CLEAPSS (the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services) is an advisory service supporting science and technology teaching for a consortium of local authorities and their schools. The Department for Education funded a pilot in 2012/13 to explore how 3D printing could be applied to the Science Engineering Technology and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum (DfE, 2013). Since then a helpline managed by CLEAPSS has had numerous requests for a model risk assessment for the use of 3D printers. The leading concerns raised in these enquiries were related to the use of 3D printing equipment, the heat of the extrusion area, the possibility of entrapment in moving parts, and concerns about the hazardous nature of fumes released from the equipment. CLEAPSS has highlighted that the lack of evidence on the health and safety risks associated with using desktop 3D printers and has worked in partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (Coventry), KORA, Peritus Health Management, the British Standards Institute and the Health and Safety Executive to develop a good practice guide for safe use of desktop 3D printers for schools.
These related document links below identify areas that should be considered before purchasing and when using 3D printers, and recommends measures that should be put in place to reduce these risks. The term 'recommendation' is used to highlight the need for action(s) to be taken considering the most relevant regulations.
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH): http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/
- Provision and Use of Work Equipment (PUWER): http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-equipment-machinery/puwer.htm
- How to carry out a COSHH risk assessment?: http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/harmful/coshh.htm
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Approved Code of Practice: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l21.htm
- Manual Handling and Musculoskeletal Disorders: http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/manualhandling.htm
Electrical safety at work:
- Electrical Safety at Work http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/index.htm
Other Sources of Guidance
- Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Equipment (CLEAPSS): http://www.cleapss.org.uk/
- Building Bulletin 101 (GOV.UK): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-bulletin-101-ventilation-for-school-buildings/
- Scottish Schools Education Research Centre: https://www.sserc.org.uk/