Ceramics Area Health And Safety Guidelines

GENERAL PRECAUTIONS

  • Creating art is an enjoyable and worthwhile endeavor. But it has inherent dangers in the materials and tools. Treat each with respect and common sense.
  •  Keep work areas clean. Cluttered areas invite accidents.
  • Wear proper apparel. Coveralls or a jumpsuit over your regular clothing is appropriate. Do not wear loose clothing, rings bracelets or other jewelry that can get caught in moving parts (such as a spinning potter’s wheel). Non-slip footwear is recommended.
  • All of the pottery wheels and outlets in the clay mixing room have ground fault interrupters. But if you are using additional electrical equipment be extremely cautious, especially since you might often have water in the vicinity. DO NOT PLUG IN ANYTHING WITH WET HANDS.
  • Always remember that wet clay is fairly inert. It is clay dust that can be harmful. Act accordingly.
  •  MSDS notebooks for all the ceramic materials are available in the glazing area.
  • Gloves must be worn in the glaze area. Never put you hand into a bucket of glaze to stir it!
  • Respirators or dust masks must be worn in the glaze and clay mixing areas. Turn on the exhaust fans in the room in which you are working.
  • Materials and belongings must be stored above floor level so that all floors can be regularly and thoroughly cleaned.
  •  Dry sweep at a minimum in the ceramic area. This should only be done in a careful fashion so as not to stir up dust. Wet mopping, or hosing and squeegee are the only ways to really clean floors.
  • No smoking is allowed in any of the buildings. 
  • Eating and drinking are only allowed at the center tables.
  • Be extremely careful of the potential pinch hazards around both the extruder and slab roller.
  • On occasion, plaster is used in ceramics. The same dust hazards exist with plaster. Also never rinse buckets, tools, or hands off in the sink.  Use a wash bucket for cleanup. Plaster will set up in the plumbing!

PERSONAL SAFETY AROUND KILNS

  • Assume anything on or around a kiln is HOT.
  • Loose clothing and hair can easily catch fire. Be careful, particularly with Raku firing!
  • Fire-resistant clothing (cotton) and full-toed shoes must be worn by all participants in Raku firings.
  • Full-face masks and leather gloves must also be worn during Raku firings.
  • Keep your face and hands back from spy ports.
  • Be careful looking into a yellow-hot kiln. The radiation may damage your eyes and safety glasses should be worn.
  • Alcohol, drugs and medication impair thinking around tools and kiln firings.  Please use common sense and do not come to the studio impaired!
  • Check the structural condition of the kiln before any firing. Report any problems to the instructor.
  • Clean the kiln before and after the firing.
  • Make sure the stacking of ware is stable and level.
  • Do not leave combustible materials anywhere near kilns.
  • Only students who have been authorized by an instructor may fire kilns.
  • Never touch controls or make adjustments to kilns that you are not firing.
  • Kiln shelves and stilts must be returned to proper storage.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location and use of fire extinguishers.
  • Respirators, safety glasses, and gloves must be worn when cleaning kiln shelves.  Remember the little pieces of glaze on a kiln shelf are glass and can easily cut you!