Safety FIRST!

As the final crunch arrives, and people are working hard to get their robots ready, I think everyone, especially mentors, pauses for a moment to consider shop safety. None of what we do in FIRST matters much if someone gets hurt. Please consider the following:

Tired people make mistakes. Some of our people drive for over an hour to get home from our shop. Send them home if they are obviously tired.

People get sloppy when trying to get the arm, drive train and program all working at the same time. Limit the number of people working on the robot so they don’t trip over each other, or turn on the robot when fingers are inside transmissions.

Also make sure you eliminate trip hazards such as trash and power cords all over the floor.

Large piles of oil soaked aluminum and steel shavings in a cardboard box sitting next to a sparking bench grinder is not a good thing. Steel trash cans,
keep aluminum and steel shavings separate, and clean the shop at least once a day. In our shop, every so often we have “a stop everything and put all tools away drill” for 15 minute periods.

Where are your fire extinguisher and your FIRST Aid kit?

Is there adult supervision at all times?

Can you summon emergency assistance if there was an emergency?

And last but not least is everyone using tools properly trained and equipped?

Please, please be safe this year.

Thanks for reading and considering this.

All good advice. Thank you!

Thanks Dr. Bot.

I have one more piece of advise. Keep all medical records where the team can find them but keep them private. Put a cover page with specific instructions and directions to your shop on it in with your medical records. I attached our sheet for your information.

Have a good weekend
Steve Yasick



Dont forget safty in the pit area and around the robot.

very important: Lockout devices.

you dont want your fingers in teh robot working on something and someone plugs in the battery. or you are doing a repair and dont have the battery undone (yeah, i got hit in he head by an educational robot while i was working on it…lets say i learned my lession.)

And don’t forget to establish and communicate an emergency safety evacuation plan for the hotel you are staying in, if you are traveling with your team. You should explain that team members (some of whom might not have ever traveled before) should check their hotel doors for the safe exit routes. You should establish a safe meeting place that is located near to, but not right on top of, the hotel. In case of evacuation in the middle of the night, team members should know where to meet so that team leaders can make sure all are accounted for.

And the same should apply to venues you are competing in, as well. Know where your exits are, know where your team is meeting.

These are all great points, but one thing to keep in mind is to make sure everything is done in good humor, much like being safe, and yes, I know this goes off topic, but having someone in a bad mood also makes them do stupid things, so to help b safe, keep team members in a positive train of thought, and make sure that no one who is thinking rather rashly or out of anger work on anything that might cause harm, I.E. in a rush to get the bot up and running, so I was plugging in the PWM cables to the speed controllers while the robot was one, and I didn’t pay attention to everything because I was rushing about and got knicked in my knuckle by a muffin fan, anyways, just have fun and b safe! :slight_smile:

It has been a year, since I first posted this, and I happy to report that I haven’t heard of any serious accidents this past year. As the final days of build approach, please remember, nothing we do as an organization matters if one of
our team-mates gets hurt. In FIRST we are all on the same team, and especially in bad weather, put SAFETY FIRST!


That is probably one of the more common injuries that I’ve had. Those fans spin too fast :wink: