School Shop Policy

Ok. Here is an issue that that has upset me a little the past few weeks. My school has a policy due to insurance reasons that students can’t operate a stationary or floor model type machines i.e. drill presses, band saw, etc., with out a certified instructor (someone who is certified to teach student how to use machines in a shop) in the room. Here’s the problem WE DON’T HAVE A CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR ON OUR TEAM!:frowning: :mad: So that means that none of the students can use the stationary machine at anytime. But don’t get me wrong I understand the reasoning behind this and that is so they don’t get the blame if someone gets hurt. But my point is that I can’t use that floor model of a machine but I can use the bench model of it. Now tell me if I’m wrong but I can get hurt the same ways if it’s a floor or bench model. Plus I can get hurt one extra way with the bench model in that if I’m carrying it and it slips it can fall on my foot or something. But what I hate the most is that my dad (a certified machinist but not instructor so he doesn’t count) gets stuck doing the simplest to the hardest of jobs on the Bridgeport or lathe all day long. Instead of one of the students doing the easy jobs while he does the hard one or teaches us how to use the machines. So here is my question to you, what is your school’s policy on student and using machines?

Thanks Ryan

Since MOE isn’t from just one school we work on DuPont sites. To be able to use any machines or tools on site the student must go through training from our MOE U program so every student can operate each tool and machine safely and properly.

I think we have the same policy at our school. But they are lenient and let us slide as long as there is an adult in the room.

Our team policy is that the students can’t work the table saw or compound mitre saw. This is not a school policy but ours. Last year we had 2 minor accidents to the mentors using them. I understand your frustration as we have mills etc that even the mentors cannot touch because they are not certified (we are certifiable though :smiley: ). We live with what we have and do the best. remember that the schools have people that know insurance and their policies. They do what they do not to hinder us but to protect the system. If there was an accident and if they didn’t follow the proper procedures, there may be no more FIRST in your school.

Cheer up, Watch what your dad does, learn from him and build a GREAT robot (just not as good as mine).

Hey, at least you guys have a shop.

Back home in CA, schools with shops are the exception, not the rule.

In the last 15-20 years they’ve decided that a hands on, practical approach to learning is not as important as book learning, and have been phasing out shops ever since.

Our shop consists of a bench top drill press, grinder, and miter saw. This year a parent wanted to donate a band saw, but our school won’t let us get one because of safety reasons. Frustrating? Yes. But I can see the justification. We don’t have a shop and our team advisor teachers are not trained to teach shop. Although they do have some experiance with shops. As has been mentioned, an accident could disband the whole team.

We’re very lucky in this respact. Our school too is phasing out hands-on electives (even though those probably prepare you better for the real world). We are using our school’s “Construction Technology” classroom (one of the only hands-on classes at school). We can use SOME tools that are in that class, but not all (for example we can’t use thier table saw). We do have vertical & horizontal bandsaws, a drill press, a grinder, a cut-off saw, and a mill that we can use, along with assorted hand tools. The general policy is that as long as a mentor is present, you can use the tool, and since we have an abundance of mentors this year, the policy works fine.


We just need an adult present in the wood shop or machine shop to use the machines…although, each student had to attend a general team meeting and get a 15 minute lecture, aka “machines will cut off fingers, blah, blah, tie hair back, blah, blah” Mostly common knowledge.

Our school’s policy is the same, you must be certified to use the machine or have the supervision of a certified adult or mentor. All of the students that take the engineering course where the robotics team is ran out of are all certified and all those who take intro to engineering at the home school are certified. the other students must go through a short class about machine use and safety which last about 2 meetings. But the one of the shop teachers must be present in order to use any of the shop machinery.

All schools with machine shops are very veyr lucky. Our team has a biology lab to work in. Our school being a catholic doesnt have the money to get a machine shop. UT stinks working in a little bio lab and a back closet instead of a machine shop like some teams but we get by. We have a band saw and drill press that we are allwoed to use(as long as we have goggles on!) and that helps a lot. Still ive always dreamt of havign a nice machine shop to work in,

Our rules our almost exactly alike. We also have to go through the lectures too. For those without shops, I sincerely feel sorry for you. But even though there are rules against it, we still work without supervision some times. It is mostly CNC work, but we have used the shop without supervision most of the time. What they don’t know won’t hurt them I guess (or at least until they find out!) :ahh: For those without shops, I sincerely feel sorry for you. :frowning:

Our mentor is a certified shop instructor but our school does not have a shop so we have a robotics laboratory which is just a pretty big class room that we have had wired for 220V and have put our tools in. I think at one time it was some kind of computer lab. Also are instructor always has to be in the room for us to use the tools. We also have a certification program that goes strait through our head mentor if he has shown you how to use the tools and he trusts you to use them properly you are allowed if he does not trust you, you can’t use the tools. I think this is just a team policy not a district one since we do not have a “Shop”.

Our school’s policy is as follows:

Students can use the machines as long as they have taken a shop class recently and theres and adult present.

Adults/mentors can use the machines with no problem as far as I can tell. All of our mentors are trained in their use so it doesn’t really matter.

It also helps that the shop instructor is quite interested in our projects.

I’m for safety but I see this as a pain, but also for your protection. At our school we have a policy that students can use the machines, but they have to first pass a safety exam on that machine and a shop safety exam. This “certifies” them on that piece of equipment. This allows the student on that machine while a instructor or adult is in that room. I mean how can one or two instructors stand over the shoulder of 12-15 students running machines

As far as I know, we have no rules that say students can operate machines or that students have to have certain classes to operate machines. We do try to teach people how to use the machines the first few times to make sure no “accidents” happen. Proudly, we have never had an injury, that required real medical attention.

When I had “shop” back in High School they emphazied safety to the fullest extreme. I’m glad they did, I still have a full set of 7 fingers…

our school is very lucky, we have a woodshop as well as a machine shop, though our school requires there be an adult in the room, and this year, we were lucky enough to get all the mech team “certified” so they know what everthing is and how to operate it. :eek: yeah, mech team loose in the room? :eek

Team 772
We got some INCENTIVE do you?

We have to have a non-student around. Doesn’t matter who. Anyone. We usually just grab someone old-looking until they wander off, then grab another. Lather, rinse, repeat. All these complex saftey rules are a bit melodramatic. As long as you have some common sense, and you think before you act, you’ll be find. Honestly, how bloody hard is it to operate a mill without hurting yourself? It’s a rapidly spinning sharp peice of metal, and as long as your mindful of this very complex situation before you, I think you’ll make it out alive.

We received our mill very recently, and no one knew how to use it, mentors included. But it’s really just like an Etch-A-Sketch, but with metal and danger. A few trips to the library later (early seventies milling textbooks seem to be written by the most bitter and unpleasent people ever) and we’re having a blast covered in (cutting) oil, like baby seals around the Exxon Valdez. Bada bing baby!

Our students all must go threw a shop safety training after school to be on the team. The only power tools we have are a drill press, cordless drills and a dremel. Our robot is built by hand with hand tools. Its hard to cut you fingers off with a hand hack saw. It’s very easy to do with a chop saw.

Risk of debilitating injury is the spice of life!