Safety Guide

This document is a work-in-progress and will be continually updated & refined throughout the development of the QC Makerspace. As we add more resources and tools to the Makerspace this document will update to reflect those offerings. (Or to use software development parlance, our safety guide is currently in beta phase.)


The purpose of this document is to introduce users to the safety guidelines and general policies of the Makerspace. Safety policies do not cover every aspect of how to operate equipment. Additional training will be made available by other documentation and Makerspace team members.

Access to equipment may be revoked at any time if these guidelines & policies are not followed.

Room 101

Makerspace is currently located in Room 101 of the Rosenthal Library, adjacent to Media Commons. We share this space with Media Commons as well a general study area. The Makerspace zones are partitioned with a series of stanchions. Everywhere beyond the stanchions is considered Makerspace proper, and users must be granted permission before using any of the resources in these zones.

Whenever the stanchions are in place no users may enter the Makerspace. Only Makerspace team members may withdraw the stanchions.


There is no room named ‘safety’ - it is a state of mind.

All users must be trained before operating any equipment in the Makerspace.

The material in this Safety Guide provides important information required to work safely.


Queens College & CUNY students, staff, and faculty may access the Makerspace whenever a Team member is present.

General Dress Code

Any time you enter the Makerspace, you must adhere to this general dress code:

  1. Wear closed toe shoes, no sandals.

General Safety Policies (When Operating Equipment)

  1. Always wear safety glasses where indicated.
  2. Remove all jewelry including but not limited to rings, watches, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Stud earrings are OK.
  3. Remove all accessories such as headphones, earbuds, scarves, neckties, etc. The general rule you should be noticing is that nothing should be dangling off your body that could get caught in a machine.
  4. Tie up long hair and long beards. This means more than just putting a hair tie on your hair. Tie it up or put it in a hat so that your hair is not dangling off your head.
  5. Remove gloves, they are easily caught in machinery. Only use work gloves when instructed to do so. The exception to this is very thin latex or nitrile gloves, which may be worn to keep the skin free of oil, solvents, or paints. They must be thin enough that should they be caught in a machine, the glove will simply tear and not drag your hand into the machine.
  6. Wear closed toe shoes, no sandals. You need your feet protected against cuts should somebody drop a tool or a workpiece.
  7. Optionally wear an apron to keep your clothes clean, and ear protection for your comfort.

Makerspace Zones

The makerspace facility is divided into several ‘zones.’ Each zone may have its own policies or rules to follow. Pay attention to any notices posted.

The ‘Comm Zone’ (short for Community & Communication, the long table) is like a co-working space. Food and drink may be consumed here.

Please clean up after yourself when you are done working in any zone.

Safety Net

Makerspace team and the community observe user actions and behaviors in the space. When the actions of a user are unsafe, this is reported and the team takes action. Additionally, authorized users of the makerspace are trained to call out when another user is not properly using equipment. They demonstrate through best practices how to more safely use the equipment.

Makerspace Equipment

this section will be updated & expanded shortly as more equipment is added to the Makerspace.


  1. When removing parts from a tray, try to avoid using knives or scraper.
  2. Attempt twisting of the tray to break parts loose.
  3. If you must use a knife or scraper, always push away from yourself. Never put your hand or any part of your body in the potential path of the sharp object.

Sewing Machine

  1. Be conscious of where you are pushing the material.  Keep hands out of the path of the needle!
  2. Remove all jewelry and do not wear gloves while operating the machine.

Soldering Irons

  1. Do not touch the tip of the iron.
  2. Wash your hands after you are done soldering, or wear gloves during soldering.


  1. Every so often get up and stretch -- your body will thank you later. If you’re rendering an object, get up and stretch. If your filter is processing, get up and stretch. If you’re exporting anything, get up and stretch.


We are thankful to the Boise State MakerLab for informing us about their Safety Policies document, which was in turn based on think[box] Lab Policies documents. Sharing is caring & together we truly can make the world a better place for all.