Material Processing Laboratory and Student Craft Shop Safety


This policy outlines the roles, responsibilities, and authority for the Berea College Student Craft commercial and educational shops and College Material Processing Laboratory faculty, staff, student supervisors, and the safety requirements which apply to student and staff while working in those laboratories.


Who is Affected by this Policy

This policy applies to all academic departments that have designated material processing laboratory areas and the Student Craft commercial and educational shops. The policy includes, but is not limited to the following equipment: fixed (electrically, pneumatically, or hydraulically) powered pieces of equipment: drill press, lathe, band saw, table saw, mill, milling machine, grinder, buffer, shear, metal punch, jointer, swing arm saw, radial arm saw, planer, slitter, roll-form machine, cold header, multi-slide machines, drum sanders, belt sanders, veneer cutters, splicers, alligator shears, and any other fixed powered equipment that must operate with or without guards. It also sets safety standards for material processing laboratories and shops that apply to students who use them.



Material Processing Laboratory - a department designated facility which may contain at least one piece of student accessible material processing equipment.

Student Crafts - a unique Berea College Department that provides an educational experience for Berea College students and the community. The department also produces commercially available products to the general public. This operation includes, wood crafts, Broom Crafts, Ceramics, and Weaving.

Laboratory/Shop Supervisor - a material processing laboratory or shop employee who has received training as described in Section IV and any other training deemed necessary by the authorities of the institution and the presiding shop and material processing laboratory faculty or staff member for the work being conducted.


Training and Work Practices

The laboratory/shop supervisor approves access to the material processing laboratory or shop and is responsible for ensuring that student performing activities in their laboratory:

  • Have attended and successfully completed Berea College specific material processing laboratory and shop safety training for each type of machine they are expected to operate.
  • Are conducting work that is commensurate with their skill and training.
  • Have been instructed on laboratory emergency procedures including, but not limited to, the location and use of emergency equipment (e.g., emergency eyewash or safety showers, fire extinguishers, laboratory emergency stop buttons) and the proper procedures for reporting emergencies and summoning help.
  • Are instructed in what constitutes suitable laboratory attire - including types of clothing, jewelry, and shoes that must not be worn while working in a material processing laboratory, and are supervised to ensure that they are dressed appropriately before beginning work.
  • Are provided with and instructed how to use required engineering controls and personal protective equipment and supervised to ensure their proper and consistent use.



  • Students are prohibited from operating machines or performing any other activities in a material processing laboratory or shop unless supervised by the designated laboratory faculty, staff, and/or laboratory supervisors, Working alone by students is strictly prohibited. Exclusions to this rule are limited and designated by specific laboratory faculty/staff for specific material processing laboratories.
  • Work performed by students in material processing laboratories or shops is permitted only during designated times as established by the designated laboratory faculty/staff.
  • Material processing laboratory and shop faculty, staff, and/or supervisors may prohibit laboratory access or equipment use by an individual or group for non-compliance with laboratory safety rules. Serious violations will be referred to the sponsoring faculty member, academic department manager, and/or college administration as appropriate.