Required safety training | Fine Art specific trainingPersonal protective equipment | Appropriate attire | General safety rules

It is expected and required that all Fine Arts students abide by all relevant and current safety rules and regulations that have been established to promote a safe, healthy and pleasant working environment. Please direct any questions about Health and Safety in Fine Arts to the Department’s Health and Safety Coordinator.

Required safety training 

Students taking Fine Arts studio courses must complete the following online training modules:

  • WHMIS 2015 (SO2017) offered by the UW Safety Office
  • Fine Arts Health and Safety Orientation

Both WHMIS training and the Fine Arts Health and Safety Orientation are offered exclusively online through LEARN. Follow these directions to self-register in both modules:

  1. Go to LEARN 
  2. Login using your University of Waterloo WatIAM username and password
  3. Click the "Self-Registration" link at top of page
  4. Select the course name from the list (either WHMIS 2015 (SO2017), or Fine Arts Health and Safety Orientation)
  5. The training module will then appear in your list of courses
  6. Complete the training module(s)

Please note that WHMIS training and the Fine Arts Health and Safety Orientation take approximately one hour each to complete and require that you pass a quiz at the end of each module. A score of 80% or higher is required to pass these quizzes. Once successfully completed these modules will appear as milestones on a student’s academic record after a few days.

The Fine Arts studio technicians have observer status of all safety related records and can access student records at any time to determine if a student has completed these online training modules. If additional proof of successful completion is requested, students may be asked for a printout from the last page of their online WHMIS course evaluation.

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Fine Arts studio / Shop specific training

Use of the Fine Arts wood shop, metal shop, and all other facilities is exclusively for students working on current Fine Arts studio course related projects. These workshops are only open to students taking Fine Arts studio courses and are not intended for students in other disciplines.

Use of the Fine Arts wood shop requires that a student first attend, and successfully complete, a wood shop orientation workshop. Most shops and studio facilities in Fine Arts require specific hands-on training before they may be used by students. This training, offered by the Fine Arts technical staff, provides practical safety training on the specific equipment found in the Fine Arts Wood Shop, Metal Shop, Tool Crib and other core-facilities.

This training is required for students in all 200-Level, and greater Fine Arts studio courses. Students that do not have this training will not be permitted to use the shop and may fall behind in courses where projects require use of the technical shops. Students that have completed this training in a previous term are not required to repeat this training provided their records remain active on Quest.

Please contact the Fine Arts Manager of Media and Studio Labs if you have any questions, or for details about how to sign-up for a workshop.

Wood shop orientation dates for the winter 2024:

  • Friday January 12 @ 9:00 AM
  • Wednesday January 24 @ 1:00 PM
  • Tuesday January 30 @ 9:00 AM
  • Wednesday February 14 @ 3:30 PM
  • Wednesday March 6 @ 9:00 AM
  • Tuesday April 9 @ 9:00 AM

Sessions are three-hours in length and have a maximum capacity of 15 people each. Sign-up for one of the workshops by visiting this link: If you cannot attend any of the available dates/times, and/or have any questions about this training, then please contact Adam Glover.

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All personnel must use the prescribed safety gear / personal protective equipment (PPE) for the type of work they are doing. Various types of PPE are available to be borrowed from the wood shop including:

  • Eye protection is required in all fabrication shops within the department of Fine Arts. Eye protection including safety glasses, goggles, and face shields are available. 
  • Ear protection (ear plugs and over the ear protection) are available in all areas where hearing protection is required.
  • Dust masks are encouraged when cutting plywood, MDF (medium density fibreboard), exotic woods, and other products that produce fine dust. Dust masks are also available from the wood shop.
  • Organic vapour respirators are required when working with Aerosol paints and similar finishes in the spray-booth. Students must supply their own organic vapour respirator and receive fit-test training.

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Appropriate shop and studio attire

  • Shoes or boots that completely cover the feet must be worn when working in the Fine Arts studios and shops (no open-toed shoes, high heels or sandals are permitted in any shop setting).
  • Long hair should be tied back.
  • Dangling jewelry, lanyards, scarves, etc. should be removed.
  • Loose fitting clothing or clothing with drawstrings should be done-up, tucked-in, or removed, whenever working around machines.

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General safety rules

  • Avoid working alone especially at night.
  • Always be on the lookout for potential hazards. Report anything out of the ordinary immediately to a department staff, your instructor(s), plant operations, the Safety Office or UW police.
  • Pay attention to signage and labels posted on doors, walls, on tools and containers.
  • The use of cell phones, headphones and other personal electronic devices that reduce a person’s attention to their surroundings are prohibited in all the shops and teaching labs of Fine Arts.
  • Do not loiter in the workshops and teaching labs or hover around other students while they are working.
  • Do not consume food or drinks in any of the studios, shops or teaching labs.
  • All safety guards on all equipment must remain in place.
  • Use of the wood shop, metal shop, and welding shop and ladders all require additional training and can only be used when a supervisor present.
  • Never use equipment that appears to be broken, sounds strange or is missing guards.
  • Reclaimed material (wood in particular) is not allowed to be used on Fine Arts equipment unless it is first inspected by a shop technician.
  • Cleanliness is expected. All work areas should be tidied up immediately after they have been used.
  • Only operate tools or equipment that you have been trained to use. If you are unfamiliar with a particular operation/tool seek assistance from a shop technician or your instructor.

All students that use the Fine Arts Department facilities are encouraged to download and use the WATSafe App onto their personal phones. The WATSafe App keeps you connected to campus, while the in-app alert and push notification features allow you to stay informed of major campus emergency events. The App also provides a personal safety toolbox and a “Working Alone” function that are essential when working in any Fine Arts studios in the evenings or on weekends

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