I don’t have stats on this, but I fear more injuries happen this close to the end of Build Season. Your climber doesn’t climb, the elevator doesn’t elevate, there’s no Auto in Autonomous, and the bot’s weight is more than CAD predicted, and maybe more than 120 lbs.

We are all in a hurry and adding extra hours. Not enough sleep. Too much pizza and noodles. GPAs are sinking. Some of us are getting crabby, mentors too.

Parts get misplaced. We are distracted by conversations and decisions that can’t wait. We look away from what we’re machining, cutting, or robot parts that are moving. Mechanical, Electrical, Programming, and Drivers all need the ‘bot NOW.

A couple of years ago a student ended up in the ER here in the Silicon Valley, a finger in the lathe. Only a couple stitches needed, fortunately.

Please be careful of what you’re doing. WATCH OUT FOR EACH OTHER. Safety glasses, hair tied back, hoodie straps tucked in or cut off.

You are in a team and teams watch out for each other, that’s what teams do. We are all in this together.

Thanks for reading this. Remember, people are more important than robots

Thank you for bringing this up. Robots are replaceable. You are not.

For the first time in 6 seasons FRC 4607 has adopted policies that have helped with this.

First order of business is that we shut down work at 8PM on weeknights and 9PM Fri-Sat. This was a tough pill to swallow at first, but we have seen this pay dividends as stress has not been an issue at all. We are not where we thought we may be at this time, but the build teams is not fatigued. We have also noticed that more build members are in better spirits, are more engaged, and it is a much more lively atmosphere. What I did not expect is that we have actually INCREASED the number of mentors over the build season. Also, we have had only ONE student get sick - last year we had a number that went down hard around week 4 and then not recover for some time.

Second, we put in place a suggestion that build members where gloves when in the shop. We have seen a significant drop in students getting injuries. Next year we are adopting this as a requirement.

Third, the 5S model of shop organization has provided a much more organized and efficient work space. We have a lot of tools (our community has been great to us) and it seems we are able to keep all of these organized. We also moved out a very cumbersome 5-axis machine that was not providing what we needed; this provided much more work space (enough so that we were able to host SpecCheck last Friday and 14 teams were able to use our shop!).

Seeing as we will return all but one of our build team next year (10 students), I foresee an even more productive build season for 2019.

PM me if you want more information on our recent changes as well as other things we were able to do in this season.

Just wanted to point out that wearing gloves while operating heavy rotating equipment, especially lathes, is far more dangerous due to the risk of entanglement. The rule might be appropriate for the 4607 shop depending your machinery, but it certainly wouldn’t work for all.

Good point - I meant for when we are working directly with the robot, thanks! We have SOPs for each machine that outline the safe measures for operation. All of our students must have a mentor present when using our mill, lathe, etc.

Thanks for putting this out.

Oh, and crabby mentors?!? … never happen :rolleyes:

During First stronghold I was rubbing my hands all over the bumpers to make sure their were not broken or loose staples and since I was really REALLY tired so I didn’t notice when I rubbed my hands on sharp staples or if I did notice I noticed so little that I thought it was a barely loose staple. When I finished I had tons of paper cuts. It looked like I rubbed my hands on sharp sandpaper made of metal spikes or something. No bleeding but it showed that working when your tired is not smart or safe. It also doesn’t help that my team is known for driving dangerously and erratically. We break so many defenses during Stronghold. We only got one yellow card though because they were never intentional. Also during our first drive on the moat that we built, it was destroyed beyond repair. Technically we fixed it but then when we drove over it slowly, it disintegrated :frowning: Please be safe, although the cuts didn’t cause bleeding, they could have gotten infected if they bled. Be safe and do not do what I did.

This also applies to the upcoming event season.
I nearly witnessed a Woodie Flowers Award winner nearly get his fingers snapped off in a suddenly rising elevator during the semifinals at an event between matches. Fortunately he pulled his hands back just in time. I told him if he did that again I was gonna tell his wife on him.
As badly as you need the robot fixed it’s not worth losing body parts. Andy Mark does not have spare fingers in stock!

Yes… just yes.

Yeah. I chewed out a student a couple days ago for wiring a motor red-to-black and insisted he wire it according to good electrical practices. He said “I respectfully decline”, which I’d never heard before, but he was consistent with my policy, of which I tell students.

Turns out he was doing this at the request of another student, in order to run tests. I took him aside the next time I was with that team, apologized, and told him I should have asked why he’d wired the motor that way. My initial instructions to him were way out of character for me and I need to recognize when I start to do this.

I’ve learned that, when adults apologize to students, it really empowers them. And just like everything we mentors do in front of students, gives them a positive example of owning up to their mistakes.

Fourteen years ago I thought that all I was here to do was teach electricity and programming. :slight_smile:

I usually manage to greatly empower students this way much to my chagrin.

On a side note, today one of our students was using aviation snips to cut off the corner of a piece of Lexan when the cut off piece went flying toward a group of students at head high level. Nobody was hit but I was grateful to see that every one of them was wearing their safety glasses. It gets scary sometimes. :eek: