Health and Safety

This document is so that everyone can use and enjoy Makespace, so Members can plan and take part in activities knowing that risks have been thought about and protected against, and that they can feel safe in the space. If you don’t understand anything in this document please email, before signing up as a member.


Makespace is a workshop, and this should help you understand the nature of the space and the risks within it. The space is always being improved which means that some areas of the space may be under development or incomplete or may have unusual or new equipment in them. Things may have changed since you last visited the space.

It is the responsibility of all Members to provide a safe environment for each other and visitors. If you see anything that looks unsafe or in any way doesn’t look right please notify a Director or email and if possible tell others in the space to stop/avoid the hazard as appropriate.


Access to the space

Members with access tokens can use the space whenever they wish. To get their access token, each Member will need follow the Membership induction and set up process described on or other process as required by the Directors.

  • Makespace is not your home. Please note that things you might do at home might not be permitted here!
  • Think about others as well as yourself – you may feel safe doing something but it may be less safe for others in the space with you
  • Remember that Members know how Makespace and the equipment works – members of the public might not and they might not know what the hazards of an activity are
  • Think about the potential consequences before you start an activity – not just for you, but those around you
  • Check your workspace and environment before you start any activity – ensure it’s tidy/ organised, that you have the right equipment and it’s fit for purpose, that the area is suitably clean, that others around you are aware of what you are about to do if they need to be (for instance if you might generate dust or noise).
  • Please follow the instructions of the directors or other competant people
  • Use all equipment and materials sensibly and with consideration of others as well as yourself.
  • Smoking is not permitted in Makespace.
  • Please alert others if you see anything which looks unsafe. If you are concerned by anything you observe in Makespace, email – you don’t have to give names, but reporting problems is critical so Makespace can thrive.
  • Keep fire escape routes and exit doors clear at all times. If you find an escape route obstructed, please get it cleared as quickly as possible and feel free to recruit any other members to help you. Ensure the path down the central workshop to the doors at either end is kept clear.

In case of emergency please dial 999. There is a landline telephone in the Main Space, near the electronics bench and a second handset next to the back door.

In case of fire

Actions of detecting a fire

  • Operate the alarm system by using any of the alarm points
  • Operate the emergency power cut-off to the workshop (the “mushroom” buttons on the walls)
  • Shout “Fire!” to emphasize that it is not a false alarm
  • If the fire is a small one, and a fire extinguisher suitable for that kind of fire is available, you may attempt to extinguish the fire, following the instructions printed on the fire extinguisher. However, take care not to endanger yourself or others in doing so.
  • Exit the building by the nearest available exit and go to the assembly point (Laundress Green).
  • At the first opportunity, report details of the fire to the Directors.
  • Please use one of the Break Glass units around the space to set off the fire alarm if it is safe to do so and exit the building. Follow any instructions given by an Exec Member.

Actions on hearing the fire alarm

The fire alarm is a continuous ringing.

  • Alert anyone who may not have heard the alarm (for example, anyone who is deaf).
  • Leave the building by one of the fire exits. This will normally be the nearest exit, unless there are signs of a fire along that route (for example smoke, visible flames, or a door being hot to the touch).
  • . – If not prevented from doing so by an actual fire or indications of fire in that direction, , two people in the main space should attempt to leave via the kitchen and social area (which lead to a fire exit) ensuring that they are evacuated (thus taking on the role of fire marshalls).
  • . – If not prevented from doing so by an actual fire or indications of fire in that direction, people (working in pairs if possible) should check the other downstairs rooms as they leave, for people who have not heard the alarm. This should normally be done by person nearest that room at the time of hearing the alarm.
  • . – Assist anyone who has difficulty in leaving (for example, because of disability or incapacitation).
  • Gather at the rendezvous point outside the main front door.

Those gathered outside should check that people they have recently seen in the premises are accounted for.

Fire exits

The correct fire exit routes are:

  • From the main space, out of the back door and then up to the right through the courtyard
  • From the secure workshop, into the main workshop and then as above
  • From the mezzanines, out the door into the shared corridor, then left and out of the fire exit at the end of the corridor
  • From the office, along the Makespace corridor, to the right, and then out of the main entrance, then left through the car park

Please familiarise yourself with all fire exits.

The assembly point is Laundress Green, just the other side of the river. Go out of Makespace onto Mill Lane, turn right, go through the gate at the turn in the road and assemble on the grass the other side of the river.

First Aid

A first aid box is available in the Main Space. Please report all incidents to any Exec Member or Director or First-aider in the space (if present) and always to as soon as you can.

If a person is injured or ill and requires emergency medical attention, call 999.

Electrical safety

Please visually inspect all equipment including cables and power supplies before use, and do not use anything that looks unsafe (exposed wires, scorch marks, etc). If something is defective or you believe it may be defective, label it clearly and inform others. Ideally, get it moved into the Office where it will not be used inadvertently.

If in doubt get someone else to check the equipment.

Check cables are not trip hazards and are not at risk from specific activities such as hot work (soldering) or cutting.

Electrical equipment must always be operated in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.

Turn off and unplug all tools when you finish using them and especially before leaving.

If you are building equipment which will connect to the mains, only use off-the-shelf power supplies according to the manufacturers instructions. If you wish to connect your own projects direct to the mains, please consult an Exec member first for advice; this may not always be allowed.

Hazardous Materials

If you are thinking of bringing a material into Makespace, either to use or to store, you should follow these instructions.

A range of materials may be hazardous to health including possibly 3D printer filaments, cleaning substances, adhesives, etc. These may present a risk to anyone in the space if materials not stored and used appropriately.

If the material container is marked with any substance warnings such as an orange symbol, or contains any safety label implying that a hazard is present, then an MSDS is required. If in doubt about whether a material needs an MSDS sheet see or other appropriate reference information before bringing the material into the space.

For each material brought into the space for which such a sheet is required, the relevant MSDS must be found, printed out, and stored in the MSDS sheets storage location in the Office (or put in the Office dropbox folder). All instructions on material usage and storage on the sheet must be followed. Talk to an Exec Member if you are not sure what to do.

Don’t bring a material which you are unsure about into Makespace without checking first. If unusual safety or storage requirements are needed you should check with makespace in advance whether or not the material can be safely handled on the premises, and if not, don’t bring it in.

What to do if you have a material you aren’t sure about?

• Eg if you buy consumer paint stripper, it might seem safe, but it’s now in a workplace, so you need to print the MSDS datasheet and store it in the Office with the other files. If there’s a symbol on the back (such as an orange symbol) or you don’t want to drink it – then that means worry about it and get the MSDS and do what it says.
• if you make a new chemical for instance by mixing two substances – don’t store it or use it or make it without checking for an MSDS and following what it tells you to do.

Bringing things into Makespace

It is great to bring things to Makespace but think first:

  • Think about the Personal Storage Policy and Storage guidelines if you are going to leave it here
  • Check the Hazardous Materials rules first – if unsure, don’t bring something in
  • Check the Donations Policy if you don’t plan on taking it away again
  • Follow the Electrical Safety checklist and don’t use the equipment if it doesn’t pass the checks

Loading/unloading/setting up/taking down

  • Some items which may need to be loaded, unloaded, set up or taken down are heavy, awkward, and/or require specialist knowledge to assemble correctly. If in any doubt, ask!
  • When lifting any heavy item, use sensible manual handling practice. If you are in any doubt, leave it to someone else or ask for help. What is a “heavy item” for you will depend on who you are.
  • Never attempt to lift or carry any object with which you are not entirely comfortable. Ask for help, use a trolley, or take it apart and move it in sections.
  • All equipment must be properly erected and fixings double checked to prevent collapse.

Lone working

It is Ok for Members to work alone in the space but they must avoid activities which are more risky such as using power tools (unless an appropriate risk assessment has been done and lone working is acceptable in that assessment), or working at height. If you aren’t sure about an activity, don’t undertake it when alone.

Being safe

• Before starting any activity or using some kit, you must read the relevant risk assessment(s)
which are made available to you (spreadsheet here). If there is anything you don’t understand you must ask a director to help.

Some activities are riskier than just being in the space, such as using certain bits of kit or working at height on a ladder. Don’t attempt to do any of these without checking the appropriate health and safety briefing and following any directions posted in the space or given by a director or other member. If in doubt, or if you don’t understand any instructions or guidance, or you do not feel confident, do not attempt the activity.

Remember that risks may apply to others in the space and not just yourself.

Also note that activities which may be OK when it’s just Members in the space may not be OK if members of the public are also present.

Trip hazards, rubbish collection, recycling

  • In a busy environment it is particularly important to keep trip hazards to a minimum.
  • It is important to keep space and activity areas tidy.
  • Please keep an eye out for rubbish. If you see rubbish on the floor please pick it up and dispose of it.
  • Separate regular rubbish from card, glass bottles, drinks cans, plastic bottles (actual recyclables list is shown on bins out the back door). Put rubbish out in appropriate bins (regular rubbish in bins behind black gates; recyclables in marked bins in the courtyard outside the back door). If the bins are full don’t pile rubbish outside, leave it neatly in the space (bins are emptied every 2 days).
  • There are recycling bins in the café area for paper, card, glass bottles, tins and cans, and plastic bottles. Please use these where possible, or the general grey waste bins throughout the space if not.
  • If you find a bin which is full or overflowing, please empty it! The large bins out of the back door of the main workshop are marked for recycling or general waste. Make sure the back door doesn’t close behind you, shutting you out.

If you are the last out…

If you are the last person leaving Makespace, first of all check that you really are! There might be someone in the toilet block or another room.
o turn out all the lights,
o ensure the back door from the workshop to the outdoors is closed fully
o ensure the toilet-access-doors are closed, and the toilet-access-token is INSIDE Makespace (in the cafe area, or put away in the Office)
o make sure all doors marked “fire doors” are closed
o ensure all workshop kit is turned off and ideally unplugged.
o Make sure the front door closes fully behind you.


• Respect the shared spaces which are shared with others (the foyer between the front door and the Makespace double door inside, and the corridor out the back which leads to the toilet block). Don’t start work painting/drilling/etc in these. If you think they can be improved, email to discuss what can be done
• Don’t touch the ceiling in the Office (this was flagged up as risky in the asbestos report).
• No work on the mains electricity supplies and no activity in the distribution boards (except by qualified electricians approved by the Directors)
• Don’t reuse or fiddle with cabling and piping which passes through the space as it may be used by others in the building
• Don’t turn on the air con. (It’s not tested and therefore unknown and potentially unsafe)


You may bring people who are not Members to the space as your Guests, but note that all events open to the public must be arranged in advance with the agreement of the Directors. Please ensure your guests read the posted Visitor’s information at the entrance to Makespace. You should escort them at all times. You are responsible for the behaviour of your guests in and around Makespace – think how many people, and who, you feel able to be responsible for. Remember that guests may not be as familiar with the activities, equipment and risks of Makespace as other Members. We permit no more than one under-18 year old guest per Member at any one time.

Capacity of the space

If you are at an event where many people are expected or attending, it may be necessary to limit the number of people in the space. Excessive crowding around any area, activity or exhibit should be discouraged by suggesting people they look at or do other things.

No more than 120 people should be in the space at any one time.

Members of the public in Makespace

• Ensure visitors are aware that all children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult at all times, and that they follow this policy
• Follow the Makespace community guidelines around respecting other individuals – this applies to both adults and children.
• No bullying, aggressive behaviour, racism, sectarianism, or sexism

Child protection

Makespace takes its responsibility to protect children and vulnerable adults very seriously.

The following precautions are important to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm and to protect you from any accusations arising from misunderstanding or malice.

  • Physical contact with children and vulnerable adults should be avoided
  • Never take a child or vulnerable adult to the toilet or any other place where you cannot clearly be observed by others
  • Do not engage in a personal relationship with any child or vulnerable adult
  • Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about a child or vulnerable adult, even in fun, as this could be misinterpreted
  • If you are approached by any individual alleging any kind of abuse or inappropriate behaviour against a Makespace member or volunteer or contractor or anyone else:
    • It is important to listen without making or implying any judgement as to the truth of what is being said
    • Do not attempt to investigate allegations or other suspicions yourself. Report to a director immediately.