Position Statement on Physical Safety in the Art Classroom

[Adopted April 2014]

NAEA believes that physical safety is a priority in the art classroom. For art classroom safety, it is essential that the school/district administration be in compliance with all of the occupational regulations and training requirements. The class size must be considered by the school/district in order to establish a safe learning environment. NAEA recommends student class sizes of 20- 25 students.* The school/district must comply with the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) rules including the training of art educators and staff. The art educators/staff need to be trained in order to be prepared to protect the students as well as themselves.

It is the responsibility of the art educators/staff to teach, model, and practice safety procedures, require student competency, and enforce the practice of safety with all students at all times. The goal is to make safety a part of students’ basic approach to the art classroom every day and in all of their future artistic activities. Safety and creativity are not mutually exclusive.

Safety in the art classroom includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Provide appropriate supervision for all classroom activities
  • Know the properties and hazards associated with all material and equipment used in the classroom
  • Ensure that all safety equipment is present and in good working condition
  • Provide and use protective equipment for students and instruct students in the use of such equipment
  • Comply with all applicable building, electrical, fire, and ventilation codes
  • Know precautions for using, storing, and disposing of materials
  • Know first aid information and practice proper procedures
  • Replace hazardous materials with less hazardous materials
  • Avoid exposure to toxic materials
  • Document safety issues/concerns and inform school district authorities
  • Know and address student allergies

Despite all best efforts, accidents or reactions to materials may occur. Art educators/staff should comply with school district’s emergency procedures as provided in required annual update training.

*From ratios adopted by the NAEA Board, March 2011

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