Health and Safety Policy

From East Essex Hackspace
Revision as of 11:06, 7 June 2022 by TimN (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The below is an extract from the East Essex Hackspace Health and Safety Policy for quick reference by its members. If there are any questions regarding Health and Safety please contact the Trustees.

Information below based upon: Induction Number I2.0 - Health and Safety at East Essex Hackspace Adoption date: 07.06.22


This document is to serve as a summary of the above induction module. This induction is to be carried out before you use the space, If you have not been inducted someone who has been inducted needs to accompany you at all times. This induction is to be completed every 12 months, this is to ensure that members have a chance to be up to date with new policies and equipment that might have changed in the last year.


  • First aid and accidents
  • Fire

Hi and welcome to the Health and Safety Induction Page for the East Essex Hackspace

Eventually all our induction videos will be available on our YouTube channel so please check the youtube channel for updates and watch the videos as many times as you like until you're comfortable with the contents.

Health and Safety

Some activities at the hackspace are likely to be dangerous if the proper procedures are not followed. The East Essex Hackspace CIO needs to reduce the risks around these activities and does this by implementing certain rules and behaviours from the people using the space. The Hackspace is to provide and maintain a safe and healthy environment, where equipment is not safe to use it will be taken out of order and labelled as so. NEVER use equipment that has been listed as out of order even if you think you know what’s wrong and can fix it. The hackspace will provide training on all equipment and machinery and control access to some equipment via our induction system. Some items, such as the mill and lathe, are so dangerous that an in-person induction is required. Others will have induction videos on the youtube channel that can be watched. You will then be asked to confirm that you have seen and understood the video and be allowed to use the equipment. If there is something you don’t understand or are unsure of then do not use the equipment but ask the trustees. Other members of the space can be helpful but ensure they are also inducted on the equipment before taking any advice. If in doubt, ask the trustees. In all situations your life is more important than the equipment or work so if you find a fire your first priority is to escape and raise the alarm.


From time to time the handling of chemicals that are controlled through the “Control of Substances Hazardous to Health also known as COSHH may be required in your projects. The storage of member-owned COSHH regulated chemicals is generally restricted but some small quantities may be stored within the dedicated COSHH cabinet for short durations by explicit permission. “Do Not Hack” labels which we cover in our HackSpace Housekeeping Rules must be applied to each item or risk being disposed of. COSHH chemicals are not to be stored in member lockers, if in doubt do not bring chemicals to the Space.

Concerns and User Obligations

If you are under 18 or have a mental disability which means you are unable to comprehend or remember safety instructions, it is necessary to have a responsible adult or carer accompany you. In this case, you yourself will be unable to hold membership, but this may be maintained in proxy through the responsible adult/carer.

If there are ever any concerns over someone's health and safety in the space, users must report the incident to the trustees so we can stop others from being at risk. If someone is putting their safety or the safety of others at risk then users have a responsibility to stop them, explain what they are doing wrong and how to correct their behaviour. All members and users of the space have a responsibility to

  • cooperate with the Trustees on health and safety matters;
  • not interfere with anything provided to safeguard their health and safety;
  • take reasonable care of their own and others’ health and safety;
  • use equipment correctly in accordance with instructions;
  • report all health and safety concerns to an appropriate person.

Any serious injury should be treated by a medical professional and in case of emergencies you should call 999 and ask for an ambulance. All accidents are to be recorded in the accident book located in the kitchen with the first aid supplies. The Hackspace will take steps to avoid unnecessary risk and very high levels of risk. However, some activities inherently involve some risk. Learning about, and employing, risk management is a necessary part of “making”. We therefore aim to protect our members from unnecessary and high risk, and provide guidance and support to help members manage risk for themselves. We are all responsible for our own safety.

First Aid

First Aid kits are provided in each of the workshops and within the Kitchen space. All injuries are to be reported to the Trustees and the Accident Book filled in. Completing the Accident Book should not prevent you from accessing medical assistance. Where emergency medical attention is required the nearest hospital A&E department is:

Southend Hospital - Prittlewell Chase, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 0RY

Or if more urgent call 999 and give your location as:

Hawkwell Pavilion, Park Gardens, Hockley, SS5 4HF

Or if asked for a what3words reference: ///tripods.normal.outlined

Fire Safety

In the event of a fire your first priority is to get yourself to safety, the assembly point is the public car park adjacent to the space. All non-inducted visitors are to be escorted around the building by an inducted member responsible for their safety. While escaping, raise the alarm if it is safe to do so. The building is fitted with a Fire Alarm system, the easiest way to raise the alarm is to use the manual call points at each exit of the building.

There are three exits from the building. If you are the first/only person to enter the building it is critical for your safety that you raise the electric roller shutters as these form a secondary fire escape should the primary fire escape be blocked. For all rooms other than the kitchen the primary escape route is the main entrance door facing the car park. If this route is compromised you should use the external facing door within the social space.

For users within the kitchen there is a dedicated escape door from this area. Once in a place of safety ring the Fire Brigade on 999 and give the following address:

Hawkwell Pavilion, Park Gardens, Hockley, SS5 4HF

Or if asked for a what3words reference: ///tripods.normal.outlined

The fire alarm will NOT automatically call the brigade so you need to!

All internal doors are to remain closed whenever not in use, this not only limits the spread of noise and dust to other spaces but also maintains the fire separation between the rooms and the escape route. Emergency lighting and Exit signage are provided to ensure a safe egress from the building is possible.

Flammable Substances

All flammable substances are to be stored in small quantities within fire resisting stores, these cabinets are labeled. Users should limit the amount of flammable substances they bring to the space and are to take home any flammable substances if they have not sought prior approval from the Trustees. All containers must be capable of being sealed and be appropriate for the substance they store, all sealed containers are to have a label indicating their contents, the members name and any hazard the contents may incur. No responsibility is held by the hackspace for accidents that occur during transit to or from the hackspace nor damage/injury for the misuse of these substances. Flammable substances are to be kept away from all heating and sources of ignition.

Combustible Material and Waste

Combustible materials and waste are to be stored in minimum quantities. All users are to use the bins provided for small amounts of waste, larger items are to be removed from the Hackspace by the user. No waste is to be stored externally to the space, this creates a fire hazard due to vandalism, which the space has experienced in the past. Notice Boards with paper notices and flammable decorations are not to be used within the escape routes without prior approval from the Trustees. These items present a potential fire hazard and may be better located outside the escape routes.


Explosives are not permitted inside the space. A limited number of events/activities such as model rocketry may use explosives but these are not permitted to enter or be stored at the space at any time. When using explosives members do so at their own risk and must comply with any local and national legislation on their storage, usage and licencing.


At the Hackspace there are tools and machinery provided for the use by members, many of these pose a hazard to yourself and other users if not monitored and used correctly. No machinery should be left unattended while running regardless of the perceived risk by the user.

Hot Works

Hot works or any activity that involves heating materials using open flames or electric arcs are strictly prohibited within the Hackspace. Special arrangements are to be made for welding and similar activities using the external space with appropriate risk assessments and protective measures. All gases associated with welding are to be stored externally within a designated area.

Cooking at the Hackspace

From time to time cooking activities/events will take place within the social space. These events must have a risk assessment carried out by the event organiser and all flammable materials removed from the area. A permanent kitchen area is provided for day to day preparation of food and limited cooking by use of portable hobs. No other area within the hackspace is to be used to prepare or cook food. When cooking, food must not be left unattended and the extraction fan set to boost to remove fumes.

Smoking at the Hackspace

There is no smoking at any time within the Hackspace, all users who wish to smoke must do so outside at least 3 meters away from the building. The use of lighters and other ignition sources within the building is prohibited for all purposes unless an adequate risk assessment for the activity has been approved by the trustees.

Electrical Safety

No user is permitted to alter the electrical infrastructure/installation of the Hackspace. Users are not permitted to alter any Hackspace equipment unless prior approval from the Trustees has been granted. Extension leads are inevitable but all users must limit their usage where possible, ensuring they are not overloaded. Extension leads are not allowed to run through doors.. Users may bring their own equipment to the Hackspace but the Hackspace takes no responsibility in its safety or use.

Fire Extinguishers

If a fire is small and it is safe to do so, it may be possible to extinguish the fire using the extinguishers provided. The first priority is to escape safely and fighting the fire should not compromise the safety of the occupants. Only the appropriate extinguisher should be used for the type of fire.

Updates to this policy

The nature of this space means that policies are subject to change to ensure everyone's safety and wellbeing. This policy is to be reviewed every year as a minimum or when significant changes mean the policy is no longer applicable or outdated. When this happens the users will be notified by email and they should ensure their training is updated as soon as practical, preferably before they next use the space. As a minimum each user is to repeat this induction annually, extended failure to do so or a breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action with the potential for access to be revoked.