Appendix 1: Health and Safety

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The University of Edinburgh operates a no smoking policy. It is very important that all students give full consideration to health and safety in the studios, the crit rooms, and in all parts of the building. All students should familiarise themselves with the location of fire exits and the routes to them. Nothing more dangerous than a modelling knife should be used in the studio: activities involving e.g. woodworking tools or power tools should always be carried out in the workshop. The same applies to glues, paints, solvents and other volatile or flammable materials. Any such tools or materials found lying about in the studios or elsewhere will be confiscated, and their unauthorised use may give rise to disciplinary action. Any hazardous waste items (especially broken glass etc.) must be disposed of carefully in the workshop. It is particularly important to keep stairways and corridors open and free from clutter, debris and flammable materials of any kind. Activities such as gluing or spray-painting in these areas will be treated particularly seriously.

In the studios, it is critical to maintain clear escape routes from any point to the nearest fire exit. These may be marked on the floor, or may be otherwise designated by the studio tutor. Nothing should be allowed to restrict these routes, or access to them, even for a limited period. This will sometimes be inconvenient, but its importance must be appreciated by everyone involved in studio work. Accumulations of clutter are common in studios, but must be avoided where there is any possibility of resulting fire risk. Piles of paper or components of models, for example, should be tidied and kept out of harm’s way. Nothing should ever be allowed to restrict access to fire extinguishers; and these must never be moved or interfered with except in the event of a fire.

Crit rooms and other spaces are equally subject to these points. Similarly, they are often through-routes for cleaners and other staff, and students must have full consideration for possible dangers represented by items on the floor, suspended from wires, involving spikes or sharp edges, etc. In all cases of installations, a risk assessment should be carried out, using the risk assessment checklist (with adaptations for specific projects if necessary). Note that crit rooms and other exhibition spaces should be used only for displaying work — the construction of all pieces should be carried out in the studio or workshop. Before the construction of anything large or heavy is undertaken, careful thought, including an assessment of risks, should be given to how it will be moved, displayed, stored and ultimately disposed of.

Please recognise that these points are made in the interests of all users of our buildings. Good health and safety practices need be neither onerous nor obstructive if they are carried out continuously and routinely. Failure to comply with the ever-growing array of regulations in this area may easily have very serious consequences, e.g. the withdrawal of facilities such as 24-hour access to studios. An appreciation of health and safety is also an important general aspect of the design and use of all buildings, and increasingly of any professional or managerial role in any walk of life.