Tool Usage Policy

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(((final draft)))

Much of our equipment is dangerous, expensive, fragile, or all three - consequently we have to manage training and access to protect both users and property. Eventually we will move to a digital solution, but for now we're taking a retro approach.

We have 'Tool Regulation Charts' on the wall which can be consulted to find who is able to use which tools, find tool owners/maintainers, or most commonly, find who can train other users in their use - note the owner is also able to train users! There is one copy of a Chart in each room, for applicable equipment - once you have been trained, sign the relevant slot in the Chart to self-certify that you have been trained to use it, and take responsibility for doing so.

Bear in mind that people doing training are not staff, and time is limited! If you see someone about to be trained on a tool you would like to use at some point, ask if you can get in on the action, as it will save time for all concerned.

Equipment that is access controlled will have either red tape, or red tape with a black stripe across it, in a prominent place, to remind users of the restricted status.

This is an example chart for the for the Workshop machines, with pseudorandom data:

Bandsaw Draper Sander Bench Grinder Drill Press Chop Saw Table Saw Router Table CNC Lathe
Steve X X X X X X X X X
Jon X X X X X X X X X
Adam X X X X X X X X X
Fred X X X X
Boaty X X X

X = user signature Able to train Owner

There is a separate chart for the restricted hand tools, namely:

Sabre Saw Oscillating Saw Circular Saw Jigsaw Planer Sanders Angle Grinder Heat Gun Drill Router Biscuit Jointer

And in the main room:

Laser Cutter 3D Printers

Tool Status Indication

To indicate power tool status concisely on the tools themselves, tape code is used, forming a band atop a tool handle or by the switch.

Red tape; Users need general training, eg drill, jigsaw

Red tape with a black stripe: Seek owner permission prior to use – owner should be indicated via label machine labels. For example, the biscuit jointer.

Red/black striped tape without a named owner indicates to seek permission from/advise the Keyholder before use. Examples might be say the nailgun, a blowtorch, or wood oils (delayed fire hazard).

Long-term Loan Policy

Tools on long-term loan to the Space should be treated as if they are our own, and maintained, repaired or replaced if required (assuming owner permission). The alternative to that is buying all our own power tools outright which would be quite a costly venture.