How to promote safety in the of DiDIY products

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The problem is…

In the context of DiDIY participants in the design, making and usage of products tend to be non-professional and products may not be tested or present otherwise risks to the involved. The risks for damages and injuries can be problematic and it is typically hard to assign responsibility to one particular party. The proposed solution applies when… when people join a makerspace and during their participation in the space

The proposed solution might apply when…

The solution proposed is…

to foster a culture of responsibility within the local maker community, by

  • offering induction courses on safely using tools and materials in the makerspace;
  • use liability waivers plus warnings about potential risks in the membership terms and conditions
  • encourage participants to document uses of designs and products and signal potential risks (possibly with labels “fragile”, “explosive”, “poisonous”).
  • regularly address the “duty of care” in periodic meetings to foster a culture of caring

The expected outcome is…

The whole community (of the makerspace) is expected to benefit as people share knowledge about risks and thereby reduce the potential safety incidents.

Other information


It is desirable to promote informed decisions among participants and be aware of potential risks and limit the number of safety incidents.

Significant influencing factors

Designs can be constructed by several people in a loosely coupled chain through online sharing and collaboration. Given non-commercial nature there is typically no product liability, so it becomes hard to pinpoint a single responsible for possible damages or injuries. The fact that participants are typically non-professionals not trained in the art make them less knowledgeable of potential risks.


  • Makerspace safety guidelines:
  • Makerspace induction courses:
  • Experience at XXX fablab
  • Airline pilots are obliged to report dangerous situations, while not being held liable for potential incidents (see Quantus safety guidelines): this encourages the sharing of knowledge.

Related Patterns

Liability Waivers, Online Platform Safety Labels

Links to further resources

Authors and Credits

Category tags