Safety Rules and Procedures (2023)

These rules and emergency procedures are intended to inform students, staff, faculty and visitors in the Department about safe working conditions and first aid in the event of an injury or sickness. The contents of this document are not intended to override professional advice (either engineering or medical) given by qualified people at the time of a particular accident or sickness.

Normally, a machine shop or experimental laboratory is a safe place to work. However, the presence of rotating machinery, heavy equipment and materials, hot materials and pipes, and hazardous materials requires that you take extra precautions to protect yourself.

The rules listed below are intended to reduce the risk of the more common hazards. Please observe these rules. Other hazards can be avoided by thinking of the consequences before you act. If you are not sure of the safety aspects of your assignments, always consult an instructor.

Shop Procedures and Safety Regulations

  • Safety glasses with side shields or goggles to cover prescription glasses shall be worn in the Machine Shop at all times. These items are available in the main office.
  • Loosely fitting clothing may become entangled in rotating machinery; do not wear it in the shop or labs. In addition, in the welding shop, long-sleeve shirts or equivalent are required to protect from u.v. radiation. Any damage to your clothes (e.g. oil marks) is your own responsibility. People with long hair shall wear it tied up or with protective covering to ensure that their hair cannot become entangled with machinery or burnt with welding equipment. Rings and loose jewelry shall be removed while working with machinery.
  • Safety shoes with steel toe caps are required. Sole plates are optional. All CSA approved safety shoes with steel toes are acceptable, this includes ones with nylon webbing although solid leather or equivalent is preferred.
  • No one is permitted to work in the shop or lab areas alone. This is to provide protection and assistance in case personal injury should occur. A supervisor or instructor MUST be notified whenever a student intends to work in an unsupervised area. Students working in the Thermo Lab must notify their supervisor or instructor whenever they intend to work in this area. Students are not allowed in the Engine Lab without a supervisor.
  • When working with machine tools, keep your fingers well away from the tool. Do not handle chips coming from the workpiece as they are hot and have sharp cutting edges. When using any wrench provided to tighten a tool bit or workpiece, never leave the wrench in the chuck. Check travel and clearance between the tool post and chuck to prevent contact.
  • When welding, special eye protection and gloves are to be worn. This will protect eyes from high intensity light and u.v. and hands from u.v. burns. Also, remember the workpiece is extremely hot and will remain so for a considerable time after actual welding is done.
  • When working on any equipment the appropriate safety equipment for hand, eye and hearing protection must be used. If in doubt ask!
  • In the event of any problems arising while operating a piece of equipment, shut down the equipment and report the problem to the instructor.
  • Keep your working area neat and well organized; keep the floor clean of oil spills and metal chips. Clean off your machine when finished and return all tooling to the storage bins, trays, etc. The area must be swept clean before leaving your machine. Failure to do so will result in curtailment of privileges.
  • Report any personal injury to the instructor for treatment. Report any hazard you notice to the instructor.
  • Obey the safety regulations posted on the Safety boards. This is required by law under the Occupational Health and Safety Act Revised Statutes 1980.

The Shop load will be controlled as follows

  1. Labs - Maximum 8 students per technician
  2. General Operation - Maximum 4 students per technician

  • All people using the shop will be required to read these procedures and sign the log book indicating they have read them.
  • Technicians outside the Department who have shop experience will be required to give written verification of this to the Shop Supervisor, and may be interviewed.
  • Access to the shop will be on a first come first serve basis.

Procedures with High Pressure Liquids and Gases

  • Working alone in a room containing liquids or gases under high pressure is prohibited.
  • Containers containing liquids or gases under high pressures shall only be handled by a qualified person, i.e. technical staff, or under the supervision of a competent person.
  • All connections between a container of high pressure liquid or gas and the apparatus that it is to supply shall be checked by a competent person prior to opening the valve system.

Procedures with Flammable Liquids and Toxic Materials

NOTE: The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) legislation is applicable to these items. Information on these materials is provided:

  1. by labels on the containers of hazardous materials;
  2. on material safety data sheets that supplement the label; and
  3. by the technicians who have completed education programs.

  • Flammable liquids shall be stored in approved containers, each with a capacity of 20 litres or less. Unless the liquids are to be used regularly in the laboratory, storage shall be in the Flammable Store off the I.C. Engine Lab.
  • Quantities of flammable liquids shall be kept to the minimum amount for a specified task, 20 litres is the maximum quantity allowed.
  • Disposal of flammable liquids should be made in accordance with the procedures of the Department of Occupational Health and Safety.
  • Records of purchase, use and disposal of all toxic substances in the Department shall be kept to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • All vehicles will have their gas tanks emptied or removed before they are brought into the building or stored in the garage.
  • Batteries are to be stored in a safe area to prevent damage from leakage and any possible contact with conducting materials.

Fire Procedures

Queen's Emergency Report Centre - 6111 (External: 545- 6111)

Fire Department - City of Kingston - 548-4444

Greater Kingston Area Emergency Number - 911

If a fire is observed or the fire alarm bells are heard, proceed as follows:

  • Vacate the fire area closing all doors.
  • Telephone Queen's Emergency Report Centre. Note: An assistance telephone is located near the front door of McLaughlin Hall with direct lines to Security, Escort Service, etc.
  • Evacuate the building as follows DO NOT USE THE ELEVATOR.
  • Persons in the North side of the building should use the Main Stairway to the Front door which opens onto Stuart Street.
  • Persons in the South side of the building should use the Back Stairway to the door which opens onto the driveway into the parking lot.
  • Persons in the Workshop or Welding area should exit via the door which opens into the parking lot.
  • Do not use the Fire Escape unless there is a blocked exit route. (It is very narrow and cannot accommodate many people)
  • All people should go to the entrance area of the underground parking garage and await the Department Head or a Deputy in order to establish that everyone is out of the building.
  • The Safety Officer, or a Deputy, will remain near the main door of the building to guide the Fire Department to the fire area.

NOTE: Do NOT re-enter the building until authorized to do so by the Fire Department personnel.

  • Do not attempt to extinguish the fire if you cannot do it safely.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of fire extinguishers in your working area.
  • Report ALL fires, regardless of size, to the Emergency Report Centre.
  • Report smoke, fumes or unusual smells to the Emergency Report Centre.

First Aid Procedures

Call the Queen's Emergency Report Centre 6111 if help is needed.

First Aid Kits are available in the Workshop Foreman's Office, Room 108; the Dynamics Lab, Room 215; the Department Office, Room 319; and the Solar Lab, Room 411.

Please Read The Following Memo

MEMO TO: All Faculty and Staff in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, McLaughlin Hall

FROM: John Garner, Engineering Supervisor

DATE: August 18th, 1997

SUBJECT: Shop Policy, Safety, Procedures

Due to the recent investigation by Health & Safety, resulting from a student shop accident, it is felt to meet the "Due Diligence Strategies" that are required by Queen's as (at least) a liability protection, the shop policies for procedures safety and access must be reviewed and updated.

Unsafe practices lead to injury or disability, especially tragic when we consider that students are at the beginning of a career. In addition to human costs, injuries and even "near misses" can result in additional restrictions that would hamper or even terminate access to the shop.

Providing access to students is a unique and valuable aspect of our shop. This access is only possible if reasonable and consistent policies are in place. Most users respond to instructions, work carefully and are welcome. However, we must be prepared for occasions where risky practices or attitudes put the whole operation in jeopardy.

The technicians in the shop have full authority to require non-shop personnel to stop operations and if necessary leave the shop, pending resolution if an act is deemed dangerous enough to require such action. Lesser violations will be subject to the following:

  1. First infraction Verbal warning and removal from shop if appropriate.
  2. Second infraction immediate loss of all shop privileges.

It should be emphasized that the shop is a teaching facility therefore all MECH students and professors are encouraged to use it. However, as said before it is a unique privilege and must be treated as such.


J. Garner
Engineering Supervisor,
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

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