology workshop environment.  The following list of rules is only the minimum.  To stay safe, we should always look out for hazards and act to eliminate them.

Workshop Safety Rules

  1. Never enter a workshop until a teacher is present and you are invited to do so.
  2. Enter a workshop in an orderly manner and put your coat and bag in the "designated place" i.e. a place at the edge of the workshop, where you can hang up your coat and place your bag where it will not be in anyone's way and will not cause anyone to trip over it.
  3. Go to wherever the teacher has told you to wait and wait for the register to be called.  An accurate record of who is present is vital in case of an emergency such as a fire.
  4. Always listen carefully to instructions and ask if you are unsure about anything.
  5. Watch demonstrations carefully and ask if you are unsure about anything.
  6. Never use a tool before being shown how to use it properly, that includes hand tools and machines.
  7. Know where the emergency stop buttons are situated in the workshop.
  8. Always check that a machine has been set up properly and that guards are in place before switching it on. 
  9. Always wear the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) for the machine or process,
    e.g. goggles, visor, face mask, apron, lab. coat. 
  10. Tie long hair back, tuck in your tie, roll up your sleeves and wear the correct PPE before using a machine.  Remove rings and jewellery.
  11. Clamp work when drilling, milling, routing etc. to prevent it moving or catching in the cutting tool and spinning.  This also leaves both hands free for you to operate the machine.
  12. Only use a machine that you are big enough and strong enough to use safely.
  13. Never leave a chuck key in the chuck.
  14. Never leave a machine running when you have finished with it.
  15. Never try to hold a chuck before it has stopped rotating.
  16. Only one person should operate a machine at a time, everyone else should stay behind the yellow floor markings. 
    (Do not crowd around drilling machines etc. to hurry along the person using it).
  17. No one should start a machine for another person, - if the machine starts before the operator is ready, a serious accident could occur.
  18. Always carry tools with their points pointing downward to reduce the risk of injuring anyone.  (This includes burning people with hot soldering irons and glue guns).
  19. Never have stools, chairs, bags or any other clutter in practical work areas.
  20. Never leave tools or materials protruding off the sides of the bench.
  21. Never leave clutter around machines, e.g. off-cuts of wood around the bandsaw, etc.
  22. Never leave electric cables trailing on the floor.
  23. Never bring drinks into practical areas, spilt liquids may cause people to slip, or if spilt onto electrical equipment, could cause electric shock and death.
  24. Read and obey hazard warning signs.
  25. Put tools away in their correct places after use.
  26. Clean up your area, the machines and equipment that you've used before you leave the lesson.
  27. Report any damage, breakages or equipment that needs maintenance.  There is usually a technician in D&T departments that has responsibility for making sure that hand tools, machines and other equipment are in proper working order and safe for teachers and students to use.
  28. Be aware that there are documents describing hazards in D&T workshops, Risk Assessments of these hazards and rules to prevent accidents and injury. Refer to CLEAPSS, Model Risk Assessments for Design and Technology in Secondary Schools and Colleges.
Click here to view the PDF version of this resource. MDTE PDF Workshop safety rules PDF
Copyright Laszlo Lipot.