Health Hazards in the Arts
visual artist, I know it is hard to consider health and safety concerns
a top priority in creating art when you can barely finance your work or
find the time to complete it. And unfortunately, dealing with safety in
the studio takes both time and money. However, taking the time to
consider and assess the risks associated with any art-making activity
and spending money on basic safety measures is, well, a good thing.
Safety in the Arts
Instead of relating numerous horror stories to convey the importance of
safety in the arts, below I cover some basic safety topics to encourage
you to either get started or heighten your awareness of safety as a
valuable investment in your artistic future. While these issues are
particularly germane to visual artists, artists in all disciplines can
benefit from this information.
It doesnít matter whether you have a work space in a large, multi-floor
building or if you work in your basement or garage. Have a fire plan!
Locate all exits and consider your escape plan. All studios should be
equipped with at least one ABC all-purpose fire extinguisher and at
least one smoke detector. Ideally, fire extinguishers should be located
near exits and major fire hazards. Read all the instructions that come
with your particular extinguisher. Be sure you are clear on its
operation. Itís a good idea for you to inspect your extinguisher
annually - many need to be discharged and then professionally recharged
or checked after a specific time period. If you have any questions,
consult with your local Fire Department.
To prevent electrical fires, make sure all electrical wiring is in good
shape and that all electrical systems and wiring are rated for the
amount of power you are pulling from the system. Also inspect all tool
and machine power cords for damage, as well as any extensions cords you
may be using.
Be aware of all flammable and combustible materials and liquids in your
work space, especially solvents and other chemicals. Store these items
appropriately and away from potential sources of ignition. You may
consider purchasing a flammable storage cabinet. These units need to be
properly grounded and ventilated. Always check the label of any material
for safe handling and storage instructions.
Health Hazards in the Arts
Artist's Complete Health and Saftey Guide.
Watson-Guptill Pubns, 2001.
Smith, David, Dewey, Richard, Disalvo, John, Speights, William
Emerging Public Safety
Wireless Communication Systems. 2001
Stock, Louis D.,
Practices for the Graphic Arts, 1984
Symbols Art: Camera-Ready and Disk Art for Designers,
Wiley; Bk&Disk edition, June 27, 1995. Fron the back cover:
For the first time, people who design, produce, or use
hazard warning signs, labs, or tags have a definitive
source for safety symbol art. Safety Symbols Art
is the first and only commercial source of camera-ready
and computer disk art for the SEGD safety symbol system
ó a system designed to save lives and prevent injuries.
Each of the symbols in this book has been tested and
meets the standards approved in 1991 by the American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) as Z535, the most
far-reaching set of U.S. safety standards developed to
date. Now you can reproduce these quickly, easily, and
with the assurance that you are complying with ANSI
Z535ís national safety symbol standards. The ANSI Z535
standards recommend that every American safety label,
tag, and sign include a safety symbol designed and
tested to meet ANSIís criteria. That makes Safety
Symbols Art a must-have for any American company that
produces consumer products or operates a manufacturing
facility. Graphic designers, corporate designers, and
product designers will turn again and again to this
one-of-a-kind reference. All 40 safety messages
identified in ANSI Z535 are included both as line art
and on disk, ready to save you time and money. All in
one convenient source youíll find: hazard warning
messages, general safety messages. mandatory action
messages, and prohibited action messages.
In addition, the author includes a history of symbol
systems and standardization. No one is better qualified
than Nora Olgyay to create this hands-on resource. She
is a former Chairperson of the ASC Z535.3 Subcommittee
on Safety Symbols, and has dedicated her expertise to
bringing you a reliable, easy-to-use resource in the
hope that the widespread use of these symbols will make
the world a safer place to live and work.
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for Artists. 4th ed. New York, Lyons and Burford, 1994.
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