General Risk Assessment

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Risk Assessment: General
Revision Date: 2018-10-03


Assessors: Andrew Smithson, Jim Allanson
Scope: This risk assessment is to cover general use of the Teesside Hackspace by members, visitors, or any other people who may enter the space. Activities of significant risk that are outside of the scope of this assessment should have their own risk assessment, members instigating new equipment/risks are to raise the need for such assessment and drive it forward.

Hazard Who might be harmed and how? Control measures Action, by whom and due date
Trips, slips and falls. Members and those visiting the site may trip on equipment laying around, or slip on wet surfaces if a drink was spilt
  • Members to leave space as found (or better).
  • Projects to be returned to storage boxes rather than left on general work benches or the floor.
  • Items should be stored as not to cause trip hazards.
  • To avoid trailing cables across areas likely to be used as a walkway
  • Spills to be cleaned up immediately.
Projects may be in a half built state not suitable for people not involved to touch. Members and those visiting the site may come across unfamiliar hazards if they are not involved in a project “Do not hack” stickers to identify things that should not be tampered with and to identify project owners of works in progress. Visitors note form gives induction to visitors.
Risk of cuts Members and visitors on open sessions may get cuts on from basic hand tools
  • User to inspect condition of tools before use.
  • Sharp tools to be stowed in a way that they don't present a risk of cuts.
  • First aid kit available
Risk of hand or eye injury. Members and visitors on open sessions may get injury from use of powered hand tools
  • (Drill, Dremel style tools, etc)
  • Use light eye protection.
  • Small vice available to be used where practicable.
  • Ear protection not requirement as time weighted average is low for the nature of work anticipated to be done. Continuous use typically less than few minutes at a time, and for no more than total of 3 hours in given 8 hour period. Ear protection available if excessive work being done or if the user wishes to wear them.
  • Signage to use eye protection in place
Burns of skin or other items.
  • Members and visitors on open sessions may get injury from use of Soldering irons
  • Soldering iron stands to be used
Fumes / inhalation. Potential for members and visitors to breath flux fumes from soldering.
  • Good soldering practice to not directly breath fumes for those soldering. Area large enough for fume dispersal given the nature of ‘hobbyist’ soldering rather than production volumes.
Ingestion of traces of lead and flux Potential for members and visitors soldering to ingest traces of lead and flux
  • Hands to be washed after soldering before eating
  • Signage in place.
Risk of accidental cutting or stabbing Members and visitors on open sessions using scalpel, ‘Stanley’ knife etc may cut themselves accidentally.
  • Member to inspect tools before using.
  • To cut away from hands/ body.
  • Sharp tools to be sowed in a way that they don't present a risk of cuts.
  • First aid kit available
Risk of injury through unfamiliarity Members and visitors on open sessions using equipment they are not familiar with may injure themselves.
  • Record to be kept of those trained to use equipment as per their corresponding risk assessments.
  • Signage on equipment that requires sign off before us.
  • Under 16s to be supervised by a parent or guardian (condition of insurance).
  • Additionally for under 18’s notes to be made and kept to note supervision and training (conditions of insurance).
Risk of injury going unnoticed. Members working in the space alone may injure themselves when no one else is there to assist.
  • Member to establish their own measures of ‘checking in’ eg having a contact (eg friend / relative) know when they are there alone and regularly establish contact.
  • Member to restrict activities that they consider risky when working alone.
Electric shock risk Members and visitors on open sessions may touch electrics >50Vac or >120Vdc
  • Members to check condition of plugs, leads and equipment prior to using
  • Where practicable electrics >50Vac or >120Vdc should not worked on live. When electrics are worked on live the surrounding area is to be clear, and ‘Electric Shock Risk’ (with yellow triangle and lightning bolt) sign is to be present, people are to be aware of the work going on and another person is to be present.
  • RCBO (earth leakage shock protection) on the supply to the sockets.
  • Electrics >50Vac or >120Vdc should be double sheathed with suitable insulation, or in an earthed case, cables should be restrained such that they are not easily pulled out.
Various task specific hazards Members and visitors on open sessions may be injured by various hazards not yet defined.
  • Due to the nature of constantly changing changing equipment been developed in the space, when new equipment is being developed or tested for use within the space, it may not be practicable to have it formally risk assessed prior to use, in this case the member(s) building the new equipment, and or the trustees, shall be the only ones to use the equipment before it is formally risk assessed. It shall be labelled “Do not hack without owner’s permission”.
Cuts or eye injury from drone propellers Members and visitors on open sessions when drones are being worked on or flown could potentially receive cuts or eye injury.
  • ‘Drones’ (eg quadcopters or other RC or autonomous flying crafts) measuring >150mm measured diagonally motor centre to motor centre which have with brushless motors should not be flown inside the space (best practice is to remove propellers before powering up inside).
  • Drones <150mm (measured diagonally motor centre to motor centre) with brushed motors should have propeller guards fitted before flying inside the space.
  • Drones with brushed motors may be flow in the space, they should be dynamically assessed if they are suitable for flight around people and if prop guards are appropriate. (eg a 50mm brushed motor drone would be suitable to fly even without guards, a 1kg brushed drone would not be suitable to fly in the space)
Sprains, strains, back injury. Members or those involved in moving furniture could suffer Sprains, strains or back injury.

Most day to day tasks do not require manual lifting, generally only when rearranging the furniture. Members to follow best practice, e.g. use multiple people for heavy (>20kg depending on the person) or awkward loads. Plan route before starting a lift. Avoid sudden movements.

Various hazards associated with alcohol consumption Members and visitors, could face various hazards associated with alcohol consumption

Hackspace rules state “Dont be drunk in the space. If you're over the legal limit for driving avoid powered tools or anything sharp”.

Various, to be assessed separately Members and visitors on open sessions may encounter risks of equipment outside the scope of this assessment, eg laser cutter Separate risk assessments to be done Produce further Task specific risk assessments. Jim Allanson, Andy Smithson. 2018-10-10