Edinburgh Hacklab has a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of individuals who use our facilities. A diverse range of activities take place at the Hacklab and this policy is intended to provide guidance to ensure that these activities are carried out safely and without undue restriction.

Obligations of Directors

Directors have final responsibility for health and safety. They may share this responsibility by delegating some tasks.

Directors and any persons they delegate to do so are responsible for ensuring that:

  • The Health and Safety Policy is up to date and complies with current legislation
  • Adequate risk assessments have been carried out for Hacklab activities and risks suitably mitigated
  • Accidents, incidents and near misses are logged, reported where legally required and analysed to prevent further occurrence
  • The Health and Safety Policy is complied with by users of the Hacklab

Obligations of Members and Visitors

All users of the Hacklab must exercise personal responsibility and care in the prevention of injury or ill health to themselves or others. Members are also responsible for supervising all activities of visitors including members of the public.

Hacklab users:

  • Must comply with Health and Safety policies, Codes of Practice and any training relevant to their use of the Hacklab
  • Must use any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided
  • Must not interfere with or misuse equipment or anything provided in the interests of Health and Safety
  • Must only use equipment which they are competent to use including training or induction

Members must also report:

  • All accidents, incidents and near-misses to the directors
  • Damage to equipment to the member’s list immediately and ensure equipment is taken out of use and adequately labelled
  • Any proposed new activities that fall outside existing policy or procedures to the directors so that adequate risk assessment may be carried out (e.g. new chemical process, high voltage experiments etc.)

General Arrangements

Accidents, incidents, dangerous occurrences and occupational ill health

All accidents, instances of occupational ill health, fires and dangerous occurrences including near misses must be reported to the directors as soon as possible after the incident has occurred, and in any case within seven days, so that the requirements of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) may be met. No accident should be considered too trivial to report.

All accidents will be reviewed by the directors so that steps may be taken to prevent future occurrence.

Buildings and Access

Access to the Hacklab is provided 24 hours a day throughout the year on an access control system. Access is only available to Hacklab Members and visitors including members of the public on open nights must be supervised, particularly when using the individual workshops. Rooms should be locked when not in use to prevent unauthorised access.

Additional risks apply outside normal business hours and Summerhall security should be notified when doing so. Details are available in the guidance: [Summerhall Security](

Lone working may be relevant at any time when the Hacklab is quiet and should be considered when working alone in any room. The [Lone Working Code of Practice]( applies.

Fire Safety

Fire safety is jointly managed with Summerhall who are responsible for maintaining the fire alarms and firefighting equipment on the premises. Their policy can be found at: [Summerhall Fire Policy](

The Hacklab also has special considerations for the laser cutters and for hot work (any process generating heat e.g. welding, machining, open flames etc.). See [Hot Work Code of Practice]( and [Laser Cutter Code of Practice]( for details. Hot Work may be temporarily restricted by the landlords during makor events at Summerhall.

Any fire in the Hacklab space must be reported as an accident report to the directors including fires within the laser cutter.

Fire safety must be considered in the risk assessment of all processes and activities.

Fire Safety Housekeeping

  • All fire escape stairways and corridors must be kept free of rubbish or any item that might impede the possibility of escape.
  • Fire doors must not be propped open or left open.
  • Fire doors must not be obstructed and must be fully accessible at all times.
  • Any fire doors appearing to be damaged or not working properly must be reported immediately to the directors who will contact the Summerhall Fire Marshal or Lettings Manager.
  • Work areas should be kept clear of dust and rubbish
  • Flammable materials must be disposed of carefully following COSHH guidance where appropriate
  • No fire fighting equipment must be used for any other purpose that that to which it is intended.
  • Fire fighting equipment must not be removed from the fire stations other than for the purpose of training, safety checking or fire fighting.

Fire Emergency Procedure

  • If you discover a fire, sound the alarm immediately using the nearest call point. * Note: small fires in the laser cutter may be extinguished with the CO2 extinguisher without sounding the alarm.
  • Only fight a fire if you are trained and it is safe to do so.
  • On hearing the continuous ringing of the electronic sounder fire alarm, all residents and their guests must evacuate the building by the nearest exit.
  • Without endangering themselves or others * Turn off any machinery in use. Ensure projects are in a safe state. Turn off the welder gas supply or air compressor if used. * Close the windows and doors of their offices and studios and any other fire doors they pass through whilst evacuating the building.
  • During an evacuation, behave in a calm and responsible manner.
  • Lifts must NOT be used in the case of fire.
  • Members and visitors should meet at the Assembly Point and await further instruction from the fire officer. Assembly Point: SUMMERHALL SQUARE, BETHANY SHOP SIDE
  • Report any risks within the Hacklab space to the fire officer (e.g. if chemicals are in use) so they may inform the fire brigade
  • Members and visitors should not re-enter the building until it has been deemed safe to do by the fire officer.

Fire Drills

Fire drills may occur from time to time and will be organised by Summerhall.

Disabled People

Any person disclosing a relevant disability to the Hacklab Directors that may affect their egress in the event of a fire alarm will need individual consideration. The directors will liaise with Summerhall management to risk assess and define a personal emergency action plan.

First Aid

First aid boxes are provided and stocked based on evaluation of the risks and types of injuries associated with the activities within the Hacklab.

The Hacklab does not provide trained first aiders due to the nature of the organisation however members are encouraged to learn first aid from a provider such as the British Red Cross or St Andrews First Aid.

If a Hacklab user falls ill or is injured, members should offer assistance if they are able and it is safe to do so. During office hours, Summerhall staff may be able to offer assistance.

In an emergency, call 999 for help. The Hacklab address is 1 Summerhall Square.

Specific guidance on dealing with unconscious casualties and chemical injuries is available at: [First Aid Guidance](

All injuries and accidents must be reported to the directors. Any injury caused by faulty equipment or chemicals should be reported immediately so it may be made safe for others.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment includes, but is not restricted to, the following;

  • Safety eye wear, including safety spectacles, goggles and visors
  • Gloves or other hand protection
  • Protective coveralls
  • Respiratory protective equipment
  • Hearing protection

Where PPE has been provided for a task, it must be worn by the user.

Workshop areas may require a minimum standard of PPE for entry as the activities carried out by members may present risks to other users of the space (e.g. generation of particles or noise).

PPE requirements are assessed through risk assessment of Hacklab activities. Every effort should be made either to eliminate the process giving rise to the hazard or to reorganise the operation so that the hazard is controlled at source. Where this is not possible, personal protective equipment should be issued only after it has been evaluated as being suitable for protecting against that hazard.

Manual Handling

All significant manual handling tasks must be risk assessed prior to undertaking the task. Manual handling should be avoided wherever possible by the introduction of mechanisation or manual handling equipment.


A major cause of accidents in general is poor housekeeping.

Apparatus and other materials which are not immediately required should always be returned to a safe storage place, and unwanted materials, particularly combustible and flammable items, should be disposed of safely and promptly.

Any spillages must be cleaned up immediately by a person who fully appreciates the special hazards which the spilled material may possess.

Gas, water and electricity, and any piped gas or liquid, supplies should always be turned off when not required, and especially when the Hacklab is closed.

Food and Drink

Food and drink should only be consumed in the kitchen and social area of the Hacklab.

Hands must be washed thoroughly before consuming food and drink, particularly if chemicals have been used.

Alcohol and Drugs

The use of alcohol, prescription medications and illegal drugs may impair the ability to safely use Hacklab facilities.

No machinery or dangerous activities should be carried out if your ability is impaired through the use of alcohol or drugs.

Intoxicated persons may be asked to leave the premises to protect the safety of others.

The Hacklab is a non-smoking premises which includes the use of e-cigarettes and vapes.

Risk Assessment

The Hacklab operates on the basis of identifying the risks associated with activities and ensuring they are reduced to a minimum level. The directors are ultimately responsible for ensuring the risk assessments of significant activities are completed and regularly reviewed.

A written risk assessment records the significant hazards, the risks arising therefrom, the system of work and control measures to be followed and the persons at risk. Particular attention should be paid to any risks which might be encountered by vulnerable workers such as pregnant women, young and/or inexperienced workers, particularly students, or those who may work alone. The level of detail in a written risk assessment should be in proportion to the risks and the complexities of each case.

Dynamic Risk assessment and Safety Culture

Whilst risk assessments are carried out for many activities, members should adopt a culture of safe working practices and dynamically assess the risks of any work they do before carrying out the activity.

Members should consider the hazards involved, their likelihood and if there is a safer way they can do something. They should also consider if their activity puts at risk any other members and how they can protect their safety.