Cruces Creatives Goals & Policies
At Cruces Creatives, we have three main goals:
Our policies reflect these goals to make Cruces Creatives safe, productive, and welcoming.
A. First and foremost is the safety of you and other people.
- Always create safely. Be sure to always think through your creative process to find the safest way to achieve your goal(s). Talk to monitors, staff, or instructors if you’re unsure.
- Follow the instructions of Cruces Creatives staff, monitors, and instructors.
- Give yourself plenty of time so you can create calmly. Rushing can lead to accidents, so plan to dedicate more time to a project than you originally expect.
- Wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Tools and areas will be marked, but here are some general principles for PPE if a tool or process can cause materials to project, wear safety glasses (Z87+ or Z87.1); if a tool or process is uncomfortably loud, wear ear protection; if a tool or process creates particulate matter, wear a dust mask or respirator. Always research the best PPE for a particular tool or process. Tools needing this type of PPE should be used in the back half of the building, and all other people in the area should be wearing the same protective gear before you begin. This may mean you need to bring PPE to them—please do. Also, if someone nearby is going to work with anything calling for PPE, expect to put on PPE. PPE is located in Electronics.
- Wear closed-toe shoes. Tools, materials and projects can fall. Protect your feet.
- When working with power tools, tie back long hair, roll up sleeves, and remove all jewelry. These can all get caught in machines and trap you in their rotation, causing serious injury or death. Never wear unnecessary materials while using machines or power tools.
- Get trained. Each shop has a basic training or checkout system you need to pass before being allowed to work in that area. The basic training is included in your membership. Advanced workshops and other tool orientations will be able available to teach you how to safely use even more tools. See CrucesCreatives.org/events to schedule trainings.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Always check what is around you before moving around the makerspace. Scrap from projects, an errant piece of a project that fell to the floor, or other hazards may be in the way. And if you ever see water on the ground, alert a team member or monitor immediately—this is both a slipping hazard and possibly an electrocution hazard. Never use power tools around water, and never stand in puddles.
- Avoid distractions. Turn off cell phones, and never use corded earbuds while using power tools since these may get caught in the machine and pull you in. If you are going to listen to music, you can either have one wireless headphone or a speaker set up in the room. In either case, keep music at moderate levels. Beyond being a distraction, music that is too loud can prevent you from hearing someone in distress; we are each other’s first line of safety.
- Make sure pathways are kept clear and scrap is cleaned up. This minimizes tripping and slipping hazards.
- Use appropriate materials for the space and tools. Do not use harmful or toxic materials. For non-exhaustive examples, do not bring treated wood, lead solder, propane, solvents, flammables, corrosives, or ABS. For some potentially harmful materials, exceptions may be made if appropriate safety and waste disposal plans are developed and followed, and if the materials are clearly labeled, a material safety data sheet (MSDS) is attached, and the material is safely stored. An example of an exception will be spray paints in our flammable storage container, in the Bike Shop. See a monitor or staff member for this.
- Emergency fire knowledge. Extinguishers are located in the Wood Shop, the Bike Shop, the wall in front of the tool storage in the Bike Shop, the Multi-Purpose Room, the Main Room, Outside the Textile Room, Outside the Kid’s Room, and in the Break room. Emergency fire alarms are located next to all doors and in the multi-purpose room. If a fire occurs, quickly and calmly leave through the closest safe exit. Leave all materials, bags, and other belongings behind. Meet in the parking lot so the monitors can be sure all individuals have exited.
- Always keep your hands and other body parts a safe distance from moving, sharp, or hot parts. Never reach across the path of a blade, needle, or other sharp, hot, or dangerous part.
- Never eat or drink in shop areas, around electronics, or near Cruces Creatives computers. Food and beverages should only be consumed in the Break Room, the Classroom & Conference Room, the Main Room, or the Multi-Purpose Room. Food and drink in other areas could be contaminated by non-food--and therefore potentially hazardous--particles, and they could also damage tools.
- If there is a safety guard, leave it in place. It has been designed to help keep you safe. If a project needs a safety guard to be adjusted, talk with a monitor, staff member, or instructor first and follow their instructions.
- Always work in a balanced position. Be in a comfortable, balanced position when working with tools, with an established center of gravity.
- Stay focused and let others focus. Always keep your eyes on your work and concentrate on what you’re doing at all times. Never distract someone who is currently using a tool. Wait for them to finish and have the machine or tool come to a complete stop before engaging with another person.
- If you are at Cruces Creatives with a child younger than 16 under your care, stay within arm’s reach of the child unless the child is actively participating in Cruces Creatives kids programming.
- Do not bring firearms or other weapons into Cruces Creatives unless you are a law enforcement officer. (Pocket knives are fine.)
- Do not use or be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, strong medications, or other intoxicating substances while at Cruces Creatives. At officially designated alcohol-friendly events—for instance, a concert in the multipurpose room—alcohol may be consumed in moderation, but no one who is under the influence of any intoxicating substance may use tools in any circumstance.
B. The second priority, after the safety of people, is the safety of the tools and space.
- Put tools and materials away. At the end of each making session, put your tools back to where they were originally, and be sure to either bring your project home or store it on the project shelves.
- Clean the tools and area where you work. This will help prolong the life of the tools and keep the shop safer.
- Check your materials to make sure that they’re appropriate for the tool you plan to use.
- Only use tools for their intended uses.
- While gluing or painting, put paper or scrap material over the table you’re using.
- If you are making a cut directly over a table, use a cutting mat, a thick piece of cardboard, or a sacrificial piece of wood between your project and the table.
- For spray paint or especially messy projects, use the paint/adhesive table in the breezeway outside of the Bike Shop.
- Only make adjustments on machines or tools when they are off, fully stopped, and, when appropriate, unplugged.
- Always stay with an active tool. Never walk away from a turned on, hot, or moving tool. Always wait for them to return to a neutral state to prevent accidental injury, fire, or other harms or hazards.
- Unplug extension cords and put them away when you are finished using them. This minimizes tripping and fire hazards.
- Keep all power cords away from blades or hot tools while working. If a cord is compromised while being worked on this could lead to electrocution.
- Turn off weird tools and machines. If anything unusual happens while using a tool or machine (odd smell, or something does not sound right), immediately turn off the machine and notify the monitor, a staff member, or the instructor.
- Be alert for any odors which might indicate overheating of a machine, tool, or material. Often, a material will smell and begin to smoke before it becomes a fire.
- If a tool or machine appears to be damaged or broken, report this to the monitor. Do not use a tool that is damaged or broken.
- Follow the tool use instructions in each shop area.
With the tools, training, and community at Cruces Creatives, it’s a great place to innovate and be creative. Experiment to make new and interesting projects, and talk with others to come up with unexpected results.
To be creative safely, use the following steps:
- Use tools only for their intended purposes and in their intended ways.
- Research processes and potential dangers before starting a project. Find ways to avoid or minimize dangers.
- If you are unsure of a process or tool, or how to get to an end goal, talk with the monitors, staff or instructors.
We’re part of a large and diverse community of makers, and the way we behave affects others.
Going with the golden rule keeps things shiny.
- Clean up after yourself. There are brooms, dustpans, and paper towels throughout the building for cleaning.
- After finishing with a tool, put it away in the same location you found it.
- Do not use Cruces Creatives for any illegal activities, to make weapons or drug paraphernalia, or to make/view pornographic materials.
- Work on stored projects in a timely manner. Since the entire community of makers relies on finite storage space, please make progress on stored work at least every two weeks or take the project home. Use a project label sheet to mark your work with your name and the most recent date you’ve worked on it.
- If you have or believe you have a disability and would benefit from any accommodations, you may wish to self-identify by contacting our Shop Manager Jon Simmons or Executive Director Lea Wise-Surguy. It is your responsibility to inform a Cruces Creatives representative in a timely manner if services/accommodations provided are not meeting your needs. If you have a condition which may affect your ability to exit safely from the premises in an emergency or which may cause an emergency during a class or monitored hours, you are encouraged to discuss any concerns with your instructor; the monitor on duty; Jon Simmons, the Shop Manager; or Lea Wise-Surguy, the Executive Director. All medical information will be treated confidentially.
- Treat others with kindness and respect. Keep it shiny.
The policies described here are not exhaustive, and they are part of a living document that may be updated and revised. The latest version of the policy is available for review on the Cruces Creatives website. Participation at Cruces Creatives entails acceptance of Cruces Creatives policies, including updates and revisions.