Safety Guidelines

The safety of members, staff, instructors, and guests is the prime consideration in every activity. The goal of these guidelines is to provide actionable items to prevent accidents or injuries to those inside the hackerspace.

The success of this plan depends upon the complete cooperation and support of everyone involved. The rules and guidelines published here or elsewhere apply to all Root Access activities, whether inside the space, outside the space, or away from the space.


In the event of a serious accident, injury, or other emergency, make sure you are personally safe, alert others, and call 911 immediately.


The first aid kit and eye wash are mounted on the wall to the right of the laser cutter.

The Safety of You and Those Around You

Please always maintain situational awareness to ensure there is no potential to injure yourself or others.

Safety takes many forms, both physical and mental, and you are responsible for both your safety and those around you. Here are some things to keep top of mind:

Attend to issues of safety immediately, take action to bring attention and correct issues. If you see it, it’s your responsibility to take immediate action. Notify leadership, if necessary.

Attire for safety. Utilize appropriate eye and hearing protection, wear closed-toed shoes, use dust protection, do not wear loose clothing. Tie up your hair, remove jewelry, and only use gloves during material moves and never use gloves with power tools.

Clear Mind for safety. Do not operate machinery under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Don’t operate equipment while sleepy or while taking medication or other substance that may make you drowsy or impair your abilities.

Ask for help with anything you are unsure of or if you are unclear how to safely make a cut/move. Seek assistance in handling larger, long or heavy materials. Seek first aid immediately for any injury. When unclear on the safety of an action, ask for assistance.

Operate one at a time. One and only one person should operate a machine at a time and attend to it while running. Operate machines as they are documented. Don’t startle or interrupt others as they operate machinery, instead wave from a distance.

Sharp and right tool for the job. Sharp tools are safer to use. Keep all tools in good working order, report those that are not. Inspect equipment before using.

Material management. Handle materials appropriately to avoid accidents, fire, and injury. For example, never use PVC or vinyl in the laser cutter.

Unsafe materials are strictly prohibited, including (but not limited to) lead paint, radioactive materials, and flammable explosives.

Clean up your work area during and after working on your project. Clean as you go; when you move from one tool to another, clean up the first tool area before using the second. Clean the tool and area afterwards to keep the tools in safe and working order. A clean space is safe space.

Failure to meet safety expectations can result in immediate removal, suspension and/or termination of your membership.

Shared Safety Responsibility

The incorrect use of a machine can endanger everyone in the building. As a result of this shared danger, we all share the responsibility to monitor each other. We each have a responsibility to step up and question anyone using a machine in a way we feel is unsafe. This includes questioning the operator about the materials they are working with.

If you are operating a machine and someone questions you about the safety of operation, don’t be offended, even if their approach to you is poor. It’s a safety issue. If someone asks you to stop what you are doing, for any reason, you must pause your work. Talk about the safety concern. If you cannot resolve the concern between you, then seek out a staff member.

Bottom line: No matter what you are doing on a machine, no matter how important your job is, if someone asks you to stop for a concern about safety, you are obligated to stop immediately. If you do not, then you may lose your access to the hackerspace, even if you are later proven correct. Safety is just that important and the ability of each of us to address it is paramount.