Cold Shop Safety

  • Eye protection must be worn AT ALL TIMES in the Cold Shop.
  • CAUTION: BROKEN GLASS IS SHARP! Molten glass can be scary, but broken glass is far more dangerous. The human nervous system will instantaneously pull away from a hot surface, often involuntarily. So, it’s nearly impossible to continue to burn yourself with hot glass. Most burns in the Hot Shop are superficial at worst. By contrast broken glass can cut you. Cuts cause bleeding—which opens the body to infection—and can cause the victim to faint from the mere sight of blood, causing far worse injury from a fall onto a concrete floor. Moreover, cuts can occur on major arteries and put the victim in danger of bloodloss. Therefore, great care should be taken when working with cold glass.
  • NEVER Cold Work while tired or sick.
  • NEVER Cold Work alone (there should at very least be someone in the Hot Shop).
  • NEVER startle someone that is Cold Working.
  • Hearing protection MUST be worn whenever any equipment is in use in the Cold Shop.
    • Ear plugs are located on top of the Cold Shop Cabinet.
    • Earmuffs can be found hanging throughout the Cold Shop, and should remain next to appropriate equipment on designated hangers. (e.g. Next to the Diamond Saw(s), Belt Sander and Sand Blaster(s).
  • Dust masks or respirators should be worn whenever there is airborne glass dust.
    • When using: Diamond Saw(s), pneumatic Die-Grinders, Belt Sanders and Sand Blasters.
  • Be cautious of wet floors! Almost all equipment in the Cold Shop uses water. This means that the floors are very often wet and can be slippery. Caution should be used anytime you are working in or moving through the Cold Shop. In event of excess water, please squeegee water into nearest drain immediately! Squeegees can be found hanging throughout the Cold Shop. Mop up water residue with mop.
  • Clean and remove ALL GLASS DUST! Cold Working equipment grinds glass to create a tenacious dust that is composed mostly of amorphous silica. This dust can be invisible when wet but obvious as a white film when dry. Although less dangerous than crystalline silica, Amorphous Silica dust is a classified as Hazardous Substance and is controlled by OSHA guidelines. All glass/silica dust must be cleaned off all surfaces after each use of any machine or work area! Failure to do so will result in docking of Participation Grade and (if it continues) revoking of access to Cold Shop.

Never use equipment you have not be trained on or feel uncomfortable with.


  • Amorphous Silica: is essentially melted glass. The melting process changes the regular crystalline structure of Crystalline Silica into an irregular structure. This structure seems to make all the difference as far as health concerns go, because the “closed” structure of melted glass means that it won’t stick to lung tissue the way Crystalline Silica does. [NOTE: the full health risks of Amorphous Silica have NOT been assessed, and preliminary finding in animals suggest that it can cause severe respiratory complications, but that these were somewhat reversible. There are no findings that suggest Amorphous Silica is a carcinogen or will cause Silicosis. However, there are no conclusive findings that prove this form of silica is fully safe, so safety precautions should be instituted.]