Hi Dean, I agree that the LHS (London HackSpace) rules seem flippant, certainly rule 0 “Don’t be on fire” is 50% joke, 50% deadly serious. It would be good to discuss this in person as I find it very hard to deliver the intended tone over text. As I’m not sure when we’ll be able to meet in person apologies if I seem rude or confrontational, that’s not my intended stance. I want the BMS (Biomakespace) to be a safe, productive and fun place to be.
The LHS rules do seem flippant. In practice their generality leads to people debating more and also thinking for themselves more. An example of this is Mark Steward’s comment (on 6th May 2016), which I don’t think will ever be needed in the BMS, but it’s incredibly powerful to say: “look at rule 1, you violated it multiple times, you also didn’t want to accept others trying to help you not violate it, therefore you’ve lost your privilege to use that equipment / the space”: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/london-hack-space/uMgD-okpNYc/BJAW1_rQBQAJ What do you think? I know that if they had caused them selves or someone else a serious injury or damaged the machine, rule 1 is “almost entirely useless” and that a specific rule such as: “when using the lathe always tie back long hair and don’t wear a tie” would presumably be very useful from a liability point of view?
Again I don’t think the BMS community will ever need to have this conversation. It’s an overabundance of caution that’s making me suggest a streamlined summary of the rules so that they become more powerful and also as a catch all (again it would be interesting to know if that would practically assist in reducing the board’s liability).
The Cambridge rules are very good but I’m concerned they’re too verbose and we know that the longer rules are, the more people then won’t read them all or if they do read them all, then be able to retain all the relevant information. For example, the very comprehensive fire safety policy could be “summarised for members” with parts 5, 6 and 8 (which condenses 4 pages of longer sentences and paragraphs down to about half a page of bullet points). The preceding 3 pages repeat these points or are concerned with how the voluntary safety office interacts with the board and setting down the legal responsibility for the board. Points which are either slightly or wholly relevant only for the officer and or board and not the membership.
Having now thought about what you’ve said I should restate my original idea as:
Have a summary of rules including one which says: “the full safety policies linked to under each section supersede this list of rules. These rules are for the convenience of the community.” And perhaps under fire safety we could for example link to the fire policy saying “see sections 5, 6 and 8” ?
Full disclosure, I have a strong aversion to an unnecessary rules and definitely hard to understand or ambiguous rules. However the Cambridge rules that have been drafted (by the hard work of others) are darn good. Once we hear about the ‘public liability insurance policy for Biomakespace’ I suspect at the core of the debate will be a discussion around the statement that ‘some mistakes and accidents are theoretically avoidable but practically unavoidable’. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this (preferably in person ) as I suspect in our current ‘not my fault’ national litigious environment that would unfortunately be an unacceptable approach.
Apologies for lack of brevity.