These are general safety rules, applicable to all zones. Each zone has specific rules pertaining to the equipment available. These rules are reviewed during each zone's Safety Orientation, and are documented on each zone's wiki page.  


Never work while tired, intoxicated, or otherwise impaired.

Always use common sense. Before undertaking an operation with a tool, think out the path of the tool and your body. Never place yourself in the path of a tool or apply pressure that will strike a sharp edge with your body should something slip.

Eye protection must be worn at all times when in the workshop. This applies regardless if you are working on machinery or not. Activities of others can affect your safety.

Hearing protection is available. Use it when operating loud machinery.

If you are unsure of proper operation of a tool or machine or uncomfortable with its use, ask for a assistance from CoG staff, volunteers, or fellow makers.

Tools are classified into three safety categories: 

  1.  GREEN   Using green tools presents a low risk for injury. They can be used by any member. Unlabled tools, such as hand tools, are by default green tools. 
  2.  YELLOW   Using yellow tools presents a medium risk for injury. Improper use may result in mild to severe injury. Yellow tools should only be used after completing the appropriate Zone Orientation, and only if the user is knowledgable in their operation. 
  3.  RED   Using red tools presents a high risk for injury. Improper use WILL result in serious injury or death. Red tools should only be used after completing the appropriate Zone Orientation, and only if the user is knowledgable in their operation. Some tools will require users to demonstrate their knowledge to a CoG staff member or volunteer before being allowed to operate. 

No member is allowed to operate RED tools without one other person in the building able to respond to calls for help. If there is an accident, the other person can call for help and come to your aid. Guests are allowed to serve this safety watch role. 

Obtain first aid immediately for any injury. Report all accidents/injuries to CoG staff or volunteers no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time. Report all injuries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This will help us to mitigate hazards in the future.

Do not operate machinery for which you have not received a safety orientation. This will protect both you and the equipment from harm. 

Only CoG members are permitted to operate equipment. For classes that are open to the public and require the use of equipment, the instructor will review the relevant safety rules with attendees and will supervise machine operation. Guests may act as a safety watch when a member is operating a red tool, but unnecesary guests should be kept to a minimum. Keeping the foot traffic to a minimum provides a safer and more comfortable work environment. 

Pets shall not be in the wood, welding or metal zones while machinery is in use.

Do not attempt to oil, clean, adjust or repair any machine while it is running. Performing maintenance on moving machinery exposes you to additional hazards.If you feel a tool or machine is in need of maintenance, please inform the zone coordinator or facilities specialist.

Ensure that all machine guarding is in place and functioning properly. Inform the zone coordinator or facilities specialist if guarding is damaged or malfunctioning.

Do not leave machines running unattended. 

Do not try to stop a machine with your hands or body. Stopping a machine with your body can result in entanglement. Let a machine come to a stop naturally or use provided brakes.

Always keep hands, hair, feet etc. clear of all moving machinery at all times. Be aware of all moving parts, especially blades, cutting tools and chucks.

Double-check that tooling and work pieces are properly supported and clamped prior to starting a machine. Starting a spindle with loose tooling or machining a loosely clamped work piece can produce flying hazards.

Heavy or unwieldy work pieces often require special support structures to machine safely. Ask for help if you are unsure if your work piece requires additional support.

Remove chuck keys, wrenches and other tools from machines after making adjustments. Chuck keys left in the chuck when the machine turns on become dangerous flying objects. Return chuck keys to their proper storage location.

Ask for help when moving awkward or heavy objects. This will protect you and those around you from injury.

Deburr sharp edges of freshly cut stock. This includes any piece of stock that goes in scrap bins. Eliminating burred edges minimizes the chances for personal injury and marring of precision machine surfaces.

When working with another person, only one person should operate the machine.

Do not lean against the machines. If you need a rest, grab a chair.

Do not talk unnecessarily while operating a machine. Do not talk to others while they are operating a machine. Do not become a distraction to others. Concentrate on the work and the machine at all times. If you must talk, turn off the machine.

Be sure you have sufficient light to see clearly when performing any job. Well lit workspaces are much safer and less straining on the operator.

Work at a pace that is comfortable for you. Rushing will compromise safe working practices along with part quality and increases the chance of damaging equipment. Set your work aside if you become tired.

Listen to the machine(s) - if something does not sound right, shut it down. Often if the machine sounds abnormal to you, it probably is not operating properly. Inform the shop supervisor if you believe a machine or tool be operating abnormally.

Never use compressed air for cleaning machinery. This will embed particulates into the precision machine ways and will drastically reduce the life of the machine tool. Use the supplied chip brushes and rags to clean machinery.

Never use compressed air to clean your clothes or any part of your body. Particles can become embedded in skin and eyes. In extreme cases, air can be introduced into the bloodstream.

If you do not know how to do something – ASK! Do not engage in any activity that may have unusual risk. Trust your judgment. Check with the shop supervisor if you have any doubts about what you are doing.


NO LOOSE CLOTHING, LOOSE HAIR, JEWLERY OR GLOVES when using any type of powered moving machinery in the wood, welding or metal shop. This includes but is not limited to ties, scarves, hoodie strings, necklaces, and loose-sleeved shirts. These items can get caught in moving machinery, dragging the operator in and causing serious injury or death. Short sleeves or sleeves rolled above the elbow are preferred. 

Wearing gloves when working on moving machinery is prohibited. Gloves can easily become entangled in moving machinery and thus are not allowed. The only exceptions to this rule are while using a bench or portable grinder or buffing wheel, when handling sheet metal, during machine setup before power is turned on, or membranous gloves (such as latex or nitrile) for personal protection or contamination control. 

No open-toed shoes or high heels in the wood, welding or metal shop. To provide secure footing, choose shoes with softer soles and stable platforms. Wearing appropriate footwear will help protect feet from falling objects and hot sparks or chips. Avoid shoes with mesh when welding or generating hot sparks and chips. Steel toed shoes are recommended.

When welding, long sleeves are required for protection from arc-flash and metal sparks. A leather apron or welding jacket is recommended.

No shorts, dresses or skirts allowed when working in the metal shop. Burred edges of freshly cut metal such as sheet stock are razor sharp. Hot metal chips flying off material will burn/cut exposed skin, potentially startling the operator. Wearing long pants will protect you and those around you. 



KEEP THE ZONES CLEAN AT ALL TIMES. It is all of our responsibility to keep the makerspace clean. There is no excuse for a cluttered/messy workspace. If your workspace is cluttered, then you are working too fast.

Keep floors free of oil, grease or any other liquid. Clean up spilled liquids immediately, as they are slipping hazards.

Store materials in such a way that they cannot become tripping hazards. Immediately return all excess material to its proper storage place.

Put tools away when not in use. This prevents loss of tools and also makes them available to others.

Place all scrap in the appropriate marked scrap containers. Follow any posted rules and restrictions. 

Use provided trash containers. Do not place hazardous materials in trash containers. Stop work 15 minutes prior to the time you need to leave the shop or that the shop is scheduled to close. This will provide ample time to clean and replace tools to their homes.