Policy on children in the hackspace
This policy was approved at the members' meeting on 8 November 2016.
Definition: A child is anyone under 18 years old.
- The Hackspace membership would like to encourage young people and children to get involved in making. However, outside of specific events, the Hackspace is set up as a public adult-oriented environment. This means in particular:
- There is no assurance that other users of the space have current Disclosure and Barring Service checks (formerly known as “CRB checks”).
- Other users of the space may not be aware that children are present. Therefore they may inadvertently present dangers to children through workshop activities, and may not necessarily use language appropriate for children's ears.
- The Hackspace is not an appropriate location for children's games.
- Children cannot be full members of the Hackspace. A current Hackspace member must take responsibility for their safety and behaviour and must supervise them while they are visiting the space, in light of point 1, as follows:
- Any Hackspace member who is the parent or guardian of a child/children is welcome to bring them to visit the space (but must take responsibility for their safety and behaviour while they are visiting).
- Any Hackspace member may bring a child/children that is not their own to visit the hackspace. However, they must not only take responsibility for their safety and behaviour but must also ensure that the child/children's parent/guardian(s) is/are aware of the content of this policy (particularly point 1) and has confirmed their acceptance of it to the BOTLab committee, either by email or on paper (see below). The Hackspace member cannot then pass on responsibility for the child/children to a different Hackspace member. The Hackspace member must ensure they have emergency contact details for a parent/guardian of the child/children.
- The fact that children cannot be full members of the Hackspace means that:
- They cannot be in the space by themselves, and must be accompanied by a Hackspace member who takes responsibility for them (as per point 2).
- They cannot use any tools that require inductions. Such tools can be used on behalf of the child by the Hackspace member who is responsible for them, so long as the member is themselves inducted on the equipment.
- They may use any tools that do not need induction, e.g. soldering iron, oscilloscope, Arduino, PC, t-shirt press.
- If the Hackspace member responsible for a child supplies their own tools, it is their decision whether the child/children may use them.
- They cannot have their own key for access to the space.
- Special restrictions apply to G10 due to the activities undertaken in it:
- Children aged 16-17 may visit G10 but may only use hand (non-powered) tools, and the Hackspace member responsible for them must be present in G10 at the same time.
- Children under 16 may only visit G10 if either:
- There are no others using the space (apart from the adult(s) responsible for the child), or
- Other people are using the space, but one person is solely supervising the child (i.e. not undertaking any other activity)
- Hackspace members can ask for a child to be removed from G10 at any point for any reason (for instance if a dangerous tool is about to be used, or if the child is acting inappropriately), and the adult responsible for the child should comply with such a request without querying it.
- Children may visit G10 during specific events when workshop activities are suspended (e.g. BV Open Studios - this does not include regular open evenings).
- On occasion, child-focussed activities may be run in the hackspace. If parents are not present, at least one organiser must have a current DBS check and must supervise other adults to ensure they are acting appropriately. DBS checks for volunteers can be obtained free-of-charge.
- For the purposes of the Hackspace insurance policy, children are regarded as visitors and are covered by our public liability insurance.
- Risk assessments for tools that may be used by children (as per point 3) should consider any additional risks that may be caused by such use.
For parents or guardians who wish someone else, who is a hackspace member, to bring their child to the space: In order to confirm you have read this policy as per section 2.II, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following words (or equivalent):
“I confirm I have read and understood the policy on children in the Hackspace.