Safety Captain Apprentice Program

I’ve been working on an apprentice program where safety captains elect a student to train for 1-2 years, so that the team does not have an inexperienced Safety Captain. i have noticed a lot of teams have inexperienced safety captains and i was one of them last year. Luckily the safety captain from Kilroy helped me out by training me as much as she could in a three day basis.(I am so grateful for this, Thank You so much Sophie :smiley: ) since then i have become more experienced. One of the students this year asked me to train her for my role. I gladly accepted with tears of joy and decided to share this with everyone. I will be presenting the SCAP at competition and i will pass out Safety Apprentice Buttons that look like the safety captain buttons that are passed out at competition. If any captains are interested in getting the design for the button please e-mail me at
Thank you

Our safety captian implemented the same type of thing this year. She decided to recruit a student from each grade and train them so we will have experienced and back up captains each year.

This is awesome! I’d really love to be the Safety Captain but I’m not the most experienced person when it comes to it, so I’d both love to be trained and to train someone who’d like to fill in my position one day. This is great, Lish! Thanks for sharing! :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

No problem, it’s what i do. I’m still a long way of becoming a great safety captain but if there is anyway i can help. just let me know :smiley:

I’m the safety captain for FRC team 5090. The past two years we had a safety captain, who was very good at his job, but this year has been unable to be as active as he was. I took over, and realizing how much work was needed to be done, started developing a safety program. My team consists of myself, a junior, a sophomore, and a freshman.
I’ve had background with directing people and trainings before, so I quickly realized the effectiveness of this program. I started each of my “apprentices” by having them read through the safety manual, do a walk-through inspection of the room (this resulting in fixing several problems), and writing at least one piece for our newsletter.
I proposed the program like this: Safety FIRST. Our program needs an experienced knowledge base for safety, we don’t need to stumble around each year. I quickly recruited someone to each position and had them start reading. They each have a safety captain’s vest, and the understanding that when they are the “Senior Safety Captain”, they would get to wear the official button. We all work together, and I’m especially pleased with the enthusiasm and the efficiency. Together we’ve developed a “Safety Exchange” where we invite other teams to come and learn and collaborate about safety.
I’m very excited that a Safety Program is arising. I’ve been asked to come back next year to mentor and oversee the program after I leave as a student, a position which I am honored to accept.

Our team has improved a lot in preparing safety captains over the past few years. One new thing we added is appointing a safety person on each subteam. This makes it easier to see things going on in all area of the build space and doesn’t put all of the responsibility on just 1 or 2 people. It also gives us a larger pool of safety people to pull on for pit duties.

I’m sorry to sound condescending but what could you possibly teach a “inexperienced” safety captain. How much is there really to it…

General safety regulations pertaining to FRC? A lot of them may not be obvious to everyone, believe it or not.

But, is that not as simple as just reading the safety manual, and enforcing the rules.

Actually, it’s not a matter of being condescending, but of not understanding how deep and wide the job of Safety Captain can be when you decide you want to do more than just the minimum in the Safety Manual. Each team has unique equipment, circumstances, and build facilities that call for observation, planning, and implementation of custom safety programs. Those take time and effort, and the more you can learn from those who went before you, the easier it is to maintain and continue to improve your culture of safety.

In addition, representing your team as Safety Captain at a regional is more than just doing the minimums in the manual. The Safety Advisors talk one-on-one with each Safety Captain, review their programs, give advice on areas that can be improved, etc. It’s really helpful to have someone who has gone through this tell you all about it so you are more prepared. Plus, you want to benefit from the advice last year’s Safety Captain was given by the Safety Advisors.

And, straight from the Safety Manual, here is what they are looking for when they consider who the UL Industrial Safety Award is going to: “This award celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards.” This is what they want from all of us. Kudos to those teams who actively pursue improved safety programs!

Absolutely agreed. Understanding the safety manual and following the guidelines is something every member should be responsible for. The safety captain must be a subject matter expert with safety guidelines AND be a leader who understands how to motivate and communicate with their team and other teams. It’s not something that happens over night.

And as Mrs.Ditt mentioned, if you are at all interested in being competitive for a safety award you must expand your efforts well beyond reading the FIRST safety manual.

Flash 1319 has a long history of former safety captains training the students who follow in their footsteps. Having seniors work closely with underclassman has been a big part of making the transition work year to year. An apprentice program of any kind is critical for a sustainable safety program. And having a mentor who leads safety is important too to organize these efforts and support the students who make it all happen.

The last thing you want is to start from scratch every time a safety captain graduates. A strong safety program builds and builds on itself year after year.

I’m not sure I’m completely understanding what you’re saying here sorry.

Sorry for being unclear. Let’s say a team has a great safety captain who writes a custom team manual, conducts training, makes pit improvements, etc. When that safety captain graduates and leaves the team, who takes over that responsibility? If you assign a freshman/rookie member as the safety captain can they do what the previous captain did? Do they have the knowledge and leadership experience? Or is your team starting a safety program from scratch (new manual, new training style, etc.)?

If you have a veteran/senior safety captain training an underclassman/rookie DURING their final season, then the next safety captain can take over the next year with the experience and knowledge to do it well. Having a mentor to support this process is also helpful since they can bring years of knowledge and ideas to maintain the current safety program and make suggestions on how to improve.

We don’t start from scratch, that new,trained member is trained with what er have, what they need to learn, and all that stuff. the apprentice has experience from being trained as one, we currently do not have a mentor for safety because we are low on mentors. However i will come back and mentor after i graduate.

I’m glad to see you are taking the future of your team’s safety program into thought! Our team has a similar method of ensuring the program continues to grow and expand with each new captain. It’s also very helpful to the safety captain to have someone to assist with their duties throughout the year :slight_smile:

I see many teams just stick the green button on someone at competition and miss the depth behind the position and the season-long duties that should be in place. Having an apprentice also helps make sure the knowledge doesn’t get lost after a captain graduates, helping ensure the team’s safety program does not flounder for a period as the next captain will already know how to run it.