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Skidmore College

FAC Health and Safety Guidelines

Skidmore College Health and Safety Guidelines

The following policies have been established to minimize the risks to health and safety for ALL persons using the Saisselin Art Building.  However, it should be understood that these policies are neither studio specific nor all inclusive. This is not a safety manual.  Each faculty member has developed specific guidelines which address the particular risks encountered in their studios. This information may be communicated in a variety of ways including demonstrations, lectures, hand outs, and posted notices. It is your responsibility to inform yourself of the pertinent safety information for each studio in which you are working.

Every environment contains potential risks to health and safety.  The broad range of materials and processes present in a contemporary art studio increases the need for rigorous and conscientious safety practices.  Many potential hazards exist in the Saisselin Art Building. Flammable solvents, caustic acids, and other potentially dangerous substances are routinely used in many studios.  Tools and power equipment present a potential for injury including punctures, lacerations and eye injuries from flying debris. Some forms of airborne dust and vapor may present both acute and chronic hazards to respiration.  Even hearing can be at risk when exposed to repeated and excessive noise. For these reasons it is essential that common sense and strict adherence to standard safety practices be followed. Above all else INFORM YOURSELF! Do not attempt a process or begin using a material until your faculty member has provided you with thorough instruction. Do not hesitate to bring to your faculty member(s) any questions you have regarding safe studio practices.

Please read the following policies carefully! Failure to comply with these policies may result in your expulsion from these facilities. Please direct any questions you may have regarding this information or any health and safety matter to your faculty member(s).


During class hours report any accident or injury to your faculty member. After class hours call CAMPUS SAFETY - Ext. 5566. Any injury requiring treatment, however minor, should be seen to immediately by HEALTH SERVICES   Ext. 5550.


  1. SMOKING IS PROHIBITED in the Saisselin Art Building!
  2. STUDIO ACCESS:  Students may only access studios in which they are currently registered. All policies regarding the use of equipment and space within a particular studio are determined by the faculty member(s) responsible for that studio.
  3. Theft and the destruction or defacement of property (including graffiti) are violations of the honor code and are unlawful. It is assumed that everyone using these facilities will conduct themselves in a mature and responsible manner.
  4. It is your responsibility to learn studio specific safety regulations. Your faculty member has safety regulations that apply to your particular class. Inform yourself of those regulations to ensure your own safety and the safety of others.
  5. Reference publications on health and safety practices as they relate to art are available in the Building Safety Coordinator’s office. You may access them during their office hours.
  6. During use of this facility you must assume a measure of personal responsibility for the upkeep and security of these studios. Maintaining a clean and organized working environment is essential to protecting health and safety.
  7. It is strongly recommended that students use the buddy system when working late in the studios. Best practice is to work when another student is present in the same studio.
  8. The last person to leave a studio should turn off all equipment and properly store tools and materials; lights should be turned off and doors closed (when appropriate) before leaving.
  9. The Department cannot be held responsible for the loss of personal property (including materials and artworks).


  1. No piece of equipment may be used before you have received full and proper instruction by your faculty member. Faculty members will normally require a demonstrated level of technical competence before unsupervised work is permitted with specific equipment and materials.
  2. DO NOT WORK with any piece of equipment when you are fatigued, stressed, or otherwise impaired.
  3. Protective clothing must be worn when recommended by the faculty member. Safety glasses, face shields, dust masks, and hearing protectors will be required when working in some studios or when performing particular operations. See your faculty member for specific recommendations and requirements.
  4. Proper footwear must be worn in the studios at all times.
  5. Certain hazardous substances may be prohibited in the building. Seek advice from a member of the faculty if you are proposing to use materials other than those supplied by your faculty member. If you are buying art materials and/or equipment for use in any of your classes, your faculty member can advise you on health and safety risks.
  6. Spray paint, fixative, etc. MUST be used outside in designated areas (or in properly equipped exhaust booths where available).
  7. Lockers are provided for storage of small personal items and art materials. You may NEVER store combustible solvents or other dangerous materials in any locker. Solvents and other flammable liquids should be stored only in recommended storage facilities provided in the studios for this purpose (i.e. yellow cabinets).


  1. No paintings or other materials may be placed in corridors near doors or exits. FIRE EXITS MUST BE KEPT CLEAR!
  2. Absolutely nothing may be placed in stairwells. This includes artwork!
  3. Nothing may block or obscure wall mounted fire alarms or fire extinguishers.
  4. Combustible materials must be stored in yellow cabinets only never in lockers!
  5. All chemicals must be properly stored or disposed of when not being used. This includes paint solvents! See your faculty member for specific recommendations and requirements.
  6. Fire doors must be closed at all times.
  7. Combustible waste (i.e. oily rags) must be disposed of in properly labeled fireproof containers (i.e. self closing, red, triangular trash cans)
  8. Acetylene, propane, and other combustible gases are used in this building. Immediately report any unusual odors to faculty. After class hours call Campus Safety, Ext. 5566.


  1. A continuous ringing bell is a fire alarm. When sounded you must immediately vacate the building. You must remain a minimum of 50 feet from the building until you are instructed that it is safe to reenter the building. NOTE: There may be some "unannounced" fire drills during the academic year. It is essential that you observe the above rules at all times.
  3. Know the location of fire alarms. In the event of a fire sound a fire alarm and/or call Campus Safety, Ext. 5566, alert others in the building, and exit IMMEDIATELY!


During class hours any and all breaches of these Health and Safety Guidelines should be brought to the attention of your faculty member. Outside of class hours you should advise Campus Safety - Ext 5566. Flagrant or repeated abuse of these Health and Safety Guidelines may lead to your dismissal from class and/or the facility.