Shop Safety and Etiquette

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Looking out for each other in the shop and the labs and considering the importance of other people's safety while you, or they, work is very important. If you see someone working in an unsafe manner, advise them that you think they are being unsafe and offer advice if you can. There are not necessarily lifeguards in this pool, but you can and should act as one when you can.

Safety is not just about physical injury. For information about how to treat each other to make this a safe space, please see the Membership Agreement.

The Asylum's two main safety priorities, in order of importance, are:

  1. Ensuring the safety of people, including renters, tool operators, and bystanders; and
  2. Ensuring the safety of the Asylum's equipment.

If you choose to use tools or other resources in an unsafe manner, or outside the scope of their capability, don't expect future access to these resources.


In case of emergency, call 911. Our address is 10 Tyler Street, Somerville MA 02143

Safety Equipment

First Aid Kits

Emergency Eyewash Stations

There are four emergency eyewash stations located in the building. Two are large units that use cartridges and two are small units which use bottles. Both cartridges and bottles are sealed and must be replaced after use. Please familiarize yourself with these eyewash stations before you need to use them by watching this training video. There is no cost associated with using eyewash stations in an emergency, so do not hesitate to use them if necessary. After use, please e-mail maintenance@ so the cartridges/bottles can be replaced as soon as possible.

Having a nonworking eyewash station is more dangerous than having no eyewash station at all. For this reason, if you trigger an eyewash station for anything other than emergency use, you will be charged for replacement cartridges.

Basic Shop Rules

  • You must always wear safety glasses when in or near shop areas.
  • You must always wear closed-toed shoes when in or near shop areas.
  • You must always wear tight-fitting clothing, secure long hair, and remove jewelry or dangling accessories when in or near shop areas.
  • Hearing protection is recommended, as many of the tools generate sound above 90 decibels which will cause short- and long-term hearing damage.
  • You must pass a certification test on most tools you want to use before you use it, even if you are already experienced in using that tool.
    • Hand tools and soldering irons are the only exceptions, as we do not offer testing for these tools.
    • Tool Testing Calendar
  • You must always be trained on and comfortable using a tool. If at any time you are unsure of what you are doing, stop immediately and ask for help.
  • You must always use a tool as it is designed to be used.
  • You must always ensure a tool is in good working order before using it. If you begin using a tool and it is somehow unsafe, stop immediately, leave a note on the tool that it is unsafe, and notify
  • Make sure you know the locations of safety equipment and use this equipment only for its intended purpose.
  • When using tools (including handheld power tools):
    • Wear tight-fitting clothing.
    • Remove objects on hands and wrists, such as rings, bracelets, and watches.
    • Restrain long hair and remove dangling necklaces, hair ornaments, and earrings.
    • Know whether or not to wear gloves.
    • Do not leave tools running unattended.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Shop & Craft Area Specific Rules

Incident Report

When something breaks…

  • We have a ticket tracking system that will update our wiki in real time if you tag the tool as broken using the QR code on the tool.
  • If you break equipment or find something broken tell us at The faster it’s reported the quicker it’ll be fixed.
Personal tools
Wiki Maintenance