Health & Safety in the Artroom

Personal Care

 Back Care
- Use appropriate lifting strategies when lifting (see Worksafe Australia web site).
- Do not twist while lifting heavy weights.
- Carry only one single box (10-15kg) at a time.
- Clay: Take care in packing kilns – inserting kiln shelves, positioning heavy work, vary repetitive tasks etc. Vary repetitive tasks with short periods of stretching (throwing, reclaiming clay etc.).

- Wear safety goggles when dealing with powdered substances.
- These should be worn as all times when you are cutting up your glass tiles. They prevent any glass splinters from getting in your eyes.

Oral Hygiene
- Be careful what you put in your mouth. Better still, put nothing in your mouth!
- Do not smoke or eat in the studio at any time.
- Be meticulous when washing hands after completing a task.
- Wear latex gloves and a plastic apron when handling powdered materials – do not re-use gloves without washing them fully.
- Do not put any materials in or near your mouth unless you are confident you know exactly what you are handling. Ask for a Material Safety Data Sheet.

Slipping Hazards
The best floors for studio hygiene are smooth floors like lino etc. but wet clay and smooth floors create slippery situations. TAKE CARE! Install adhesive textured strips or rubber mats on floors in dangerous zones, eg. sink area.

Product care

To minimise dust all of these activities must be done wearing a quality individual respirator with an appropriate dust filter.
- Wet mop floors or sweep with moist sawdust daily.
- Never sand pottery when dry – sponge it when leather hard instead.
- Ensure all handbuilding and mixing of powdered materials takes place in a confined space away from others.
- Vacuum the studio monthly with a quality vacuum with a suitable particle filter (including shelves, tool drawers)
- Clean benches while clay is still moist – scrape with a paint scraper, sweep (while moist) with a dust pan and brush, and finally sponge down.
- Vacuum kiln interior each week with a quality vacuum with a suitable particle filter
- Clay: Take care in packing kilns – inserting kiln shelves, positioning heavy work, vary repetitive tasks etc. Vary repetitive tasks with short periods of stretching (throwing, reclaiming clay etc.).

Ceramic Oxides and Carbonates
These colouring products are generally heavy metals and should be handled with care – wear latex gloves when applying by hand (staining), use a quality particle mask when mixing powdered oxides into wet mixtures, and wear a plastic apron to protect clothing from stains.

- Be careful to have a well-ventilated area. 
- Encourage the children not to shake the Modroc as excessive plaster powder will be released into the air.  This is not good for breathing nor for cleaning.
- Because Modroc is plaster-covered fabric, do not throw the water down domestic sinks as the plaster will block the drains. Throw the water outside onto the garden.

For health and safety, students should use safety glasses when cutting, clipping or hammering tiles; a mask when working with dry grout (as it is a fine powder) and gloves when working with wet grout.

- Do not allow unset plaster to be washed down any drain; never allow children to wash their hands at the sink, an accumulation of plaster sediment will block drains very quickly.
- Recommendation: Allow children to wash in a plastic bucket.  The sediment will settle and harden or gel, then the water may be poured off, and the plaster residue disposed of as solid waste.

- It is important that Resin is always used in a well ventilated area and that safety gear such as a respirator mask, eye goggles and disposable rubber gloves are worn to protect the skin and vulnerable areas. Hair should also be tied back.
- Resin will permanently adhere to any absorbent surface. Protect your work surface with plastic sheeting to avoid any damage. Art Clean or Methylated Spirits can be used to remove Resin from some surfaces.
- It is important to only mix small equal amounts of Resin that will be used immediately. Resin begins to cure as soon as parts A + B are mixed. Curation time depends on temperature, humidity and the volume of resin mixed.
- Any brushes used with Resin will need to be disposed after use and will not be re-usable.
- For more tips and tricks on using Resin, see our Resin Painting Exploration (2D) or Moulding and Casting Exploration (3D).

- Always work in a well ventilated area, wear safety goggles and a respirator mask, and immerse Soapstone in a bucket of water, to reduce dust inhalation.
- Dust can cause the floor to be slippery.

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