[Noisebridge-discuss] Safety Excellence Certification aka The S.E.C

Eric Michaud michaud.eric.c at gmail.com
Sat Nov 14 23:34:00 UTC 2015

Hi All,

After chatting with a lot of you (I appreciate the time you took), I've
realized fixing the laser first isn't exactly the best use of my time at
this moment. After chatting with James and Jacob I realized that something
more foundational is needed in terms of the long time use of all tools at
Noisebridge and the continuing maintenance of them and the space. This has
come to be after I learned of the meteoric fall of useable tools in
Noisebridge from the laser cutter, lathe, oscilloscopes, power tools, etc

So what I'm doing is extending my experience onto the table in helping make
a meteoric rise of useable tools in Noisebridge from my experience building
hackerspaces with others and seeing others fail in different ways. I hope
to stem the tide of the ongoing assault to the misuse of tools in
Noisebridge with you and bring them back.

Honestly when a healthy culture exists we can support a healthy use of the
tools(which is partly why we have a hackerspace right?!) so they may serve
us better before the robot apocalypse we bring upon ourselves. ;)

With that in mind I have a few concepts I'm going to start introducing
(some of you may be familiar, others not) I'd like to introduce three major
concepts that I've implemented with others when founding PS:One (
https://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/SafetyProject -
https://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/Danger_committee -
https://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/Safety) and which other spaces have
borrowed heavily from my days at the Department of Energy where I learned
them and allowed tools to not be destroyed, person and location damage, and
continued excellent use of dangerous/expensive equipment.

*The major concepts are:*

   1. Lockout/Tagout
   2. Stop-Work Authority
   3. Safety/proper tool use certification - Safety Excellence Certification

*1. Lockout/Tagout ( https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/
<https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/> - I'll copy from OSHA)*
What is hazardous energy?(Why it's important)

Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic,
chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment can be
hazardous to workers. During the servicing and maintenance of machines and
equipment, the unexpected startup or release of stored energy can result in
serious injury or death to workers.


This system is for maintenance of dangerous/expensive tools (ex: the laser
cutter is being repaired) are in maintenance mode so that the fixer, user,
bystander is not hurt when a tool is not in a useable state. Example would
be swapping out the laser tube on the cutter, or replacing the table saw
blade. In this case, the power cord may be restricted with a cover to
prevent it from being plugged in accidentally, or by the user knowing full
well what they are getting into.

*2. Stop Work Authority
( http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/12346-stop-work-authority
TLDR; You have authority to tell someone to stop work on
dangerous/expensive machinery if you see them using it incorrectly, taking
risks(which can cause damage to the machine, themselves or others) even if
you are new to the equipment.

*3. Safety/proper tool use certification - Safety Excellence Certification*

A simple certification program which teaches each user of
dangerous/expensive equipment like the lathe, drill press, table saw, laser
cutter, 3d printer,etc etc etc how to properly use and maintain the
equipment. Basically this would be Tool Use 101. A short class showing how
to check that a piece of equipment is in working order, how to energize,
use, de-energize, and safely store.


My goal with these concepts above is to work them into the culture of
Noisebridge, a culture of being excellent to the tools we use and to
others, so we will encourage people to come to Noisebridge to work on
excellent projects.

I'm going to start by putting a sheet at each tool that is either
dangerous, expensive, dangerous/expensive with a url pointing to a page on
safety and safe use (this will need work and love). After that I'm going to
start a simple program of having people teach each other the safe use of
the tool and see where we go from there. All I can say when each person who
knows how to safely use the tool with others a responsibility to keep the
tool in safe working order fosters a healthy culture to all safe, happy,
and hacking.

Best Regards,

P.S. At the moment there is nothing preventing anyone from using the tools,
except for the fact that the majority of power tools simply don't work.
I'll be working with Jacob in the shop to test out a lot of the old tools
and start pairing down the tools that are unsafe/useable and also create a
punch list with James on what needs to happen with the laser so we stop
duplicating effort.

P.P.S. Attached is the sheet I will be putting at each tool station to
start so everyone becomes familiar with them.

P.P.P.S. I'm going to build a simple framework known as the The S.E.C.
Sheet for each tool(we've already posted them). I'm happy to take any
constructive input to make the tools in this space sing again. :)
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