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Instructables safety Answered


I love the site and all of the features. I do however have one concern, that is regarding the safety of the users/builders.
I believe it's just a matter of time before someone gets killed or seriously hurt by attempting some of the instructions. I've seen way too many instructions without any type of warning text or concern about user safety, these instructables often involving high voltage, significant overheating risks and high powered lasers. A couple of these have also been featured instructables.

My suggestion is something like big red bar just above every page of the instructable, saying like "DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS PROJECT WITHOUT ADEQUATE KNOWLEDGE/EXPERIENCE". To make this bar show up I suggest one final pop up question before each project is published saying something like "Could building/using project possibly cause any risk of injury?" and if true the banner would appear. Admins should also be able to turn on this bar manually.

I believe the current focus is to prevent project that intends to cause harm, but many other projects will likely cause harm if the builder doesn't have enough knowledge. Especially if the original maker himself also lacks knowledge about the risks with their design. I would ask you to consider not allowing instructables that involves tampering with high voltage connections if you don't like the idea of a warning banner.

I don't want to see some kid loosing their eyes after attempting to build a DIY laser engraver or worse, killed during a rainstorm holding their ungrounded DIY high voltage spotlight.


Yes, there are some ibles out there that are particularly dangerous, and it would be in the author's best interest to include a warning. However, you can smash a finger trying to hit a nail as well. Where do you draw the line? People need to be responsible for their own safety. Having check boxes at publishing for particular dangers or particular skills isn't necessarily a bad idea, but IMO should be done more for informing the viewer as opposed to warning them.

This has been discussed many times before, but here is one such thread.

Hmm perhaps that would be a better way. I think the line should be drawn when a project could cause severe injury without the user realize the potential danger. Everyone can look at a hammer and instantly knows it might hurt to get hit by that, not everyone knows you can loose your eyesight by reflected beams of a laser engraver or mechanical malfunctions can cause this devices cover to be electrified. Banners are perhaps not the best idea but i don't know the best way to go about it, since quite often the creator isn't aware of the potential risk but the project includes dangerous steps/components. I just want people to have some awareness in the back of their mind so you might question whether you should attempt this or that project even if user legalize420 says its really simple.

Legally, the position is simple: when following an instructable, an individual's safety is the responsibility of that individual. It is not the responsibility of the site, nor of the author..

It is reasonable, though, to expect authors to warn against dangers that readers may not be aware of.

Where this does not happen, [it is my opinion that] the vigilance of knowledgeable members is enough to ensure the safety of readers through clear, constructive comments on the instructables that need it.

As I have mentioned above when folk do mention issues they are often faced with abusive comments by others. This is unacceptable in my opinion.

It is unacceptable in Instructables opinion as well. Abusive comments are against the "be nice" policy. Please flag unkind comments so staff can respond.

Most components and tools associated with what you're talking about have warnings on them when you purchase them. Even hammers have warnings for goodness sake! I really don't think it necessary to add additional warnings unless the author deems it necessary. Of course if you see an ible that you feel is obscenely dangerous, you can comment on it, flag your comment as inappropriate, and staff will take a look.

While I entirely agree with the information about safety. However whenever I post anything about safety (I am a safety professional) I get endless abuse! We will never win this one. People are resonsible for their own safety, they will mouth off about the safety Police until the hurt themselves and then its never their fault!



And particularly section 16, but a good example of the legal contract you enter by using Instructables...

For example:

14. Indemnification. You will, at your sole expense and to the
fullest extent permitted by law, indemnify, defend (at our request), and
hold harmless us and our affiliates, agents and suppliers and each of
their respective officers, directors and employees (individually and
collectively, “Our Parties”) against any and all losses, liabilities,
expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) suffered or incurred by
Our Parties by reason of any claim, suit or proceeding ("Claim")
arising out of or in connection with: (1) Your Content or use of Your
Content, including, without limitation, any assertion that Your Content
or the use thereof may infringe any copyright, trademark, or other
intellectual property or other rights of any individual or entity, or
are a misappropriation or violation of any individual or entity’s trade
secret or other rights, or contain any libelous, defamatory,
disparaging, pornographic, or obscene materials, or use thereof caused
death or bodily injury or damage to the real or tangible property of any
third party; (2) any breach of or failure by you to comply with these
Terms or any Policies; or (3) use of the Service by you (or anyone who
accesses the Service through you). If we request that you defend a
Claim, You will not agree to any settlement without our prior written
consent, and we will have the right to participate, at our own expense,
in the defense of any Claim with counsel of our own choosing.

"You are responsible legally for what you post" seems to paraphrase it nicely. I think an awful lot of members don't know that....

so if someone is following my directions to cook a crawdad and the crawdad pinches off a his or her finger i would be legally responsible?

It's not so much that you are responsible, but that Instructables is not responsible. If someone was to file a claim, you would have to say that it was your content and not Instructables'. Yes, someone could file a claim against you, but that goes with anything you do on a daily basis. Someone could attempt to sue me for causing them to get hit by a car because they saw me jaywalking and thought it was all clear.

"You will, at your sole expense and to the
fullest extent permitted by law, indemnify, defend (at our request), and
hold harmless" That's saying YOU will protect AUTODESK, and subsequently, on their terms.

All I'm saying is that the contract does not say you are responsible for other's harm, only that Autodesk isn't.

Don't you love this crap called "legal contracts"?
Without a legal background most people won't understand a thing, if they even manage to read without getting a headache LOL
If I would have formed such sentences in school my grammar teacher would have shot me on the spot ;)
I think companies should provide two sets of their legal agreements.
One that is the binding legal one with all the stuff noone can understand.
And one without any legal status youst telling you in simple words what it actually means.
Sometimes I think these legal agreements only exists so a lawyer can make a living writing it LOL