Shop Usage & Safety


Fabrication activities play an important role in the curriculum and extracurricular activities at Olin College. Promoting and maintaining a culture of safety depends on the individual behavior of everyone: students, staff, and faculty. We must look out for each other, teach each other and, when appropriate, caution each other.

The following rules have been developed to help foster a culture of safety and they apply to everyone who wants to use The Shop and the associated tools and machines at Olin College. This includes any of the other fabrication spaces at Olin College. These rules are general in nature and do not cover the safe operating procedure for each piece of equipment. Shop staff may prohibit shop access or machine use by an individual or a group for insufficient training, experience or for non-compliance with shop safety rules. Serious violations will be referred to the Honor Board. 

Anyone that needs accommodations based on the impact of a disability should contact the shop staff to discuss their specific needs. The Shop embraces the notion of intellectual community enriched and enhanced by diversity along a number of dimensions, including race, ethnicity and national origins, gender, gender identity and expresion, sexuality, class and religion. Babson, Brandeis and Wellesley students are welcome to use the shop if they are enrolled in a course or if they are part of an registered club at Olin

Safety is a priority and an integral part of shop training at Olin College. Additional information is available directly from the staff (office is located in AC105). 

General Rules

  • Only operate machines that you have been trained on. Need training on a machine? Go to the signup kiosk outside of the Shop office or for training details and signups.
  • Only work in the shop during designated times. No operating of machinery can happen between 2AM and 6AM in any shop.
  • Never work alone. If you get hurt, somebody needs to be able to call for help on your behalf. Your buddy should be familiar with the basic shop safety outlined in these General Rules. Check in with a staff member before you start work during normal operating hours and they count as your buddy.
  • Do not work in the shop if you are impaired by drug or alcohol use, exhausted, or in a rush.
  • Obtain first aid immediately for any injury and report all incidents to the staff and on Reports are used to help improve the Shop and never used to punish injured individuals. 
  • Use the safety guards on the machines to protect your eyes and hands. Never remove safety guards from a piece of equipment.
  • Don’t walk away while the machine is still on (spinning components can quickly become projectiles even if they are not engaged with the piece).
  • Only one person should operate a machine at any time. You can consult at the machine with another user, but only one set of hands are on the machine when it is running.
  • Don’t touch a spinning component. Spinning components are sharp and/or hot, and your safety is more important than the thirty seconds you will save by manually slowing the machine down.
  • If a machine or tool is broken or requires maintenance, please notify us, either in person or via as soon as possible. Do not attempt to repair or maintain the machine yourself. Do not operate a machine that has a Out of Order tag. 
  • If you do not know how to do something – ASK. We are here to help. 

Dress Code                   

  • Safety glasses must be worn at all times when in the shop to prevent particles, flying objects or dust being lodged in your eyes. Regular glasses don’t count unless they meet the ANSI Z87.1 standard. 
  • Wear appropriate shoes and clothing. No open-toed sandals or bare feet. Wear shoes that give sure footing. If you are working with heavy objects, steel toes are recommended.  Always wear long pants when working in the shop. Shoes and long pants will help protect your feet and legs from tools and chips that are sharp, and often hot.
  • Always remove or secure anything that might get caught in moving machinery. This includes not wearing loose clothing (including ties, scarves, dresses or skirts) and removing all jewelry (including rings, watches, or necklaces) that could get caught in the machinery. Tie back long hair above your shoulders. And never wear gloves while using rotating equipment. 

Shop Cleanliness and Housekeeping - Everyone’s Responsibility

  • The shop is a learning environment. We understand that tools might get broken or damaged. Please report any broken or damaged tool to us as soon as you notice it. 
  • Clean up your work area and leave the shop cleaner than you found it. Stop work at least 15 minutes before you need to leave. Plan ahead. A clean shop is a safe shop. 
  • Remove tools from the machine when finished and return them to their appropriate storage area. Report any missing tools to us so that we can replace them. 
  • Don’t use compressed air to clean off the machine or your body (the force of the air can cause chips to become embedded in the nooks and crannies of the machine, or in your skin). Compressed air is only used to clean off your parts and cutting tools (pointed away from your body and into a trash can).
  • Keep floors free of debris and spills (particularly oil and grease). Store scrap materials in the appropriate locations and recycle any unusable stock. Everything else goes into the trash.