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Safety in the classroom

I will occasionaly be the classroom monitor at a recreation center
jewelry program. Its relatively new for this particular district and
still getting set up, but its in the basement of an old building. The
fire escape stairs are close by. Does one put a label on the building
door or something to notify rescue workers that there are gas tanks
in the building? Do you put something on file with the fire
department? This county is pretty loose about code enforcement which
is probably ok or the rec center wouldn’t be able to stay open, but I
do want to try to make it the best possible situation.

I’m concerned about fire. I’ve been in one classroom (elsewhere) and
heard of another where the torch handpiece was faulty and was on fire
even when gas was turned off at the handpiece. The instructor reached
down and turned the tank off. I’ve also heard of a flux brush
catching fire, and then a student tipping over the flux jar while
trying to smother the flame with a towel, which then caught fire.
Glad it wasn’t my classroom!!

My question is, is there something one should keep around for
smothering a fire–some newer version of an asbestos pad or blanket
or something? Would some kind of welders glove kept near the tank be
of any use, or just one more thing to get lost or be in the way? Are
standard fire extinquishers the right thing to use around an
air/acetelyne torch, pickle etc. I’ve heard of someone keeping a can
of soda pop around when they demo at fairs, to use as a small but
quick fire extinguisher. We do keep the tank wrench on the tank, and
the tanks are in a wooden cage so they won’t tip. However, the
electrical cords for the pickle pot plug into an extension near the
tank. Should this be a concern or is it no big deal?

Students are instructed to wear safety glasses when polishing and the
usual about sleeves, bracelets, hair tied back, and shoes not flip
flops. No chain on the polishing wheel. Do we need any kind of eye
rinse or packages of gauze? I keep small bandaids in my tool box.

Is there anything else you all can add that’s really important?

Maureen M

I think every book about making jewelry should have this
in detail. They should not simply say be safe, and to
work in a “well ventilated” area, ignoring the fact that not everyone
has the luxury of a wonderful airy work space.

Roxy Lentz

You say you occasionally monitor? so who else does that? Because
someone has the responsibility to pull it all together. Now this is a
big question, Is the recreation centre organised by your local state
education office? or a school? or a charity? Whoever has planned this
centre has ultimately the responsibility for public liability risks.
IE covering the risks to the students and or course takers. Its
called common duty of care.

Thats where you need to start to answer your questions. If it was me,
I would ask the planners of the centre,

  1. Do they delegate their setting up of this course to you?

  2. If so, you need to have that in writing from them…

  3. then you reply in writing again, to say you need the answers to
    the questions you pose in you capacity as monitor, and do you have
    the authority to go ahead and take professional advice from your
    local fire dept, health and safety executive, the insurance company
    providing the public liability cover and gas suppliers?

  4. If and when they confirm this tasking to you, then you have the
    authority to proceed.

  5. you need to do it all in writing, and have the professional
    assesments in writing as well.

  6. Have it all in a file in hard copy, in a fireproof place., or
    keep a duplicate somewhere. The reason for all this red tape is, if
    theres an accident, and someone is hurt, and the centre is sued for
    damages, you have covered your, and the centre’s backside If you cant
    do it this way, dont take on this responsibility, and put this in
    writing to the centre.