Howe Annex Shop Safety & Respectful Use Policy

Safety is held paramount in the Wood Shop and surrounding work areas. The following policies were established to hold safety in the highest regard and to ensure respect is maintained for all users of Howe Annex. All students, faculty, and staff are expected to abide by the shop policy to best maintain a safe atmosphere for all users.

General Use

  1. Only authorized persons - faculty, staff, and students - are permitted to use the Howe Annex facilities.
    1. All students must be approved by a Physics & Engineering faculty/staff member before working in the Howe Annex.
      1. For independent access, students must complete the Student Approval Form, demonstrate machinery & tool proficiency for a Physics & Engineering faculty/staff member, and submit the Form to the Department Chair for final approval.
      2. Independent student use of the facilities is granted per term, and students may renew their access each term using the Student Approval Form.
    2. Students authorized to use Howe Annex will be listed on the exterior double doors of Howe Annex.
    3. Authorized persons are given a lockbox code to access the Howe Annex independently.
      1. Only Physics & Engineering faculty/staff may give out this code to authorized persons for access, and the code is updated each academic term (fall, winter, spring, and summer).
      2. Students entrusted with the lockbox code may not share the code under any circumstances.
    4. Visitors are not permitted without prior approval or without a faculty/staff member present.
    5. Faculty/staff in other departments must contact the Laboratory Technician, Chris Compton to discuss use of Howe Annex.
  2. Tables in the Main Work Area (see Plan View, pg. 3) may be reserved through the Lab. Technician, Chris Compton for extended use by an individual or student group (see Table Reservation Form). Tables are designated using signs as either "Reserved for X" or "General Use." All tables must be cleared and cleaned by the final day of classes each term; exceptions may be made for continuing projects only when a new Table Reservation Form has been approved for the following term in advance.
  3. Howe Annex is to remain locked at all times when not in use unless a class is scheduled to use the space for an extended amount of time during the day.
  4. Eating and drinking are prohibited in the Wood Shop, but may take place in specifically designated areas of Howe Annex (see Notes below Plan View).
  5. The privilege to use Howe Annex may be revoked immediately if deliberate or repeated improper use is observed (see Misuse of Howe Annex).

Attire & Safety Protection

  1. Safety glasses are required at all times when in the Wood Shop. Safety glasses are required in the Main Work Area when warranted for the level of work taking place. Users should be mindful of not only the work they are performing, but also the work of others around them.
  2. Hearing protection and dust masks are available, if necessary.
  3. All jewelry, watches, and other accessories on the hands, arms, head and neck must be removed before working in the Wood Shop.
  4. Long hair must be tied back or otherwise secured before entering Howe Annex.
  5. Users must wear appropriate clothing in Howe Annex:
    1. Wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes (no sandals or flip-flops).
    2. Do not wear loose fitting clothing, including long-sleeve shirts and jackets.
    3. Wear long pants at all times (no shorts or skirts).
  6. The use of headphones (e.g., listening to music, talking on phone) is not permitted while in Howe Annex.

Safe & Respectful Work

  1. No student is permitted to work alone in the Wood Shop for any reason. A minimum of two students authorized by Physics & Engineering faculty/staff are required in the Wood Shop when a faculty/staff member is not present.
  2. No student is allowed to use equipment in Howe Annex without first being cleared and approved by a Physics & Engineering faculty/staff member. Even if you have training from previous experience, you must demonstrate your working knowledge before using the equipment independently (see Student Approval Form). Proficiency must be demonstrated annually for approval to use the machinery and tools.
  3. Maintain a safe and clean work area, and clean up your work area at the end of the day.
    1. Return tools to their proper storage place when finished each day.
    2. Sweep up dirt and dust.
    3. Mop/clear spilled water.
  4. Do not disturb reserved work spaces assigned to other classes, student groups, etc.
  5. All users must be of clear mind when working in Howe Annex. No person is allowed in Howe Annex while their ability to work is affected by alcohol, drugs (prescription or non-prescription), or any other substance.
  6. All users are encouraged to work at a slow and reasonable pace - patience reduces risk.
  7. Users are to remain focused on their work, avoiding horseplay and distractions.
  8. Notify the Laboratory Technician, Chris Compton, immediately if equipment breaks or seems otherwise inoperable, AND place a designated sign on the equipment to make other users aware of the problem.
  9. Notify the Department Chair immediately if a chemical spill of any kind occurs, including large water spills.

Material Use

  1. Untreated lumber is approved for use in Howe Annex. All other materials must be pre-approved for use by the Department Chair before entering Howe Annex.
    1. For approvals, first submit a list of materials, including relevant Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) or Product Safety Data Sheets (PSDS), to the Department Chair.
    2. Students must demonstrate their knowledge of the material and receive proper clearance from the Department Chair before working with any new materials in Howe Annex.
    3. Any materials found in use in Howe Annex without approval are subject to immediate disposal; responsible parties are considered in violation of the policies.
  2. All users must be informed of all materials located in the Howe Annex work areas. Copies of the MSDS and PSDS for all materials are maintained in a binder in Howe Annex. All users will be notified if new materials will be used in Howe Annex that require additional safety precautions beyond those addressed in the safety policies.

Overseeing Faculty/Staff

  1. An overseeing faculty/staff member supervises students using the Howe Annex facilities.
  2. An overseeing faculty/staff member is required for all students using the Howe Annex facilities.
  3. The overseeing faculty/staff member is responsible for awareness of the projects taking place in the Howe Annex by students under their supervision. A lack of project awareness by the overseeing faculty may result in a loss of Howe Annex privileges for students involved in that project as deemed necessary by the Department Chair.
  4. The overseeing faculty/staff member is ultimately responsible for cleaning all tables reserved for students they supervise by the last day of classes; exceptions may be made for continuing projects only when a new Table Reservation Form has been approved for the following term in advance.
  5. The overseeing faculty/staff member is the primary contact for students under their supervision with regards to violations of the Policy. The overseeing faculty/staff member is responsible for issuing appropriate forms of reprimand for violations; however, the Department Chair may supersede the overseeing faculty/staff member based on the severity or frequency of the violation(s).
  6. If a faculty/staff member is unable to continue overseeing a project, a new overseeing faculty/staff member must be chosen or appointed for students to continue work in Howe Annex.

Misuse of Howe Annex

  1. This policy will be strictly enforced by all Physics & Engineering faculty/staff.
  2. Students are expected to hold their peers accountable while in the shop.
  3. All users are expected to report safety matters or violations of the policies to the Department Chair.
  4. Shop privileges may be temporarily or permanently revoked for deliberate or repeated violations.
  5. Alternate forms of reprimand are at the discretion of the overseeing faculty/staff member or the Physics & Engineering Department Chair based on the severity or frequency of the violation(s).

List of Contacts

Irina Mazilu (Dept. Chair) 8171
Chris Compton (Lab. Tech.) 8850
Tanya Bennett 8882

Plan View of Howe Annex


  • Doorways are shown using dashed, blue lines.
  • The lockbox containing an access key is located outside the double doors entrance (left).
  • No students are permitted in the Office or Facilities Closet, and Research Lab spaces are for authorized students only.
  • Eating/drinking is permitted in the Main Work Area and Hallway. Re-sealable containers are recommended to avoid spills. No food or drink is allowed in the Wood Shop or Concrete Research Lab at any time.