Safety Rules for Jewelry/Metals Studios

General Rules


There are many potential hazards in the jewelry/metals studio. These can cause injury or even be fatal if you don't follow the simple rules set forth here. However, if you are frightened of any tool in the studio, you increase the possibility of an accident. If you are conscientious & respectful of the tools/machinery, acids & torches in the studio, you will be safe.

  1. The tools and equipment in the Jewelry/Metals Studio are for use by those students who are currently enrolled in a course in this area. Exceptions to this policy can be made only through permission of a faculty member.
  2. Equipment in the Jewelry/Metals studio is to be operated only when one is alert, rested and focused. Under no circumstances should you attempt to use machinery when your judgement is impaired, under the effects of medication, drugs or alcohol, or when suffering from lack of sleep.
  3. Absolutely no equipment or tools should be operated without: a. prior instruction, b. the use of appropriate safety gear, and c. adherence to safety measures and proper procedures (See information in next section).
  4. The use of all power equipment and machinery requires the following: tie back hair, secure loose clothing, remove dangling jewelry, wear safety glasses/goggles, wear proper personal protective equipment if appropriate, check that all safety guards and tool rests are secure and in place, and make sure the work area is clean, dry and the floor not slippery.
  5. Students should not operate power machinery unless at least one other person is present in the studio (Instructor or Advanced Metals Student).
  6. Jewelry/Metals majors and grad students are required to purchase and maintain the following personal safety equipment: safety glasses/goggles, personal protective equipment, dust mask, hearing protection (plugs or muff style) and chemical resistant rubber gloves.
  7. All accidents, injuries or chemical spills must be reported immediately to the instructor or person in charge. A list of telephone numbers and procedures for Fire and Emergencies is posted and should be consulted in the event of any mishap (see Forms).
  8. Should symptoms of a health problem or illness appear and persist, report the matter to your instructor and go to the Health Office for an exam.
  9. All students will be required to read, discuss and ask any questions they might have about the UMass Safety Manual, and after so doing sign the Safety Manual Consent Form (see Forms).
  10. Most prescription eyewear does not meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1 specifications. Students who wear prescription glasses must provide evidence that existing eyewear meets ANSI Z87.1, or wear cover goggles (if allowable), purchase & wear ANSI Z87.1 prescription eyewear. Faceshields can be worn as well.


  1. Gas Leaks - In the event that you smell leaking gas, do not turn on lights or operate equipment in that room. Notify a faculty member, TA or person in charge immediately. If unable to identify the source, then notify Security, and Building Coordinator (if during business hrs.) at once.
  2. Fire - 1. Pull Fire Alarm. 2. Contain or fight fire only if it is possible or practical to do so. 3. Evacuate yourself and others from the area and/or the building.
  3. Medical Injury - Call Emergency (911) to request ambulance.
  4. Storage and Handling of Acids, Chemicals and Flammable Solvents - Acids, chemicals and flammable solvents all require storage in separate locations in approved containers and cabinets in the Acid Room. Handle substances with care observing safety precautions wearing: eye protection, (full face shield), appropriate personal protective equipment, chemical resistant rubber gloves and apron. Any mixing of acids and/or chemicals must take place in the ventilated booth. All mixtures must be properly labeled and never left unattended. When solution is exhausted, package in approved container, label accurately for later pick-up to be coordinated by University Safety Officer. Note: In mixing acids, always add acid to water!
    Aerosol sprays are to be used in vent hood upon clean newspaper. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, safety glasses and clean up after yourself.
  5. Students should take note of the location of the following: First Aid kits and fire extinguishers.
    Fire blanket in room xxx). Safety/Emergency shower in room xxx).


Abrasives Area - Use safety glasses and appropriate personal protective equipment when operating machinery and sandblaster. In using grinder, make sure tool rest is tight and secure, and that eye guards are in place. Tie back hair, secure loose clothing, have dust mask, and remove dangling jewelry.

Acid Room - Much more care needs to be given to acids. Not only should you exercise care in the acid itself, but adequate ventilation should be provided to carry away noxious fumes. Acid should always be added to water & not vice-versa. Baking soda is often used to neutralize acid on clothing & skin. Wear safety glasses, (full face shield), appropriate personal protective equipment, chemical resistant gloves, respirator and rubber/plastic apron when handling acids and chemicals. (see Chemical Waste).

Buffing Room - Wear safety glasses and appropriate personal protective equipment when using buffing machines. Tie back hair, secure loose clothing, remove dangling jewelry (this includes rings & bracelets). No gloves!.

Casting Area - Wear appropriate personal protective equipment when mixing investment. Turn on overhead fan during burn-out and casting to vent fumes. Wear medium/dark green filtered glasses, or an autoshade/welding visor, when using casting torch to avoid retinal damage.

Electroplating Room - Turn on room fan before entering. Wear safety glasses with splash guards (face shield), appropriate personal protective equipment and rubber gloves when working with the bath. Floor must be dry when working with rectifier and liquids to avoid electrical shock. Rectifier should be turned off when handling anodes or articles placed in the bath.

Enameling Room - Wear appropriate personal protective equipment to prevent inhalation of lead occurring in enamels. Use medium/dark green filtered glasses when placing and removing objects in kiln. Damp wipe all work surfaces when finished.

Power Equipment - Any rotating piece of equipment or machinery poses dangers (Bandsaws, Disc Sanders, Belt Sanders, Drill Presses, Flex Shafts, Grinder, Lapidary Equipment, Machine Lathe, Power Hacksaw, and Spinning Lathe) Wear safety glasses, tie back hair, secure loose clothing, remove dangling jewelry. Make sure work is held or clamped securely to tool rest or work surface and that blade guards are set as low as possible to accommodate work and protect yourself. If servicing power machinery, always unplug from electrical source. Only one person should operate a machine to avoid bad communication resulting in injury.

Torches - Do not attempt to change acetylene or oxygen tanks. Ask a faculty member to do this. Instruction on proper procedures for turning on & shutting down of tanks will be conducted in class by the instructor. Whenever there is fire, there exists possible danger. Make sure you understand the operation of the torches & burners. Remember the turn gas on first, then air/oxygen. When finished using the torches, turn off air/oxygen, then turn off gas. Always bleed the air/oxygen & fuel lines at the end of every work day. Don't let it come into contact with any flammable materials.

Hand Tools - Any cutting tool is a potential hazard is misused due to the fact that it just doesn't seem to know the difference of materials. It will cut flesh just like metal. You will have to be careful of your own hammers, chisels, etc. as well as those close to you. Always make sure that the head of the hammer is securely fastened to the handle. If you have some reason to heat a tool, such as the tongs, cool them off when you are finished so someone doesn't pick it up while hot.

Again, no one is to use tools, power equipment or torches in the Jewelry/Metals studio unless he/she has had prior instruction from faculty member or instructor!!!

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