The information provided in this guide is a resource for students, staff and faculty working in Western Connecticut State University Department of Art. All students should expect to receive in-class training and information before using chemicals, tools or machinery in the studios. All information is only an assessment of potential hazards and recommended precautions. As artists our materials, tools and studio spaces have inherent chemical, mechanical, fire and electrical hazards. We are individually responsible for understanding and taking the necessary precautions to protect our own health and the health of our peers. Students are encouraged to supplement information obtained in class by utilizing some of the resources listed below. Another great resource is : The Artists Complete Health and Safety Guide by Monona Rossol available on Amazon
Environmental Health and Safety
The Department of Art works closely with the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) division at Western Connecticut State University. EHS helps the entire institution by supporting and promoting safe and healthy work practices in labs, classrooms and art studios. They provide a wide variety of services including administration of life safety, fire notification and protection systems, management of hazardous materials and waste, evaluation of ergonomic inquiries, assessment of indoor air quality and industrial hygiene concerns and design and delivery of EHS education and training programs. Should you have any questions about working safely in the Department of Art that are not answered in this guide, go to the EMS website or you may contact Pano Koukopoulos, Director of EHS.
For any emergency that is immediate and life threatening call 911. This includes: fire, explosion, shop accidents, chemical exposure, or disaster. Injuries requiring medical attention should be called in to WCSU Police at 203-837-9300 for escort to the hospital. An emergency telephone is located in the sculpture studio and on each floor of the Art Wing. Police will assess the situation and arrange for transport to a medical facility. DO NOT TRANSPORT INJURY VICTIMS! Small injuries can be treated with standard first aid at the discretion of the victim. Basic first aid kits are located in each of the studios and in the Department of Art Main Office (VPA 143)
Studio Art Environmental Health and Safety Procedures
See each section for information pertaining to specific health and safety hazards for each studio discipline:
Or check out this informative video Creating Art Safely - A Six Step Process produced in 2003 with the help of Alan Cantara at the Rhode Island School of Design with partial funding by United Educators. It provides a good overview of the health and safety hazards associated with a variety of art programs in educational institutions.