Safety Captain Tips

Congratulations to all teams new and old for surviving the 2014 build season! Now that that’s almost over, safety captains and mentors should  discuss with their team the set of rules that FIRST has established for competitions. “Instilling a culture of safety is a value that every individual in the FIRST community must embrace as we pursue FIRST’s mission and vision. FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) has adopted safety as a core value and has established the framework for safety leadership in all aspects of the program.” – FIRST. You can find this quote and the 2014 safety manual at Here are some competition safety tips that you won’t find in the safety manual:

  • Every Friday morning of a competition there will be a safety captain meeting. Make sure you’re at the meeting place at least 10 minutes early, most of the time the meeting will start and end before the actual time they announce. These meetings are important because each event is different in how its ran, at this meeting they will tell you everything you, your drive team, and team should know so pay attention.
  • Safety Advisors will be walking around to each team’s pit to ask for a presentation from the safety captain on their team’s safety culture. They’re not looking for an actual presentation on a power point and such, it’s basically just an interview. This is an important interview, they’re interviewing you for the UL Industrial Safety Award. To excel at these interviews, be calm, confident and just go with the flow. Explain to the Adviser’s what your team does, how your team is looking to improve and what your future in safety is going to include. At some competitions, this is optional. However, there’s nothing to lose so it is highly recommended to give a presentation at each competition. At the very least you’ll get some good suggestions.
  • At the end of the day, you should be the last one to leave the pit. Make sure everything is put away, organized and of course, safe. After everyone leaves on Thursday and Friday, the Safety Advisors inspect each pit and leave each team a slip of paper that has how the team’s pit safety is at the end of the day. It’s your job to make sure the smiley face is highlighted. One of my favorite motto’s is, “A clean work place is a safe work place.”
  • Make sure to have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) readily available in your pit for all the chemical substances your team may use. They can be easily found under the manufacturer’s website.
  • Walk around the pits and talk to the other safety captains.This will give you some fresh ideas for your team. At the safety captain meeting you will be given a Highlighting Safety card, talking to and observing other safety captains and their pits will help you when voting for the top 3 safest teams.

Don’t forget to have fun and of course, be safe!



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