90% of Eye Injuries are Preventable

NIOSH reports about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment each DAY. That’s more than every person in Seattle each year sustaining an eye injury! However, safety experts and eye doctors believe the right eye protection could have lessened the severity or even prevented 90% of these eye injuries.


Simply using the proper eye protection on the job could prevent thousands of eye injuries each year.

Common eye injuries occurring at work can result from chemicals or foreign objects in the eye and cuts or scrapes on the cornea. Other causes of injuries include splashes with grease and oil, burns from steam, ultraviolet or infrared radiation exposure, and flying wood or metal chips.

Two major reasons workers experience eye injuries on the job are because they were:

  • Not wearing eye protection, or
  • Wearing the wrong kind of protection for the job.

A Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey of workers who suffered eye injuries revealed that nearly three out of five were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident. These workers most often reported that they believed protection was not required for the situation.

OSHA requires the use of eye and face protection whenever there is a reasonable probability of injury that could be prevented by such equipment. Personal protective eyewear, such as goggles, face shields, safety glasses, or full face respirators must be used when an eye hazard exists. The eye protection chosen for specific work situations depends upon the type of hazard, the circumstances of exposure, other protective equipment used, and individual vision needs.

(Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Al Rainsberger, CHMM for Foss Maritime)

“Arc Eye” and “Flash Burn”

Electromagnetic energy given off by an arc or flame can injure workers’ eyes and is commonly referred to as raidant energy or light radiation. The intensity of light or radiant energy produced by welding, cutting or brazing operations varies according to the number of factors including the tasks producing the light, the electrode size and the arc current.

Certain types of UV radiation can produce an injury to the surface and mucous membrane (conjunctiva) of the eye called “arc eye,” “welders’ eye” or  “flash burn.” The symptoms include:

  • pain – ranging from a mild feeling of pressure in the eyes to intense pain in severe instances
  • tearing and reddening of the eye and membranes around the eye
  • sensation of “sand in the eye” or abnormal sensitivity to light
  • inability to look at light sources (photophobia)

The amount of time required to cause these effects depends on several factors such as the intensity of the radiation, the distance from the welding arc, the angle at which the radiation enters the eye, and type of eye protection that the welder or bystander is using. However, exposure to just a few seconds of intense UV light can cause arc eye. These symptoms may not be felt until several hours after exposure. Long-term exposure to UV light can produce cataracts in some persons.

For protection from radiant energy, workers must use personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses, goggles, welding helmets or welding face shields. This equipment must have filters lenses with a shafe number that provides the appropriate level of protection. A shade number indicates the intensity of light radiation that is allowed to pass through a filter to one’s eyes. Therefore the higher the shade number, the darker the filter and the less light radiation that will pass through the lens.

(Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Al Rainsberger, CHMM for Foss Maritime)

June 7-9 is the annual Roadcheck

Now in it’s 29th year, June 7-9, 2016 will mark the annual “International Roadcheck”. International Roadcheck “is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute across North America during a 72-hour period. Each year, approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors in every jurisdiction across North America perform the truck and bus inspections.”

In order to be ready, check out the resources available online at http://www.cvsa.org/programs/int_roadcheck.php.

Download the “Roadmap to Safety” to walk you and your drivers through a seven point safety check (click on image below to download).


You can also review data on past roadcheck events (they post the past 3 years).
There is also a checklist as well as information on what inspectors are looking for.

We’ve giving you plenty of time to prepare so use the time wisely and be ready when June 7th comes around.

“Virtual Kidnapping” Scam


Apparently scammers have stepped up the ante. They have now taken to calling and telling you that a family member has been kidnapped, holding you on the line to keep you from verifying that your loved one is, in fact, safe.

They have even been known to have a child in the background screaming and crying to further fluster you and keep you from thinking straight.

They then pressure you into making a wire transfer right then and there, giving you no time, keeping you frightened and not thinking straight.

Here’s what you should do if you get a call like this:

  1. Slow the conversation down. The scammer is trying to keep you off balance and frightened because that’s when you’re most likely to do as they say and transfer funds.
  2. Try to find out if the said family member is, in fact, safe. Get you spouse or someone else to call while you delay.
  3. Ask questions. The scammers will sometimes have some basic information that they’ve been able to gleam from your Facebook page but they most often won’t have details.
  4. Ask to speak to the person who has supposedly been kidnapped. Let them know that you aren’t going to send money without being certain.
  5. Most often, the phone number will be unlisted or show an international number. Be smart and don’t answer such calls.
  6. Finally, contact the police and let them know anything you can about the call.

Being aware of the scare scam is a huge part of the way we can defend ourselves such people. If I know that there are people out there trying to scare me this way than I’m much less likely to believe it and panic if the phone call comes.

Greenery Extends Your Life


If you live in an area surrounded by trees, plants and shrubs, you’re less likely to have liver problems, respiratory problems or cancer. Those are the conclusions drawn by a new study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The study focused on women but one can only assume that the same applies to men. The study followed some 108,630 women for a period 8 years (from 2000 to 2008) and found that women surrounded by greenery fared better, health wise, then women who weren’t.

This, of course, should come as no surprise, considering the role that plants play in the environment, producing oxygen and absorbing pollutants. They also facilitate better health because women surrounding by vegetation tend to get out and be more active, especially gardening.

You can view the complete results of the study on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences website.

Annual “Stand-Down” Week is May 2-6


Once again, it’s time for the annual “Stand -Down” week who’s purpose is to raise awareness of one of the most fatal dangers facing the construction industry, falls from heights.

Falls from heights continues to be one of the top ten cited OSHA standards and these deaths and injuries are preventable. This annual Stand-Down emphasizes awareness and education.

For more information on how to implement the Stand-Down for your company go the the Stand-Down OSHA page. Besides answering any question you might have, there are also all kinds of posters, flyers, certificates, videos and much more that you can use to make your “Stand-Down” week successful.