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> I would like to set up the environment such that the users cannot
> 'execute' something that would be able to read/write to the host's
> operating system.

Since you mention web in the subject, have a look at the source of the
Lua live demo:

This simply deletes all dangerous functions before running user code,
which works well because each query runs in a separate process. If you
need to keep a single process, then look at setfenv and sandboxing techniques: