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Health & Safety

Craft Potters is committed to ensuring all users of this facility have a

safe and enjoyable experience.

For this purpose, the club has a health and safety policy and will do the utmost to eliminate or minimise risks where possible. It is however, the responsibility of all members to be aware of their environment, follow procedures and report any potential hazards.


Safety in a ceramic studio is defined by common sense and good studio practices as much as by-laws and regulations. The best way to ensure a safe studio environment is therefore to adopt a series of “best practices” that minimize risks and exposures. Below is a list of common hazards and the precautions that can be taken by all members and students at Craft Potters.

  • Wear protective equipment when required.

  • Report accidents, incidents or near misses in the Incident Register (red book) near the first aid box in the kitchen. Complete an Accident Investigation form and email  a copy to Please keep a copy for your own records.


  • Ensure all users and visitors are aware of the Health and Safety procedures, potential hazards and safe use of equipment.

  • When safety issues are identified or when repairs require prompt attention please email the club secretary  

  • Please note: If you have a disability, please let the Craft Potters Committee know how they can assist you and make any appropriate adjustments that will ensure you enjoy being at Craft Potters and keep safe.


  • Due to the numerous risks associated with a working studio, the minimum age for children participating in supervised classes is 5 years.

Thank you for your cooperation.

General Safety Hazards in the Studio

  • Dust particles from dry clay, clay and glaze additives and ceramic fibers from the kiln

  • Exposure to toxic substances

  • Accidents, slips and falls.

  • Electrical hazards

  • Strain from lifting heavy objects.

  • Muscular-skeletal problems can occur from wedging, hand building, throwing or lifting clay.

  • Dermatitis from prolonged exposure to moisture, wet clay, glazes, soaps or detergents.

Safety Precautions:

  • Smoking is not permitted at any time in the Craft Potters studio.

  • Eating and drinking must only be done in the kitchen and eating area.

  • Wear suitable footwear and protective clothing.

  • Wear ear plugs or earmuffs when working with loud machinery

  • Do any work that creates fine dust outside e g sanding

  • Keep floor space clear and tidy.

  • Keep cords on benches not across floor space.

  • Check the weight of an object and use safe lifting practices, keeping the object close to the body and bending the knees.


Glaze Hazards

  •  Toxic materials: chemicals used in glazes are harmful if swallowed, and after prolonged contact with skin.

  •   Inhalation of substances e g silica, manganese.​

 Safety Precautions:

  •  Wear gloves and a face mask when working with glazes and dry powder and avoid skin contact.

  •  Take extra care where skin is broken.

  • Wash hands carefully after using glazes.

  • Ensure materials are well labelled, especially if hazardous.

  • Use proper equipment for safe ventilation. There is a glaze booth outside.

  • Children and pregnant women should not be exposed to any toxic materials.

  • Only eat and drink in the designated area.


Wheel Work Hazards

  • Accidents, slips and falls

  • Electrical​

  • Dust particles

Safety Precautions:

  • Appropriate footwear must be worn at all times.

  • Ensure any water or slip around the wheels is cleaned up immediately to prevent falls.

  • Use a damp towel to wipe hand and surfaces and a mop for the floors to reduce dust inhalation.

  • Slip should be disposed in designated containers only.

  • Keep all areas you are using tidy.

  • Ensure the electrical connection is secure before you start throwing on the wheel.

Kiln Firing.jpg

 Kiln Hazards:

  • Burns

  • Eye damage from kiln fumes and looking in the bung holes.

  • Fire risk from electric kilns

  • Fire from raku firing near sawdust

  • Fire from heated paraffin wax

Safety Precautions:

  • Ensure all users know where fire extinguishers (powder) are located.

  • Dampen any sawdust after pots are removed

  • Wear appropriate gloves for unloading kilns to prevent burns.

  • Do not touch kilns or place anything on top of them when firing to prevent burns and/or fire.

  • Do not use the kilns when children’s classes are running.

  • Wear appropriate protective eyewear when looking into hot kilns.

  • Ensure that the air vent is connected during kiln use.

  • All pots (greenware or bisque) must be sandpapered outside to prevent inhalation and build-up of clay dust in the rooms.

  • Only small amounts of wax should be applied to pots prior to firing to prevent fire, cold liquid wax is safest.

  • Use fireproof gloves when unloading a kiln.

  • Do not operate kilns during class times.

Sanding Hazards

  • Tiny  particles produced when working with clay can settle in your lungs and cause silicosis.

  • Sanding of dry clay (either before or after it has been bisque-fired) poses a serious respiratory threat to everyone in the vicinity, similar to the hazards of secondhand cigarette smoke.

Safety Precautions:

  • All sanding of dry clay pieces must be done outside.

  • Wear a protective mask and gloves.

  • Please take care to clean your work area afterwards; use a towel or a damp sponge to wipe any dusty surfaces. 

sanding pot.jpg


  Medical Emergency

  1. Call 111.

  2. Confirm nature of the injury if known.

  3. Confirm address as 202 Ranzau Road, Hope 7020

  4. Wait for the ambulance, apply first aid if appropriate.

  5. FIRST AID KIT is on the wall in the kitchen above the microwave.


  1. Use the fire extinguisher by the kitchen door or,

  2. Evacuate and call 111.

  3. Confirm the nature of the emergency.

  4. Confirm address 202 Ranzau Road, Hope 7020.

  5. Assemble on the footpath in the front of the building.

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