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Code of Conduct for Members

This document contains the expected behaviours and obligations that members of Farset Labs are associated with, in addition to a list of banned behaviour and materials. This document references itself as “the Code”, the “Code of Conduct”, and “the Code of Conduct for Members”. The primary location of Farset Labs is referred to as “the space”, “Farset Labs”, and “Farset Labs property”.

A summary of this code is integrated as part of the general Rules page

1.1 Who the Code applies to

This Code applies to all members of Farset Labs, all members of associated boards and associations, visitors introduced by members and the general public where applicable.

1.2 Jurisdiction

The Code applies to the persons described above when on Farset Labs property, including when using the property for externally-sponsored events. It also applies in temporary locations managed by Farset Labs, such as outdoor events, for the duration of the event.

In addition, the Code may be supplemented by additional requirements by the property landlord. When in the main Farset Labs property, this includes the requirements of Weavers’ Court.

1.3 Changes to the Code

Whenever changes to the Code of Conduct are made, they will be publicised through official means, including email and notice boards within Farset Labs. Such changes will be subject to general consensus on member approval, and will be discussed with the Board of Directors prior to implementation.

1.4 Succession of Common Sense

Farset Labs is not to be a pasture for red tape, and so this document should always be second to common sense and reason. The space needs to foster a lively atmosphere, so the freedom for members to largely do as they please should be highly prioritised.

1.5 Handling of Complaints and Breaches

It is expected that for minor complaints or concerns that Members and Directors should be capable of settling differences of opinion directly, and it is expected that this direct resolution is the ‘normal operation’ of the space.

However, in the event that a more formalised approach is required, the procedure is:

  1. Issue an on-the-record complaint to one or all of the directors (via either their individual Farset Labs email addresses or the blanket address)

  2. The Directors will, at their discretion, query if the matter has been discussed with the people involved directly.

  3. Issue raised at Directors’ meeting, via either Directors or NEMs.

  4. Issue investigated independently by Directors and/or NEMs

  5. After at most one weekly director meeting after the issue has been raised with the Directors (i.e. 2 weeks if falling on a monthly town hall), a response will be made by either all or one of the directors. The publicity and dissemination of this response is at the discretion of the responding director, and in the case of anonymous complaints, may not necessarily be shared beyond the joint Director / NEMs meetings.

Such discussions should always be treated by both sides with respect, patience, and understanding.

If you are in breach of the Code of Conduct, you may be asked to account for your actions or to reimburse Farset Labs for any damage caused to property or equity. These liabilities are outlined in the Members’ Charter which all members agree to when they join.

In severe cases, or when you are consistently or repeatedly breaking the Code, you may be asked to leave the space temporarily, or you may be banned indefinitely.

1.6 Period of Review

This Code, as well as other documents relating to the Farset Labs company, will be reviewed on a yearly basis. This review will be brought forward if necessary, for example if the status of the company changes or the aims or resources of Farset Labs changes significantly.

1.7 Statutory Obligations of Farset Labs

Farset Labs is bound by all applicable corporate law in Northern Ireland, and has procedures to comply with it. However, the agreement made by members also holds Farset Labs to extra obligations while the members are on the premises:

  • Members must be able to work in a safe environment, with appropriate safety precautions and compliance to HSE standards, as defined in the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Members’ property must be protected to a reasonable degree, and thefts, damages and accidents should be investigated.
  • Farset Labs must not discriminate between members based on any of the criteria outlined in the Equality Act 2010.
  • Farset Labs must uphold any contractual obligations or agreements made with individual members, partners or sponsors to the best of its ability, and will be liable for failure to meet these requirements.

2 Requirements of Members and Visitors

When the Code is applicable, all members and visitors must:

  1. Keep their behaviour lawful;
  2. Employ common sense and restraint when working with machinery and electrical/power tools; If members have not used a piece of machinery before, they must be briefed on how to properly use it, to avoid personal injury and damage to property. In addition, common sense should be used when involved in projects, and uses of machinery must be safe and reasonable.
  3. Allow members and visitors to proceed with their work without harassment or interference; Members should not interfere or move others’ equipment or projects, unless they have been abandoned or the member has left the space. In addition, when a member asks for peace to work on their project uninterrupted, others should not bother them unless necessary.
  4. Comply to the relevant statutory requirements for health and safety; Members must be aware of the statutory requirements for working with power tools, electrics, electronics and mechanical equipment; these are available on request from Farset Labs. These requirements must be met before commencing work.
  5. Respect others’ work and materials; Members must not steal or take materials or components from other members without permission. In addition, prototypes and projects must not be moved from where they are stored without the owner’s permission.
  6. Treat the space with respect. Members must not vandalise the space or its equipment, and must not deliberately damage the property of Farset Labs, of its members or of visitors.

The following sections outline the detailed requirements and expectations of Farset Labs, its members and its visitors while on Farset Labs property or at events.

2.1 Rules for Use of Electrical, Mechanical & Power Tools

When members use tools in the space, they must observe and comply with several rules:

  1. Power tools, electrical equipment and mechanical tools must not be used without prior safety briefing and instruction on usage;
  2. Tools must only be used when it is safe to do so;
  3. Tools brought by members to the space must be safe and compliant to relevant statutory requirements; Portable electrical equipment brought by members must be PAT tested before use;
  4. Safety systems and fire-prevention systems must not be overpowered or disabled;
  5. Members must be aware of and capable of undertaking instructions for using specific machines.

Members must also be aware that they are liable for the work they undertake, and are responsible for their own creations.

2.2 Storing Projects and Equipment on Farset Labs Property

Members are welcome to store their projects and equipment on Farset Labs property within reason. Anything that is safe to store may be stored in plastic boxes, labelled with the owner’s name.

A reasonable amount of storage space is allowed per member, but materials and equipment must be removed from the space on request.

Dangerous chemicals, materials and equipment are not allowed to be stored with other safe items. These must be stored privately off-site, unless adequate secure storage facilities are available. Members should inquire before bringing dangerous chemicals, materials or equipment into Farset Labs.

Members must be aware that they are responsible for the storage and handling of their materials, and may be liable for injuries caused to others due to dangerous storage.

Expensive, irreplaceable, sensitive or sentimental items should not be stored at Farset Labs, as their security cannot be guaranteed. Secure storage may be available for some smaller items required for projects; members should inquire about secure storage if they are bringing such equipment to Farset Labs.

Failure to store property correctly may make it liable for abandoned status, giving other members free access to use it after a period of time. See Section 2.9 for more information on abandoned property.

2.3 Banned Materials and Equipment

Most materials and equipment is allowed in Farset Labs. However, to protect the space and the safety of its members, members must not bring the following items onto Farset Labs property, or to Farset Labs events hosted elsewhere:

  • Firearms, firearms components or ammunition;
  • Explosives, explosive charges and related paraphernalia;
  • Items listed in the Offensive Weapons Act 2008, except where used as tools;
  • Items requiring a license to operate or carry, including some radio equipment;
  • Large quantities of combustibles, inflammable liquids or pressurised gases;
  • Equipment or materials likely to cause injury or harm;
  • Materials or substances banned in the UK;
  • Stolen materials or equipment.

Certain situations will allow normally disallowed materials & equipment to be brought to Farset Labs, for example custom components or dangerous chemicals needed for specialised processes. Farset Labs must be consulted before bringing any such items to the space, without exception.

2.4 Housekeeping

In order to keep Farset Labs in good state and to make it an enjoyable and productive place to be, members are expected to contribute to the overall upkeep of the space and are expected to clean up after themselves.

  • Members must tidy workbenches away after use, cleaning them down and returning any used equipment.
  • Consumables must be returned to their storage areas after use.
  • Communal kitchen, toilet and lounge areas should be kept clean and tidy.
  • Spoiled food and waste should be disposed of accordingly.
  • Wiring and cables must not be left trailing across the ground inside or outside Farset Labs.
  • Electrical equipment should be powered down and unplugged after use.
  • Power tools and electrical equipment should be returned to their original state after use, returning any bits, guards, settings and consumables to their correct positions or places.
  • Members should not leave their personal belongings lying around; they should be properly stored.
  • After messy work (stripping wires, sanding, etc), workbenches and floors should be vacuumed.

Cleaning equipment is available from the main store for general housekeeping. Members will be rewarded for helping keep the space tidy and presentable.

2.5 Access & Security

Members should be aware that Farset Labs is a secure building and exercises access control to protect its members and its equipment. As such, members must not:

  • Give keys or access cards to non-members or trade them between members;
  • Give visitors access to areas they normally would not be allowed entry to;
  • Allow unknown members of the public to roam the buildings or be unaccompanied in the building;
  • Attempt to disable or circumvent security or access control systems.

Members should be aware that a building-wide CCTV system is in use, and will document any entry or exit to the building.

2.5.1 Access Control

Farset Labs operates an access control system which prevents members or visitors accessing secure parts of the premises, for example project storage areas, without permission. Members and visitors must not enter or attempt to enter any areas they are not permitted to.

Any areas covered by secure access control will be signed and obvious.

2.6 Financial Obligations

Members are required to pay for membership on an ongoing basis to be permitted access to Farset Labs and to avail of the resources given. For service to be guaranteed, and for projects to be protected and assisted, members must:

  • Keep up-to-date with membership payments;
  • Pay for consumables or additional fees in reasonable time;
  • Be sparing of materials and not be wasteful or abusive of resources;
  • Warn Farset Labs of any expected cashflow problems which would hinder payment.

Flexibility for payments will be upheld as much as is possible, but members who routinely fail to make payments or are consistently wasteful or abusive of resources may be asked to leave, or resources may be withdrawn.

2.7 Damages & Accidents

In the event of an accident involving equipment/property damage, fire, chemical spills or personal injury:

  • Equipment must be powered down;
  • Where appropriate, supplies must be isolated;
  • The fire alarm must be triggered if appropriate, and

○ Small fires should be tackled with extinguishers if it is safe to do so;

○ The premises must be evacuated if the fire is not able to be tackled;

  • Chemical spills must be cleaned, and the area washed, if it is safe to do so;
  • The vicinity must be evacuated if dangerous chemicals or gases are present;
  • First aid should be administered if appropriate;
  • An ambulance should be called if appropriate;
  • Farset Labs management must be informed.

Deliberate damage to property, equipment, consumables and parts will be subject to resource removal, membership termination and/or legal action.

2.8 Community

Members are expected to be civil and tolerant of others, including others’ fields of study and specific projects. Members must not be abusive, threatening, harassing or violent towards others, and will be subject to removal of membership if they repeatedly are.

Basic manners should be upheld to make the space a pleasant, productive place to be in with a good atmosphere and high spirits.

2.8.1 Weavers Court & Car Parking

Being part of the Weavers Court business park, members of Farset Labs are expected to behave in a manner which does not cause annoyance, nuisance or inconvenience to the other tenants of the area.

Farset Labs has one designated parking space which is reserved for deliveries and official vehicles. There are hundreds of spaces in Weavers Court, so all members should have ample room, especially outside normal business hours. Members are asked not to park outside bays, in areas blocking access, along the roads in Weavers Court or around the security booth.

Inconvenient parking or parking where it is disallowed by Weavers Court may result in action being brought against you, including clamping where signs state.

2.9 Provision of Abandoned & Donated Property

When members bring equipment or materials to the space, they are always considered their private property, which must only be used with permission, unless one or more of the following applies:

  • The member has previously agreed to donate or lend the property, or has permitted Farset Labs or its members to use it;
  • The property has been abandoned by its owner, and is available for free use;

Property will be assumed abandoned if the member has left Farset Labs and has not removed the property after a period of 30 days of being requested to remove it. After the initial request is served, follow-up requests will be served at weekly intervals. Expensive items, and those with apparent sentimental value, for example handcrafted items or personal things, will be kept for longer (at the discretion of Farset Labs) if possible. Materials left in open areas, with no way to identify the owner will also be assumed abandoned if left for several days in the open. If materials or equipment are left in open spaces, areas where they cause hindrance or inconvenience to members or visitors, or areas where fire escape or access is affected, they will likely be moved to a storage area. Best efforts will be made to notify the owner of the property, but after 30 days, if they are not moved from their storage area, they are liable for being marked as abandoned and claimed by other members.

In short, members should be sure to store their property securely, and not leave it lying, otherwise it may be removed if required.

2.9.1 “Lost & Found” and “Free to Use” boxes

Farset Labs will have two areas for putting property which is found around the space and that which is donated by members or other people.

2.9.1.1 The “Lost & Found” box

A box marked “Lost & Found” will hold pieces that are found around Farset Labs lying in the open with no apparent owner or current use, and materials which are hindering access or need to be cleared for an event. This box will only be used if there is no apparent owner of the materials; if there is an owner, it will be stored with their project area. If this is not possible, they will be contacted and notified of its whereabouts.

2.9.1.2 The “Free to Use” box

A box marked “Free to Use” will hold materials and consumables donated by members or other people. Any item which is not a piece of equipment can be stored here for free use by all members, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Equipment donated to Farset Labs will be stored with the rest of the equipment, and will be for free use by all members. It should not be put in the “Free to Use” box.

2.9.2 Donating Equipment

Farset Labs welcomes all donations of suitable equipment for its members. All donations will be taken (if practical) if the equipment is in good working order, is safe to use, does not require a license to use and suits the needs of Farset Labs. Equipment which does not satisfy the above list will be considered depending on the circumstances. Equipment which is inarguably unsafe will not be accepted. Broken equipment, or pieces donated as “spares or repairs” should be placed in the “Free to Use” box (see above).

3 Appendices

3.1 Agreement by Farset Labs

Farset Labs agrees to make this Code available on demand, in a variety of convenient formats, including electronic formats, to members or prospective members for reference. It will be offered to members upon registration, and again where appropriate. Farset Labs also agrees to uphold this Code for the benefit of its members and their projects, and to assist with any complaints, suggestions or requests from members or visitors.

3.2 Notices

This Code of Conduct for Members is subject to change as per the terms outlined in section 1.3 (Changes to the Code).

It should be noted that this document should not serve as the dominant set of rules for the space; community input and common sense need to be higher than rules and regulations in order to maintain an open and enjoyable environment. This Code is intended as a documented list of guideline regulations, common to most organisations, which is to serve as notice, not enforcement of house rules.

3.2.1 Contacting Farset Labs

Questions and comments should be directed towards the Farset Labs Advisory Board, or via email to admin@farsetlabs.org.uk. Postal correspondence should be sent to:

Farset Labs, 1 Weavers Court Business Park, Linfield Road, Belfast, BT12 5GH.

3.2.2 Other Formats

This document is available in several other formats, including printed form & large print on request.