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Safety Procedures

Printmaking by student Mo Safavnia

Printmaking by student Mo Safavnia

The safe operation of equipment and the proper handling of hazardous materials is the responsibility of every individual in the School of Art and Design. Faculty, staff and students have the responsibility to maintain safe practices at all times. Every individual in the department has the right to work in a safe and secure environment, and also has the responsibility to report to the faculty or department chair any concerns about safety or the handling of hazardous chemicals.


In 1988 the Georgia Legislature passed the Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection and Right to Know Act. Kennesaw State University maintains compliance with this law. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) conducts regular inspections of the art studios. Information concerning safety and hazardous chemicals can be obtained by contacting the Department of EH&S at extension 3321.


In accordance with the law, the art department maintains Materials Safety Data Sheets on all chemicals in the studio areas. The MSD sheets are on file in the department office in a black and yellow notebook. These are open files for anyone wanting infor-mation about the safe handling of chemicals. The department secretary or chair can provide assistance in accessing this information.


Students taking studio courses such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics and photography will receive information and instruction from the instructor of the course concerning safety practices for the studio. This booklet will provide an overview of safety practices which are applicable to all situations in the department. Students entering the program should thoroughly familiarize themselves with the information provided in this booklet. Instructors and staff observing unsafe practices will request the student suspend the activity until the unsafe situation is corrected.



Wear Safety Glasses when using power equipment, filing, sanding, grinding, polishing an object or when handling dangerous chemicals such as acids. Glasses are available in the University Bookstore. An art major should purchase a pair of safety glasses as permanent equipment which will be used in numerous art courses.

When using welding equipment in sculpture, the use of proper shaded eye protection is essential. The instructor in the class will provide information and the necessary eye protection for welding.

In ceramics, no one should look directly into a high-firing kiln without shaded eye protection. This type of equipment is located in the kiln room. The instructor in ceramics will provide information concerning proper procedures.


Students must use personal dust masks when sanding, filing or spraying any materials in the studio. Masks are available in the University Bookstore for less than 50 cents. Packages of masks can be purchased at local hardware and building supply stores. The use of aerosol cans should be kept at a minimum and done outside of the building in an area which will not expose people passing by the facility.

All art studios have a ventilation system designed for the activities conducted in that area. Instructors teaching in the studio will provide information concerning the proper operation of the studio ventilation system. Students are required to operate the studio ventilation system when working in the studio where hazardous material may be generated.


When operating any equipments which generates a loud noise, students are encouraged to wear ear plugs or muffles.


Art studios have equipment and materials that can damage clothing. Students are encouraged to wear old clothing when working in studios. In areas which generate heat, such as the kiln room and sculpture studios, only cotton clothes should be worn. Avoid wearing synthetic clothes around heat sources such as kilns, foundries, grinders and welders. Synthetic clothes have a low flash point and will burn very quickly, causing severe burns.

Always wear leather or heavy canvas shoes which cover the entire foot in the studio areas where metals, glass, heat and acids are used. Sandals should be worn only in painting or photography areas. Flip flops and bare feet are not allowed in any studio.

The wearing of jewelry in studio areas should be kept to a minimum since many studio activities can damage jewelry. Also, wearing items like rings, bracelets and necklaces can be a dangerous practice in activities such as working on the potters wheel. No loose fitting or flowing clothes should be worn in studios. Long hair should always be tied back.


Individuals working in studio situations where there is paint, inks, clays or chemicals should frequently wash their hands in order to avoid these materials entering the eyes, mouth or penetrating the skin. It is especially important for one to thoroughly wash their hands at the end of a class and before leaving the studio.


In certain studio areas, heavy objects may need to be moved or lifted. To avoid back injuries, the department provides several dollies for this purpose, including one hand truck with a hydraulic lift capable of hoisting 700 lbs. Whenever possible, students, staff and faculty members should use this equipment when handling large objects. Stones, crates and bags of clay are just a few examples of objects that can be moved with these devices. The instructors can provide access to this equipment.


Never have a cigarette lighter on your person while working around an area where there is a heat and/or fire source.

In the case of one's clothing catching on fire, remember to fall on the ground and roll over until the flames are extinguished.

In case of fire, evacuate the area immediately, close the door behind you, and call University police at extension 6666 on the nearest office or emergency phone. There are two emergency telephones located outside the Humanities Building. They are in red telephone covers next to the parking lots nearest the building. Do not call 911 in case of a fire or emergency. The campus emergency number 6666 will guarantee a quicker response time.

Never attempt to extinguish a minor fire with water. Each studio has a fire extinguisher which can be used to extinguish minor fires. In case of any fire, the evacuation and safety of people is the primary concern.

In the event that the smell of gas occurs in a studio, leave the area immediately. Do not turn on or off any lights or electrical devices in an area where gas is smelled. Once the area has been evacuated, notify the nearest instructor or staff person, or contact the University Police at extension 6666.


Studios where hazardous materials are used have red disposal containers with yellow identification labels. All hazardous liquids such as mineral spirits, lacquer thinner and turpentine must be disposed in these containers. They cannot be poured down drains in the sinks. All paper and fabrics contaminated with theses liquids must be placed in a designated red container. Instructors in classes where these materials are used will provide specific information concerning the disposal of these chemicals.

Other materials such as clay, concrete, and plaster must never be washed down sinks and drains. Containers for recycling these materials are provided by the instructor teaching in the specific studio.


Please refer to the section on general safety labels for hazardous art materials located in the hard copy of the Department Safety Manual. These manuals are available in the Department of Visual Arts office or in the art studios. The department office is located in Visual Arts Building. room 202. As part of the their art education, students should become familiar with the NFPA Hazard Classifications.

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The College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University supports, defends and promotes academic freedom in artistic expression, as outlined by the American Association of University Professors, and diversity of all kinds as outlined by the university's Human Relations Position Statement.

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