You are here

Safety and Use Policy

The Otis Printmaking Lab is a shared space where large equipment and chemicals are used by all. It is essential to maintain safety guidelines at all times and to respect the space of your fellow classmates. You will be trained in lab procedures by faculty or staff and we expect that you will follow proper procedures and safety measures. Please read the following below and agree to uphold these policies. If you fail to follow the guidelines below, your permission to use the Printmaking Lab could be revoked.

Printmaking Lab Safety and Use Policy

  • Safety Policies

    Only currently enrolled Otis students, staff or faculty who have completed the standard safety training and printing demos facilitated by printmaking faculty or staff may use the facility. Any person who is granted access to the lab  will be asked to fill out a Printmaking/Info Release card with their name and information.

    You must wear protective gloves, face shield/goggles, gloves and/or respirator as advised when you are working with toxic and hazardous materials.

    Any aerosols, including Toner-Aid or spray paint, must be sprayed outside. Spray adhesive is permissible.

    No open toed shoes, or shoes with a tall heel that could potentially contribute to accidents on wet floors.

    There is no eating or open food containers allowed in the lab. Drinks with covered tops are allowed but must be kept away from worktables to avoid spills.

    Become familiar with the MSDS (Material Safety Data sheets), hanging on the wall, to be informed of the potentially hazardous materials, chemicals and inks we use in the Lab.

    Removal of Otis lab assets, or another individual’s materials, will result in loss of access and legal action.

    In case of injury locate the eyewash or first aid kit. In an emergency call the security desk (x6965), call 911 or Los Angeles Poison control (800-825-2722).

  • Solvents

    This is a predominantly solvent free lab. Please limit use of paint thinner, mineral spirits, or inks that would need these products for clean up, such as Plastisol or oil based ink for Screenprinting. If these solvent based materials are needed for a printmaking process, they can be used outside or in small amounts under the ventilation hood.

  • Screens

    You are responsible for purchasing your own screen(s), clearly marking your name with permanent marker on the duct tape on all 4 sides of your
    screen. Do not use anyone else’s screen(s).

  • Storage

    Only screens with unexposed emulsion on them can be left in the lab over night. All dry screens, inks and other supplies must be taken out of the lab at the end of your workday. Flat file drawers are designated for students taking semester-long classes only. Wet prints are welcome to be left in the drying racks over night. They will be periodically collected by lab staff and left in the marked folder next to the drying racks. Lockers can be obtained through the Wood Shop on the 7th floor.

  • Equipment

    PRESSES: Only students who have gone through a press demonstration should be using them. When the presses are properly used they are perfectly safe. Never place your fingers under or near the rollers. Keep your hands away from the press bed or any moving parts when the press is in use. You should only have your hands on the handle or designated areas when operating the presses. Remove jewelry or secure loose clothing or hair that could get caught in the press. Do not force anything through the presses. If a press is damaged or broken by accident you are responsible for letting the lab tech know immediately.

    COMPUTERS: Do not run anything through the laser printer except bond paper or Kimoto paper. Time on the computers should try to be limited to just output, not long term editing of files, as many people depend on them.

    PRINT DRYING RACKS: Do not remove another person’s artwork from the flat files or drying racks. Get help using the drying rack when removing prints so other’s prints do not slide down the back. DO NOT HANDLE OTHER PEOPLE’S PRINTS, they may not be dry.

    EXPOSURE UNIT / POWERWASHER: Do not place ANY UNTAPED screens in the exposure unit. Clean the glass on the exposure unit after you expose a screen. Wipe up emulsion spills immediately. Do not point the pressure washer at anything other than screens in the washout sink. Avoid letting water collect on the floor.

    If you EVER have questions about how to use something, ALWAYS ask a tech.

  • Cutting

    The cutting matt surfaces and tempered glass light table are the only surfaces that blades can be used on. These areas should be kept clean and clear of ink to provide a safe space for curating film, prints and paper for printing. All used blades should be disposed of in container marked “used blades” on it.

  • Clean-up

    Clean up as you work, including spills on the floor, to avoid slipping. You must clean up and put away everything you use. The lab announces an end to printing 30 minutes before closing. All surfaces should be wiped down with Simple Green. Rags that are partially used can be hung on the pegboard above the sink, those that have been completely used up should be placed in the large red can only. Excessive sceenprinting ink, oil based inks or other hazardous materials should not go down drain. Try to keep your belongings to a consolidated working area so that all students have room to work. You are not finished working until you have cleaned up.
    THANK YOU!