Northwestern University's shop safety guidelines outline a comprehensive program for shop safety developed by a Provost-appointed committee of senior faculty and staff members with experience in the wide range of shops at Northwestern. These guidelines cover the sciences, theater and Facilities Management shops.
Shop and fabrication activities play an important role in education and research at Northwestern University. Safety is a shared responsibility that involves the institution, the user, faculty and staff. Comprehensive safety emerges only when all aspects are considered: the tools and environment, the individuals, as well as the devices and materials being used and fabricated. Collectively and individually, the focus must be on establishing, supporting and maintaining a University-wide culture of safety.
For purposes of these guidelines a shop is defined as any area where one or more of the following pieces of equipment are used by students and/or employees: lathes, surface grinders, milling machines, table saws, radial arm saws and/or nail guns.
The following shops and responsible parties have been identified and are subject to these guidelines:
Each shop shall develop and implement a written safety policy. The safety policy must address various topics, including but not limited to: shop access, hours of operation, training, shop and safety equipment, rules of conduct, safety postings, emergency telephone numbers and incident reporting guidelines.
The following rules are common to all shops and shall be incorporated into each shop's written safety policy.
Each shop will annually review its safety policy and update it as necessary. Manuals shall be revised as necessary based on any lessons learned from training drills or exercises and after an incident occurs.
The Office of Risk Management will conduct semi-annual safety audits of each of the shops on campus and will follow up by ensuring that any necessary remediation work is accomplished. The audit will consist of a physical review of the shop room infrastructure. The audit will also include verification of signage and postings, requisite safety supplies and personal protective equipment, and housekeeping and waste management. Training histories for employees and students will also be reviewed, as will the room and tool access policies. The audit also will include verification of tool condition and safeguarding. The Director of Risk Management shall provide a report of the audit findings to the Vice President for Research and the Provost.
These guidelines shall be reviewed periodically by the Shop Safety Committee appointed by the Provost.