My first (and last) time being safety captain and I was wondering if I had to write a paper or assemble some sort of binder containing safety information. I’m going to print off the FIRST safety manual, but do I need anything else like pictures of our operation here or something?

None of those things are essential, but the more you promote safety, the better. Some ideas are:

-making safety signs and walking around the pits with them
-making a poster of your team’s safety practices and how others can stay safe
-bringing a first aid kit for your team
-giving out small first aid kits to each team
-giving teams handouts with safety information and tips
-keeping the pit clean and safe
-giving safety credits to other teams who are being safe or promoting safety

Be prepared to talk to the safety inspector about your team’s safe practices and show off what you’ve brought to the competition.

Most importantly is to ensure everyone is wearing their safety glasses . . . ::safety::

My team won the safety award at Midwest last year, we did not hand out a single flyer or put up a single poster. We focused on pit safety and made sure that everyone affiliated with our team knew how to be safe.

Some of our main points were
>MSDS sheets
>Tool-tags that had basic safety information attached to each tool’s power cord
>Clean pit/functionally organized pit
>Well versed safety captain
>Not just yelling robot, but actually having a few team members leading the bot asking people to move
>Baking soda (battery spill kit)
>Fire extinguisher
>First Aid kits
>Team safety statistics
>Other things that I have probably forgotten

Remember, safety is a year long activity, not just during competition.

But please make sure you ASK the other team if they want one, first.

It can be quite annoying to be plastered with a bunch of laminated “Safety Signs” (those yellow and black things that have generic safety information, that get put up everywhere)

Eventually those signs start to fall down, and they can be slippery, and become a safety hazard. Oh the irony.

What’s the first (and safest) place I put any safety flyers given to me at competition? In a trash can.

They are annoying and do nothing to contribute to safety. In fact, the way I’ve seen them posted, laying around, or on the floor, they’re ironically more often a safety hazard.

Safety is not about promotion, it’s about knowledge, preparation, and understanding.

At Long Beach, we were awarded the #1 Pit Area Safety Recognition simply because we limited the number of people in our pit area, kept it very clean (no clutter, no trash, all tools put away when not in use), did not work on the floor, and did not have any large power tools in the pit area. No flyers, no posters.

Real safety glasses. Not regular prescription glasses with flimsy hand made side shields.

We need to remember the job of safety captain is not to win the team an award but to make sure all team members work in a safe manor and in a safe environment.

If I were to make a safety kit to hand out to teams, what shall I include in it? Thanks!

I really wouldn’t do that. Mostly because of what everyone else has said, but more so because safety kits don’t really help. Watching people, discussion, and being attentive are what keep people safe.

To the OP, if you just became in charge of safety, remember to be a leader and a teacher. Safety isn’t something to deal with once. It’s an issue of discipline. And for that, “Hit 'em hard, hit 'em fast, hit 'em early”. Don’t let up, or your workspace will become unsafe very quickly.

:slight_smile: Wet wipes packet
:slight_smile: Band aid, 2 sizes
:slight_smile: Surgical gloves, a pair
:slight_smile: Surgical clothe?
:slight_smile: Your team #, to contact your team for fire extinguisher etc

Don’t assume that all teams are as prepared as you are,a bit more info can be handy in time of crisis.

Actually, is it advisable to include first aid items in safety kits? Most high school students don’t know first aid for anything more than a paper cut.

Thank god I wasn’t the only one thinking that. No one’s going to become safer because they see a poster. In fact, some of the things recommended by these posters have become a source of mockery on my team. (Keep baking soda around at all times in case battery acid spills! Think about it, I’ve been doing this for going on four years, and I’ve never seen or even heard from another team about battery acid spilling.)

The posters and stuff like “safety crosswords” don’t change practices, and add clutter and silliness to the concept of “safety,” something that deserves to be taken seriously.

In my opinion, the best way to encourage others to be safe is to be honest about the dangers and risks of using and misusing tools. The true way to be safe is to establish and maintain a working environment where actions are deliberate and risks are mitigated.

I agree to a point. Posters, crosswords, flyers- they serve to clutter up a workspace, and they’re rather inconvenient.
The most important part of safety is being safe. Keep your pits clean, and know your safety stuff. Maybe you don’t keep a battery spill kit on hand, but at least know what to do if a battery were to spill.

Now I do think educating other teams about safety is an important part of safety in FRC (and often the deciding factor in safety awards.)
If you’re going to do handouts, make them not obnoxious. Team 20 gives out “safety cards”. They’re little cards (made out of cardstock- seems intuitive, yet so many people do it wrong) with little tips and things to know about safety. They fit nicely into a back pocket, so in general they’re unobtrusive. Not only do we give them out to other teams, but most of our team members have one. Now if one of those members is approached by a safety judge, they have the tools to answer any questions about our team’s safety.
I have no doubt people throw them away, but I also know that many don’t.
Plus our safety team is really good about giving a little sales pitch about it and explaining how “convenient” they are.

We won two safety awards this year- idk if that’s because of our safety cards, our well-kept pit, or our awesome safety captain who’s really good at what she does (or a little of all three).

You be the judge. Would you all rather nothing was given out? Or, like me, do you not care if the handout is unobtrusive, like a pin, wristband, or safety card. I’d like to be able to give feedback to our safety captain.

I have been doing this for four years as well and have seen 3 batteries leak. One was at an off season demo and was another team’s battery while it was on charge. This one was also very hot. The other two were during drive practice at our own practice facility, one of which was after a battery was dropped a short height when removing it from our robot. We’ve also had one battery swell up very strangely, not quite sure what happened there.

I have to disagree with most of the posters here, I quite like the safety kits, and I was safety captain! I know we’ve gotten some from several teams in the past, and they’ve all been used. Just not the numerous safety flyers - definite hazard. Our team keeps a substantial first aid kit around at all times, but the kits can go to the stands and are generally easier to access. I know 280 and 2832 give them out if you need more help.

I always like getting:
-various band aids
-alcohol wipes
-baggie of baking soda (not enough teams have it)
-team button/knick knack
-maybe a small safety sheet, like a previous poster mentioned

Just don’t be offended when they end up in the trash or on the ground. It’s a nice gesture and it gets your team name out there.

Actually–speaking of the importance of actual safety education–this is a very real problem. I’m far from “ikn the know”, and I can name at least 3 spills in my driving distance this year alone. Someone absolutely could have been hurt (very badly!) had those involved not known what to do. Sure, it’s not every third (or likely even every 100th or 1000th) battery, but it’s not unlikely that you’ll see it if you keep an eye open. And given how dangerous a leaking lead acid battery is, much better to have as many people as possible prepared so when the 1/1000 leak comes up, someone there can handle it.

One thing that might be kind of cool for safety “kit”:
We have (well, had) probably a dozen different mini-first aid kits this season alone. They definitely do clutter, and they tend not to operate well in any teams’ actual system. (Read: it works better as advertising than assistance, not that there’s anything particularly wrong with advertising.) What you might do, if you wanted, is consider helping teams within their pre-existing safety system. For instance, you could offer to augment or update teams’ existing first aid kit: ask if you can inventory it, replace expired meds, deteriorating adhesives, etc. (I bet you’ll find some teams don’t even know items expire!) Or, offer personalized pit safety improvements: e.g. I seem remember a team that would put Anderson connectors on teams’ battery chargers. Those seem to be pretty ubiquitous now (at least around here), but perhaps something similar.

Basically, look to work with teams’ existing safety program (or lack thereof). It’s more work and you’ll probably get quite a few "no thank you"s, but it’s also much more meaningful.

I am on the side of no hand outs. Rarely do they contain something that the teams shouldn’t already know. The middle of a competition is not the place to be teaching what should have already been taught. Better to walk in front of robot carts yelling “robot” :ahh: :slight_smile:

I’m James,

I have been the safety captain for team 955 since my sophomore year. I was unceremoniously launched into the position without any of the documents from the previous year as well as unhelpful previous safety captain. I adapted to the position without any real assistance. I struggled to get on my feet the first year but managed to snag the runner-up that year. The next year I performed a study of sound levels in our school’s shop with some local professionals. Everything came together perfectly that year and we won the safety award.

I strongly disapprove of the notion of passing out papers to other teams. I feel they are a pain and don’t do anything to help other teams. If you really want to help others, remain alert to what is going on around your pit and have helpful team members. If your team helps you with safety, you are more likely to win the safety award. Teamwork is the key to everything in a robotics team.

Not sure on the exact rules but at the competitions I was at we were required/very strongly encouraged to have MSDS sheets and written SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for various accidents.