Operating equipment can result in an injury to the Shop User (User). The hazard level of injury can be minor to catastrophic.

The Hazard Classification Table (pdf) is a matrix of the general types of equipment and tools located in Makerspaces, Shops and Studios and the expected level of injury that may occur while operating the equipment. The Table includes Injury Prevention Measures, levels of training and oversight (supervision), to prevent potential injuries to the User.

Hazard Category Level (HCL) is based on the severity of an injury that may result from operation of a tool or equipment.

Hierarchy of Injuries from Minimal to Catastrophic


1-Minimal Injury
First aid only anticipated.

Example: Minor laceration from an X-ACTO® knife.


2-Minor Injury
Minor medical attention may be required beyond first aid.

Example: Minor burn from soldering.


3-Serious Injury
Medical treatment is required (e.g. stitches, burns, chemical in the eye, etc.). Injury is recoverable.

Example: Second to third degree burns from contact with hot metal or an injurious chemical.


4-Catastrophic to life threatening
Injury anticipated to be serious and potentially irrecoverable (e.g. amputation).

Example: Entanglement in rotating equipment or an amputation from a cutting saw.

Download the comprehensive Hazard Classification Table (pdf).

Training and Oversight (Supervision)

Safety Control Measures are safety management practices that include training and oversight (supervision), to help prevent injuries to Users operating equipment.

  • Training
    • Most important is the level of training on equipment and tools that will assure safe operation and an understanding of the dangers such as, but not limited to; the point of operation and where the operator's hands need to be, how to safely secure a work piece and location of safety features, such as an emergency stop.
    • Training also needs to include any shop safety rules and special procedures beyond the User Agreement for UVA Shop, Studio, & Makerspace.
    • The level of training is dependent upon the hazard category level of equipment and tools, ranging from self-instruction, to extensive required training.
  • Oversight (Supervision)
    • Typical hand tools available may not need direct supervision. Self-instruction may be sufficient to understand how to use the tools and light duty types of equipment.
    • New Users will require varying levels of oversight as they learn how to use power tools, equipment and special processes. The goal is for the Users to complete their project successfully and in a safe manner.
    • Well-trained individuals who provide oversight responsibilities are able to redirect Users if they are performing a step incorrectly and potentially, unsafely. Their quick action on behalf of the User can help avoid incidents.
      • First level supervision
        • First level supervision is by the department’s designated Shop Manager or; a Faculty member who oversees the hands-on part of a course curriculum or student activity.
        • These individuals fulfill the oversight and supervision responsibilities and most often are professionals, trained for their specific roles (i.e. academic instructor, engineering technician, machinist, tools and equipment generalist, trades specialist, etc.).
        • Shop Managers may assign the responsibilities to a supervisor (usually University staff), who is also experienced to instruct on equipment and tools, and oversee operations and safety.
      • Second level supervision
        • Shop Managers may assign students (Teaching Assistants) as Shop Monitors.
        • Shop Monitors help provide supervision and instruction, usually during the hours when first level supervision is not present, or to augment assistance during a class or event.
        • Shop Monitors provide equipment and tool instruction to Users. To satisfactorily serve in this role, the Shop Monitor must be well trained in the shop’s equipment and tools; knowledgeable in any specific shop safety rules or procedures beyond those outlined in the User Agreement for UVA Shop, Studio, & Makerspace
        • Shop Monitors must be well versed in emergency response and have the authority to intervene whenever there is any infraction that affects the safety of individuals or the facility.
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