Artists and designers use materials that contain potentially hazardous chemicals which can release toxic compounds before, during, and after use. Machinery and tools used in classrooms, studios, and workshops can be dangerous if not used properly. Students are required to familiarize themselves with potential health and safety hazards in work areas and with appropriate techniques and equipment to minimize the possibility of exposure and injury. In some studio and shop areas, the College requires you to use gloves, safety goggles and other personal protective equipment (PPE). In some cases, appropriate PPE will be provided by the department. Students must follow faculty and department technicians’ instructions on use of equipment and materials.
RISD provides appropriate fire-rated cabinets and containers for disposal and storage of ﬂammable materials such as paint and solvents. Students are asked to keep any paints, solvents and chemicals in properly labeled containers appropriate to their use. Students are required to read and sign the RISD Studio Space Assignment terms letter. All safety and security regulations will be strictly enforced; violations will result in disciplinary actions and may result in the loss of studio privileges.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on all materials used on campus are available through the RISD and Metcalf stores, and Environmental Health + Safety (EH+S). In addition, each academic department has on file the MSDSs for materials used by the department.
Pregnant women, people with respiratory problems, and those placed under physical restrictions by their physicians should make their conditions known to their instructors or supervisors as soon as possible. If you suspect you have a health condition that could affect your ability to perform tasks related to class activity, discuss this with your instructor. Your instructor will then discuss your case with the Health Services staff and evaluate available alternatives.
Occupational hazard technology is rapidly growing and changing. Environmental health and safety information about the arts can be obtained at the RISD Library through monthly periodicals such as ACTS FACTS and Art Hazard News. Also, the RISD Library has reference books such as Safety in the Arts by Michael McCann and The Artist’s Complete Health and Safety Guide by Monona Rossol. These and other environmental health and safety reference books may also be purchased at the RISD or Metcalf stores.
If you need additional environmental health and safety information, or have any concerns, please contact the Environmental Health and Safety Manager at 401 454-6780 or visit the info.risd.edu Environmental Health and Safety page.