Safe Work Operations in Visual Arts


This web guide is to provide basic information for safe work operations in Visual Arts, operations with chemicals, and proper handling of waste. All students and faculty should attend our live training and this material should be used as a supplement.

Environmental Health & Safety: We provide expert guidance and timely service to the University Community through our commitment to health and safety. Employing best practices and collaboration, and by building long term relationships, we promote a productive and safety conscious work environment. Columbia University is committed to establishing and maintaining a healthful and safe work environment for our faculty, staff and students.
Contact EH&S at extension 4-8749 or at [email protected] for any questions of waste disposal, chemical exposures and hazards, personal protective equipment, compressed gas safety, or other safety topics.


Safety Coordinator: The Safety Coordinator has responsibility for health and safety within the School of the Arts and is the principal contact for faculty, staff, and students with health and safety issues or concerns. The Safety Coordinator should work with faculty and management to identify potential hazards associated with operations and activities. If the Safety Coordinator position is vacant, questions or concerns can be addressed to Faculty, Administrators, or EH&S.
Faculty: Faculty are responsible for ensuring their students attend training and work safely to include:

  • Ensure artists understand the potential hazards of the chemical or equipment used;
  • Clearly explain the proper and safe procedures for equipment use or material handling of hazardous substances;
  • Provide appropriate equipment for artists to work safely.

Artists: All students, faculty, and staff using hazardous materials are expected to attend training and:

  • Follow policies and procedures outlined in the web guide and on the EH&S website;
  • Report all accidents and potential chemical exposures to the Safety Coordinator.

Areas of interest:

For more information about working safely please consult your Safety Coordinator.