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Safety or lack thereof Answered


Does Instructibles have a duty of care with regard to the safety on the ibles that are presented on the site?

In the past, people would put "please don't try this at home, please be instructed on soldering/HV/lasers/...."

now I am seeing some 'ibles that are carelessly dangerous.

Some examples are:
- connecting a microwave magnetron to a high gain waveguide antenna output
- circuits and places to purchase lasers that are not eye-safe, even likely to blind and burn (1W diode lasers)
- HV circuits that have no protection / current limiting, creepage and clearance considerations etc.

Maybe I am a grumpy old man, but it does worry me! I would hate to see kids blinded just because they read an ible without understanding the dangers, build something up and become blinded.  Would you like it if that was your kid and they saw it on ibles?

For the budding inventors out there, to get the product to market they will have to consider safety in the designs.  Why not start now as part of the product concept?

Not trying to be a scaremonger, just trying to understand where people are coming from and provide some suggestions on how to improve things:

- provide check boxes or an icon that people can tick (eg skull and crossbones for chemicals, laser safety icon etc.)
- provide standard warnings
- refuse to publish or ask for rework of 'ibles that are recklessly dangerous
- sponsorship for a 'safety first' ible competition?
- .....

Is this something that 'ibles would be interested in?





8 years ago

thanks for the link @caitlinsdad, looks like this topic has been discussed before. @killerjackalope - I agree that cutting a piece of wood is dangerous, and I think we can agree that the people I am referring to aren't the likes of you who wear eye protection (I assume when cutting wood as well as with lasers).

Soldering is an extreme sport! I know of someone who lost sight in one eye from solder vapour. And people who have retinal burns from working with lasers, and they new what they were doing! So heaven help the people who don't know what they are doing (except a straw man in the terms of service).

It also seems that earlier 'ibles had better disclaimers or cautions on safety. Now it isn't mentioned (or I was too busy thinking about the clap-off bra)

good to hear I have joined the fuddy-duddies club!


Reply 8 years ago

Times, they are a' changing.

I think what you are seeing is the result of the site on its newbie membership drive. The reality is that the site has some bills to pay and needs to up the body count. The field has always been open to everyone but it seems the quality of some stuff that has been put up recently is lacking. Instructables is not ehow or similar DIY sharing sites, hopefully it just takes a few instructables for those users to mature and get with the real spirit of this site.


Reply 8 years ago

"some stuff"? 90% Grump, grump, grump, grumpetty grump, and I'm not that old.


Reply 8 years ago

Get off my lawn!

*goes back to doing manifestly unsafe things with sharp knives*


8 years ago

Sure there are plenty of dangerous things you can do with DIY - your take on the lasers one is interesting - the contest is partially judged on good explanation of safety and use of safety equipment.

Personally I care about my eyes a lot and take care with that sort of stuff.

High Voltage projects mostly come with warnings - the most popular (see: well written) all tend to have safety guidelines laid out clearly.

Soldering? Now you're taking things too far. Especially considering instructables has an extremely good guide on how to solder, safely.

I have to say that if you genuinely believe that removal or neutering of projects that involves any reasonable amount of risk would improve instructables then you'd be asking half the site be cleaned away.

You worry about soldering but hammering in a nail or cutting a piece of wood is more dangerous - both in terms of injury received and the likelihood of getting one.

Also that skull and crossbones? Have you seen thankyou for smoking?


8 years ago

The terms of service make it clear that the content is the property of the authors, who are directly responsible for safety. If you find something sufficiently appalling to your sensibilities, you can always flag it as inappropriate, and it'll be reviewed by Staff.

Oh, yeah. And what Caitlinsdad said.