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Safety at the Eliot School is of paramount importance.

We make every attempt to maintain a safe environment, but final responsibility rests with each individual using tools, materials and machines. Any student may be asked to leave if proper safety procedures are not observed.

For All Classes

  • Never eat or drink while working. Sawdust, solvents, glues, pastel dust, pigments and other artists' materials can all contaminate food. Keep food and drink covered, out of all work areas and off of any machine.

  • Always wash hands after working.

  • If you are sick, stay home from class. Come back when you’re well.

  • If you are pregnant, contemplating pregnancy, or have a pre-existing medical condition, check with your doctor, as some materials may contain hazardous ingredients.

  • After working, clean up all staples, nails, tacks, blades, solvents and solvent-soaked rags from surfaces and surrounding floor areas.


Wood Shop

  • Familiarize yourself with the First Aid Kit on the wall near the sink.

  • Never use power tools when alone in the shop.

  • If uncertain of how to use a tool, ask a teacher to spot you until you are completely confident in its use.

  • Machines are for designated uses only. Do not use machines as work surfaces.

  • Nothing should hang down near machines. Tie hair back and up. No neckties, scarves or dangling jewelry.

  • No open-toe shoes or foot gloves.

  • Wear goggles when using any power tool, chisel or saw. Read more about eye safety here.

  • Ear protection is recommended, especially for those with sensitive ears. However, make sure you can hear teachers’ instructions and sounds that may cue danger. Read more about ear protection here.

  • When sanding or working with powders or dust-producing materials, always use an OSHA-approved particle mask and make sure the air filter in the shop is turned on.

  • When using solvents or volatile compounds, turn on ventilation fans.

  • Keep food and drink covered and out of work areas. Never eat or drink while working.

  • Keep drink containers off machine surfaces. Moisture can damage and even destroy surfaces and internal workings, especially the table saws.

  • Clean up all staples, nails and tacks after working.

  • Our table saws all employ SawStop technology. Nevertheless, utmost caution is required with these, as with all power tools.


Art Materials & Solvents

  • Before using materials, read content and ingredient lists on all labels. Be informed about what you are using. Pay particular attention to pigments, solvents, fixatives, Volatile Organic Compounds and airborne particles.

  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) contain information on ingredients and hazards of each particular product. These are now available on-line. Blick Art Materials makes MSDS's available online for products they sell. Tips to find MSDS's for other materials can be found here.

  • Follow directions on labels. When the label says to use adequate ventilation, do so. Pay particular attention to skin and eye protection. Wear safety glasses and gloves when appropriate.

  • When sanding or working with powders or dust-producing materials, always use an OSHA-approved particle mask.


Further Reading