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studio safety guide

Studio safety is a priority. 


The risks associated with working in a ceramics studio include: 


- Risk to lungs from exposure to ceramic dust 

- Exposure to toxic substances 

- Risks from slipping and tripping 

- Risks from heavy lifting 

- Cuts & burns 

- Electrical hazards 


The Edinburgh Ceramics Workshop in partnership with the Edinburgh Design School is dedicated to teaching and practice. We have technical support 6 hours per week and teaching staff present 10 hours per week so whilst the studio is monitored there are periods of time over the day-time, weekends and holidays when the studio is open for practice with no staff present. 


This keeps membership costs to an affordable level so that a wide range of people can come and practice. The studio relies on members and teaching staff being organised, and using the systems and procedures set out by us to ensure that the studio operates safely and efficiently. 

To minimise the risks in the studio we require every member to attend an induction session with our technician before starting any practice in the studio. 


If you are unsure about any element of practice you can communicate through our ‘WhatsApp’ members or with our studio technician or with Alex via e-mail. 


Alex Gunn:

If you have a disability, then please make staff aware of this prior to induction so that appropriate adjustments can be made to ensure your safe working practice and fire evacuation procedures in the event of a fire. 



Risks To Lungs From Ceramic Dust 


What We Do


We provide: 

- Cloths 

- Sponges 

- Mops 

- Buckets 


What Studio Users are required to do 


- Clean all the areas you have used in the studio and any others requiring attention for a minimum of 20 minutes at the end of each practice.  


- Wash equipment immediately after use, dry and store appropriately mop floor surfaces, tables and stools and don’t  forget the underside of the wheels and the wheel legs. 

- Put all dirty aprons and towels, slab rolling cloths in the washing machine rinsing as appropriate. 

- Wash your hands / Wipe your feet before leaving. 

- Clean your shelving, storage, every week. This includes tools, hardware and material containers. 

- Participate in group cleaning days and cleaning rota. 

- Sign in and out of the studio at the beginning and end of each practice session using the book provided.  Using ‘WhatsApp‘ or e-mail make staff aware of areas requiring attention taking an image where possible and noting the time and date. 

- Purchase your own apron and ceramic graded dust mask for working with dust creating processes. 

E.G Force 8 P3 Respirator: Amazon. 

-Your apron should be synthetic and must be regularly washed. 




Risk Identified: Health Risk From Toxic Substances 


What We Do: 


- Vent the studio and provide appropriate cleaning materials. 


- Manage the use of toxic chemicals in the studio. 


What Studio Users are required to do: 


- Nearly all raw glaze materials carry a yellow warning label. They are toxic and harmful in a number of ways.  


- Always read and follow the safety instructions as detailed by the manufacturer. 


- You need to use your own wet glaze mix. 


- Store your work in secure storage. 


- Do Not spray or mix glaze without following the safety instructions recommended by the manufacturer. 


- Wear gloves and masks whilst working with glaze. 

- Clean any spills immediately to prevent dried dust entering the air. 


- Do not make functional ware using glaze which is not food safe labelled. At some future point, someone might eat or drink from it thinking it safe. 


- Clearly label work for sale or gift as food safe or not food safe as appropriate. 

Food and drink should be consumed In the designated food area. In the Edinburgh Palette building this is on floor 3. 



Risk Identified: Health Risks from Slips & Trips 


What We Do: 


- Provide open practice, clean and tidy studio. 


- Provide sockets in all practice areas to minimise the need for extension cables which can cause trip hazards. 


- Ensure good studio lighting.  


What Studio Users are required to do: 


- Ensure that all storage areas are clean and tidy and don't impede walkways. 


- Ensure materials, tools and personal belonging are appropriately stored and off the floor. 


- Ensure all finished work removed from the studio and stored off site. 



Risk Identified: Health Risks from Heavy Lifting


What We Do: 


- We provide information on safe lifting. 


- We provide wheeled dollies for moving heavy items in the studio. 


What Studio Users are required to do: 


- Refer and familiarise yourself with studio lifting procedures. 



Risk Identified: Health Risks - Fire Safety


What We Do: 


- We ensure fire safety signage is well located in the studio and conform to the Edinburgh Palette Safety Regulations. 


What Studio Users are required to do: 


- Ensure that you are familiar with the fire exit procedures. These are detailed on signage in the studio and will be detailed in your induction. 


- Know your way out of the building and know the muster point. 

- Ensure that you use the sign-in book. Signing in and out of every practice session. 




Risk Identified: Health Risks from Cuts, Burns & General Hazards 


What We Do: 


- Only trained staff and studio members are permitted to operate the kiln and pug mill. 


- Gloves are provided to protect against heat and exposure to sharp surfaces, i.e glaze spills. 


- Provide an appropriately stocked first aid box. 


What Studio Users are required to do: 


- Do not touch or attempt to operate the kiln without unless instructed by staff. 


- Only trained studio members are enabled to load, unload and operate the kiln. 


- Ceramic surfaces can be very sharp. Wear appropriate gloves at all times when dealing with sharp tools  

and surfaces. 


- In the event of a cut, please use the bandages found in the First Aid Box. 


- Do not continue to practice unless the cut is clean and bound. 

- Please tie up loose hair to avoid getting it caught in studio machinery. 


Risk Identified: Electrical Hazards 


What We Do: 


- Our equipment conforms to Edinburgh Palette building regulations.  

- All our equipment is PAT tested as appropriate.  


- Only people who have been trained are allowed to use our equipment. Everyone will be trained to work safely using a wheel, but only people with additional training can work the pug mill and kiln. 


What Studio Users are required to do: 


- If you are using your own equipment then they must be within their guarantee or included in annual PAT testing.  


- Our technician will note these but must be informed with the product specification. 

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