Jim, exactly, and the EPA definition of lab specifically included "art studios" in educational institutions. The only issue I have with the OSHA definition is the meaning of the word "non-production."
To understand this, you need to make sure you are not thinking of the art department as a place that makes paintings and sculpture. Think more about ceramics, glassware, handcrafted furniture, jewelry, clothing and textiles, stained glass windows and hangings, and the like.
Then, if you only look at the word "non-production" in terms of tonnage of art for sale produced, that's usually going to support the art department's classification as a "non-production" enterprise. Although there are a few schools with rows of walk-in sized kilns and glass furnaces, metal and jewelry studios as big as any fine jewelry production facility in New York's diamond district, loom and dye rooms as big as many specialty textile producer, woodshops as large as many small furniture makers, and so on.
So there are a few of the schools with really large art departments produce lines of wares and objects that in terms of volume begins to look like real production.
But if you look at "non-production" in terms of monitory value, there are many schools in which the professors are definitely in production and make a significant portion of their income, often more than their salaries.
This was true even when I was in school 40 years ago and I still see it today when I plan new buildings or renovations. The big honcho profs are very determined to see that the new facility will allow them a studio to make their "art." They consider their production the same way that chemistry profs look at their research and writing. The art prof's "research" is making the objects, and their "publishing" is getting the objects placed in galleries and shows and selling them at high prices.
And this brings up a VERY interesting IRS question. These profs are getting their raw materials and their studio space free from the institution--which can be a non-profit or a state institution. Even when I was in school, I partly supported my graduate years selling what I made in school at art fairs and shows. So while I paid tuition, the state of Wisconsin paid the major cost of the ceramics, sculpture and glass I sold. My own major professor became a multi-millionaire from the glass he sold--not from his salary!
So there are some gray areas here.
In a message dated 5/23/2011 7:24:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time, JAKSAFETY**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM writes:
If you look at the definition of a lab, the making of art simply doesn=E2=80=99t meet the definition.
What is the definition? We need to refer to the standard itself and not the conversation that's been going on here.
<<Laboratory means a facility where the "laboratory use of hazardous chemicals" occurs. It is a workplace where relatively small quantities of hazardous chemicals are used on a non-production basis.
Laboratory scale means work with substances in which the containers used for reactions, transfers, and other handling of substances are designed to be easily and safety manipulated by one person. "Laboratory scale" excludes those workplaces whose function is to produce commercial quantities of materials.
Laboratory use of hazardous chemicals means handling or use of such chemicals in which all of the following conditions are met:
(i) Chemical manipulations are carried out on a "laboratory scale;"
(ii) Multiple chemical procedures or chemicals are used;
(iii) The procedures involved are not part of a production process, nor in any way simulate a production process; and
(iv) "Protective laboratory practices and equipment" are available and in common use to minimize the potential for employee exposure to hazardous chemicals. >>
Each organization needs to do an evaluation to decide whether their workplaces (art, science, vocation) meet the definition.
My opinion is that both art and vocation workplaces can easily satisfy all the OSHA list requirement to be considered a laboratory and be regulated under the lab standard.
James A. Kaufman, Ph.D.
Chair, ICASE Committee on Safety in Science Education
International Council for Associations of Science Education
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