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  • The Eyes Have It: Cataracts

    The Eyes Have It


    In the last year we’ve been looking at some health issues including cancer due to exposure to the sun, and the effects of tanning. The sun a very necessary part of how we exist, but does present some problems for us as we reported earlier. When I was younger, and needed to look cool, you would wear your white tee shirt rolled up, that pack of cigarettes in your sleeve and put on a pair of “Shades,“ Aviator style.. Did I just date myself? The problem was I wore glasses so I had to wear expensive prescription sunglasses or the clip on style, from the drug store or gas station. How do you spell “NERD?” Over the years of course, the over the glasses styles got better and photo grey lenses became popular, all in an effort to be cool.

    As I grew older, I noticed that my parents did too. Go figure. Dad especially didn’t like to drive at night, he was in his early 70’s then, and so nighttime driving became a challenge for him and the family. Dad mentioned that he just didn’t see well at night. Yes I had the “Is there a problem Dad” Speech with him. He agreed to have his eyes checked. I told him the same thing he used to tell me “stop reading those @#$% magazines or you are going to go blind.” I told him I would stop when I had to get glasses. We both laughed. We weren’t laughing however when the optometrist told him he had cataracts in both eyes that needed to be removed. Dad has since passed away, but I learned a valuable lesson about protecting your eyes, from the sun especially as we age.

    Below is some valuable information from “The National Eye Institute

    A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are cataractsrelated to aging. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.

    A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.

    You do not have to be a senior citizen to get cataracts it can start in your 40’s

    The most common symptoms of a cataract are:

    -Cloudy or blurry vision. -Colors seem faded. -Glare. Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright. A halo may appear around lights. -Poor night vision. -Double vision or multiple images in one eye. (This symptom may clear as the cataract gets larger.) -Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses. -These symptoms also can be a sign of other eye problems. If you have any of these symptoms, check with your eye care professional.

    Wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block ultraviolet sunlight may help to delay cataract. If you smoke, stop. Researchers also believe good nutrition can help reduce the risk of age-related cataract. They recommend eating green leafy vegetables, fruit, and other foods with antioxidants.

    The risk of cataract increases as you get older. Other risk factors for cataract include:

    -Certain diseases such as diabetes. -Personal behavior such as smoking and alcohol use. -The environment such as prolonged exposure to sunlight.

    For more information about cataracts, what they are, where they come from, and how they can be prevented and treated please visit the Link above.

    Why is this information important? Our work force is aging and it can become a serious safety factor in the workplace. We’ve discussed behavior based safety and looking out for one another on numerous occasions. Be a part of a push to encourage proper eye wear and make sunglasses a part of your personal safety routine for PPE even in the winter when the glare from the snow causes you to squint. Protect your eyes you only get one set!

  • Spring Safety Starts with the First Seed Catalog

    We’ve been focusing on everything winter, but in the next four weeks well OK maybe in the next four weeks we can take out our “Spring” jackets, or think about an Easter Bonnet. My wife sent the family a text message the other users manualday expressing “Hope” as I had received my seed catalog in the mail. Winter up here has not been kind, not all my perennials and shrubs are going to make it. I’m now interviewing for replacements and dog earring the pages in the catalog of those who might make the cut. Along with this of course I’m reminded that my garden tiller and other yard equipment are in my shed across what seems to be the frozen tundra. They’ll need some TLC before the season gets started. Now is the perfect time, not just to fix what’s broke, but to read the manuals, and brush up on safe operation as well.

    The Manual will usually start out by stating: DANGER: To reduce the potential for accidents, comply with the safety instructions in this manual, failure to comply may result in serious personal injury, and / or equipment and property damage.

    “Mantis” which is the type of tiller I own further states in their manual, and goes on to warn that: “Improper use or care of this tiller or failure to wear proper protection can result in serious injury. Read and understand the rules for safe operation and all instructions in this manual. – Wear hearing, and eye protection, and I might personally add, appropriate footwear. If the tiller is used improperly or safety precautions are not followed, the users risk serious injuries to themselves and others. Read and understand this manual before attempting to operate this tiller”.

    This sounds pretty straight forward and to the point. Yet I would guess (and it’s just a guess) that 75% of new equipment owners will not read this part of the manual. I realize that for the most part manufacturers are protecting themselves from lawsuits by those who would see fit to ignore common sense. And besides it’s a requirement. Here at Safetyinstruction.com we do care, and provide safety instructional material to accommodate safety plans and programs. While we’re thinking about it this is a pretty good time to also look at outdated pesticides, and weed killers you might be storing from last summer. Dispose of them in the proper manner. Check with your local landfill or municipality for “safe places” places to dispose of them. Safety as we know it is about common sense, but sometimes we all need reminders.

  • Hand and Power Tool Safety Has No Season

    In just about every garage, or shop across the country you will find some sort of hand tool designed to perform a task making your life a little easier. Whether you are a hobbyist, a professional, or a fixer, these same tools designed to cut, bore, drill, staple, nail, screw or glue, are also capable of doing the same to your legs, arms, hands, or fingers, and will occasionally take aim at your eyes, or try to rob you of your hearing. They aren’t fussy about the timing either, it can be summer, fall, winter, or spring. Hand and power tool safety has no season.

    I’m a bit of a wood butcher myself and I enjoy my time in the shop as therapy. Now I have the privilege of having an 11 year old grandson come and visit with me as well. His dad by the way is pretty handy around tools as well. So when he spends the night we’ll design a project, and make a drawing. He’ll be the first one out of bed in the morning, and after breakfast we’ll head out for the proper materials. Once in the shop we select the right tools for the job, including Eye and Hearing protection for both of us. We also inventory our arms, hands, and fingers so that when we’re done we have the same count as when we started. We also make sure we can move about the shop without tripping or falling. We work together making certain the tools are used properly, and safely. Once the project is complete and ready for paint we enjoy a good root beer, but not before we clean up our tools and put them away. Now we can invite grandma out to take a look at our accomplishment.

    hand and power tools


    This past four or five months we’ve been pretty focused on some of the bigger issues including the ugly winter that came knocking on our door. We sometimes forget that the little things like hand and power tools, things we sometimes take for granted, are cause for safety concern. As in the past we want to help you develop a safety culture that includes what you do away from the job. Sharing this type of safety at work should carry over into your everyday living. Don’t take for granted the gift of your hands, eyes, feet, hearing etc. They are precious. Take time now during this ugly winter to look at your power tools, repair or replace power cords, lubricate moving parts, check to make sure the guards are in place and in working order, sharpen saw blades, and bits, rearrange the shop for ergonomics, check for your eye and hearing protection, make sure you have extra for guests, pitch the clutter. Check for sawdust or combustibles in or around heat sources, is your fire extinguisher up to date? And if you are fortunate enough to have grandchildren as I am, let them give you a hand, because Hand and Power Tool Safety Has No Season.

    Hand and Power Tool Safety


    At SafetyInstruction.com we understand that your employees are like your family and naturally you are concerned about their safety. We offer safety training material to train and protect your employees in all conditions, ultimately creating a safer and happier working environment!

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