safety glasses

Hey guys
One of our team member Alvin have a weird question, which is should we wear safety glasses all event or just in pit.
What do you think?

You are required to wear them at all times.

Lets clarify here. You are required to wear them in the pits, and the drive team is required to wear them at the field. There is no requirement to wear them in the stands or other non-competition areas.

In the stands, no, but in the pits and field and all the space in between, yes.

The 2016 FIRST Safety manual states:

At risk of sounding overly nit-picky, the area between the field(s) and pits while often connected, are not always a required area. Some routes may include area where they are not required.

That being said, I generally wear them everywhere and forget I’m wearing them until someone at dinner or home asks why I still have them on. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t normally wear prescription glasses, but my astigmatism is just bad enough that it’s hard for me to see some of the details clearly when I’m watching matches. So, I got prescription safety glasses, which I only wear to robot competitions. I leave them on almost all the time. They keep me save in the pits and on the field, and help me see matches more clearly.

At the robot shop at school, I wear almost normal safety glasses (they have a bifocal “reading” lens below the normal large clear lens)

So yeah, i’d just wear them at all times, or make sure to have them on you in areas where they might not be required.

The easiest way to be sure you’re wearing your safety glasses in the pits and to not lose them is to leave them on your face the whole event. I sometimes get strange looks when I drive off site for parts and supplies (especially when it’s Office Depot rather than the hardware store or Home Depot).

Most people on my team just wear them the entire competition. It definitely isn’t necessary, but it’s easier than having to keep track of them otherwise. A lot of us forget that we’re even wearing them (the employees at the fast food restaurants we stop at after events don’t really know what to make of us).

I have a slightly different take on the safety glasses: I wear a belt pouch for them. When I’m not wearing them, they’re in the pouch (or on the table in front of me).

Said belt pouch may or may not also be able to hold a small container of hand sanitizer.

I wear prescription classes and there is no way I can function with another piece of plastic on my face. So I went out and purchased official safety glasses and had my prescription added to the lens.

After looking at 4 local stores, I got my new prescription safety glasses this year from They have a number of different styles at a reasonable price.

The only exception I’ll make is when using a DeWalt router to hand cut aluminum. Then I’ll put on the chem lab glasses over my prescription glasses, because when I use that tool, I end up covered in aluminum and the extra safety in my opinion is needed.


I think there is a bigger question here… why the resistance to wearing safety glasses?

Ok…Ive done this myself… your trying to line up to drill a critical hole and you have to lift your crappy safety glasses out of the way to see clearly… when I caught myself doing that I knew it was time to get new goggles.

So I still buy and wear crappy goggles, I just replace them more often, and take more care when putting them down. I even sewed up a nifty goggle sock to put them in.

I am now of the “set it and forget it” mode, where I put them on walking into the venue, and take them off when I leave. (if I remember to take them off that is.)

I have volunteered as safety at a few events, and nothing bothers me more than hearing officials say things like, “don’t worry about your safety goggles, its the end of the day, if you are leaving then just leave.” Or, " just go to your pit and put on safety goggles, these ones at the goggle stand are for visitors."

Yeah… so if you are representing a team, just treat them like part of your uniform.


Many students aren’t used to wearing glasses all day. As such, they likely think it will hurt or be in the way.

As for those with prescription glasses, I found some safety glasses at Home Depot (or was it Lowe’s) that are made to fit directly over them rather than the curved ones that usually hit the frame of the normal glasses. I’ve used them and love them.

I’ve considered getting myself a pair of prescription safety glasses from work, but apparently that would take up my annual lens benefit, something I’m not willing to give up. (Driving in the dark is more important to me than a few hours of being uncomfortable.)

I started mine a week or so ago. You come to the meeting, you put on your safety goggles… keep em on all day and take them off when you leave… creating the habit.

I’m obviously not familiar with anyone’s financial situation, but I purchased a pair of prescription safety glasses without using my vision benefits (so I don’t use up the one pair of lenses I get per year). I got it without the reading correction that I normally have on my glasses (the optometrist said that for what I was using them for, it was unneeded. Most of the time I agree with him…except when trying to read the manual!). It only cost me about $250 all in. Not a horrible investment IMO. And yes, I’ve left events and totally forgotten that I have them on. I’m careful to put my regular glasses in the case that I took the safety glasses out of and throw it back in my bag.

I had the same question a few years ago, so I asked a few of my students. The answers basically came down to a few things:

  • They thought the communal glasses were gross
  • The lenses were scratched up and hard to see through
  • The glasses didn’t really fit and that made them uncomfortable

We solved the first by ending the communal safety glasses box (we still have some team glasses on hand for visitors and the occasional student who needs to borrow a pair) and instead making each student responsible for their own pair. That mostly solved the second issue as well - with the communal safety glasses, one or two careless students could scratch up all the safety glasses - now they only really affect their own safety glasses.

Once each student was responsible for their own pair, we were able to get appropriate safety glasses for all of them - simple ones for those who don’t wear glasses, and two OTG styles (visitor specs, plus small ones for the smaller students). This helped immensely with the third issue.

We largely did the same last year. Each student and mentor is issued a pair of safety glasses with the 3946 logo, either small or “over glasses” as appropriate. I’m wearing mine in my WAI; you can see the logo below my right eye (left in photo). We bought a bunch so replacements are fairly cheap. We still keep a plastic sheet of pockets (I think it’s intended to hold shoes) on the wall of the workshop, just inside the main door, full of our old safety glasses for those who lose/forget their own.