Your Avocado is more dangerous than you think

Avocados have never been more popular. With the ketogenic diet telling us that they are a great source of healthy fat and with other sources telling us they are a great source of all kinds of vitamins and nutrients sales of avocados in the US has grown every year for the past 15 years. Last year alone Americans ate 4.25 billion avocados. That’s a lot of guacamole!

Problem is that injuries to hands have grown just as fast and the lowly avocado is to blame! Apparently emergency room have seen an increase in hand laceration from people cutting up or trying to remove the avocado pit. So much so, in fact, that the California Avocado Growers Association has put out a guide to help you navigate the cutting up of your avocado safely (Hint: don’t stab or try to embed a knife in the pit to remove it!).

Check it out at

I guess I should have posted this before cinco de Mayo!

Safety Glass on Shower Doors not really Safe

The glass in your shower is “safety glass” which means that it’s designed to shatter into little pieces. The problem is that those little pieces don’t separate fast enough or stay stuck together causing large shards of glass that can seriously injure whoever is in the vicinity.

Injuries from shattered shower doors may sound like an anomaly but the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that they are 300 injuries a year treated in hospitals that are caused by this little reported issue.

To find out how this happens and what you can do to protect yourself in your home, check out the CBS news report:


Beware of Ignoring Recall Notices

I recently got rid of my Suzuki Reno. It was paid off, I’d had it for over 10 years and it was starting to have problems with the transmission. I’d been planning on trading it in for a while so when I got the recall notices in the mail about a potential wiring problem that could potentially cause a short, I ignored them, especially since I hadn’t noticed any problem with my car concerning this matter. Turns out that was a pretty stupid thing to do even for a car that I was about to get rid of. Had it caused a problem I could have been held liable for not addressing the issue.

So discovered Roger Jacak from Waukesa, Wisconsion. His car caught fire in the underground parking lot of his apartment because he ignored a recall notice from GM that stated “Drops of engine oil may be deposited on the exhaust manifold through hard braking, increasing the risk of an engine compartment fire.” That, apparently is exactly what happened. The fire totaled his car and caused extensive damage to the apartment building’s plumbing and electrical system.

The apartment complex is now suing Mr. Jacak to the tune of $500,000 for failing to address the safety issue with his car and legal expert state that the owners of the complex have a good case.

The case has yet to go to case and Mr. Jacak has apparently moved and can’t be located. Pretty crazy to have to go on the lam for failing to address a safety issue that wouldn’t have cost him anything to repair.

Moral is that you need to pay attention to recall notices and take your car in (or take the appliance out of service). In addition to criminal negligence charges and being sued there is the potential that your insurance could refuse to pay your claim now that the precedent has been set.


OH YES I DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE unsafe work Federal Changes or NOT!

Today’s blog post is a post from a guest bloggers, Terry Penney (see contact information at the end of the post)


The definition of danger reads as follows:

“any hazard, condition or activity that could reasonably be expected to be an imminent or serious threat to the life or health of a person exposed to it before the hazard or condition can be corrected or the activity altered.”

In Canada

Amendments to the Canada Labour Code impact the right to refuse dangerous work the NEW LIBERAL GOVERNMENT SAID THEY WOULD REPEAL THESE CHANGES!!!!

Refusal of dangerous work

As it relates to an employee’s right to refuse dangerous work, there have been four key changes to the definition of “danger” under the code.

First, under the prior definition of “danger”, an employee could refuse work which posed an “existing or potential” hazard or condition. The “existing or potential” qualifiers have been struck from the definition. Now an employee can only refuse to perform work in the face of present hazards or conditions.

Second, the old definition permitted an employee to refuse to work in respect of a “current or future activity.” The “current or future” qualifiers have been struck, so that an employee must actually be engaged (or ordered to engage) in the alleged dangerous activity at the time the work refusal is made.

Third, prior to the amendments an employee could refuse work if he or she reasonably expected the activity would cause “injury or illness.” Now, an employee must meet the higher threshold of demonstrating he or she reasonably expects the activity would cause “an imminent or serious threat” to “life or health.”

The right to refuse dangerous work

Any employee subject provincial or federal legislation has the right to refuse dangerous work as long as they have reasonable cause to believe that it presents a danger. Specifically the Code states that an employee may refuse in the following circumstances:

  • to use or operate a machine that constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee;
  • to work in a place;
  • to perform an activity that constitutes a danger to the employee or to another employee.

The HEALTH AND SAFETY LEGISLATION contains certain exceptions regarding the right to refuse dangerous work. These exceptions include: if the refusal puts the life, health or safety of another person directly in danger; or, the danger in question is a normal condition of employment.

An employee wishing to exercise the right to refuse dangerous work shall immediately report the dangerous situation to the employer. If more than one employee has made a report of a similar nature, those employees may designate one employee from among themselves to represent them during the work place committee’s or representative’s investigation.

The employee shall also specify to the employer whether he or she intends to pursue the matter under the Code or under a collective agreement, when applicable, to deal with the refusal. The employee’s decision cannot be changed unless both the employee and the employer agree to do so. If the employee decides to exercise recourse under the collective agreement, the Minister will not intervene.


Disciplining employees

Unchanged by the amendments is the fact an employee may be subject to discipline if he or she willfully abuses his or her right to refuse dangerous work. It has been held that a purported work refusal is not an appropriate means of generally challenging an employer’s policies or procedures or to criticize a training program. In addition, an employee (or group of employees) should not utilize the right to refuse unsafe work as a way to gain an advantage in a collective bargaining process.

While discipline is permitted in appropriate circumstances, the code places specific requirements on an employer who issues discipline in response to a work refusal. First, discipline cannot be issued until the investigations and any appeals from those investigations have taken place. Second, at the employee’s request, an employer must provide written reasons for the disciplinary action taken.

Although the recent amendments to the code have not changed the provisions relating to disciplinary action, the narrowed definition of dangerous work may assist employers by removing vague and speculative words such as “potential” or “future” harm.

As a result of these amendments it is important that federally regulated employers ensure their supervisors and managers are aware of the new rules and trained in how to respond to a work refusal. Employers should also review and update their internal investigation protocols and discipline assessment tools to ensure compliance with the new requirements.

REMEMBER   legislation holds employers responsible to protect employee health and safety. Enforcement is carried out by inspectors from the government department responsible for health and safety in each jurisdiction. In some serious cases, charges may also be laid by police or crown attorneys under Section 217.1 of the Canada Criminal Code (also known as “Bill C-45”). This section imposes a legal duty on employers and those who direct work to take reasonable measures to protect employees and public safety. If this duty is “wantonly” or recklessly disregarded and bodily harm or death results, an organization or individual could be charged with criminal negligence.


Video Exposes the Dangers of Social Media

Your teenager knows better than to meet up with a total stranger just because they’ve been chatting on Facebook, right? Your daughter understands that there are predators out there who are tying to lure underage girls, doesn’t she? She would never leave the house to meet a stranger, or invite someone into your home while you’re away or worse, get into a van with someone she didn’t know, would she?

Most parents would like to believe that their child has enough common sense not to “talk to a stranger” or make an appointment to meet with someone just because they’ve been chatting on Facebook or some other social media site but most parents are dead wrong.

In this video, Coby Persin sets out to prove to parents that they really don’t know how naive their children really are and the result is pretty astounding, have a watch…


When Your Marriage Almost Costs You a Finger

If you’ve watched the Tonight Show this week, you have seen Jimmy Fallon sporting a bandage that covers his left hand and goes all the way up his ring finger. Jimmy joked about giving everyone hit fours after they returned to work when the writer’s strike was over but what happened to him is anything but a joke.

Jimmy Fallon almost lost his ring finger… specifically because he was wearing a ring. Because of his celebrity status he has been able to raised awareness about something known as “Ring Avulsion”.

Here’s what happened… Jimmy tripped over a carpet in the kitchen and in an attempt to catch himself on the table his ring caught on the edge of the table and almost ripped his finger off. Ring avulsion, which is the technical term for what happened to him, is admittedly rare but can be extremely serious. People have lost their finger, had the skin stripped off the finger, had their finger dislocated and any number of other minor to severe injuries. In Jimmy’s case his finger was only saved after a lengthy operation that involved grafting a vein from his leg.

You can learn more about ring avulsion by simply Googling it but beware of clicking on the images tab unless you’ve got a strong stomach.

Any machine operator will tell you that machinery and wedding bands don’t mix. hopes to put an end to ring avulsion. Check out their site for an array of wedding bands that look like the real thing but are made of silicone.

Your partner may want you to wear that symbol of commitment on your finger but it shouldn’t cost you a finger.

Argentina Ushers in the “Safety Truck”

Technology that we didn’t have even a couple of years ago suddenly seems impossible to live without. Case in point is the back-up cameras in most newer model trucks and SUVs.

In Argentina, where the highway infrastructure includes a lot of two lane highways, almost one person each hour is killed, most from trying to pass trucks and other vehicles where visibility is not good.

Samsung, realizing that there was a simple solution to the problem started rolling out the “Safety Truck”. What it does is to essentially put cameras on the front of the truck and project what it sees onto a large set of panels on the back of the truck so that the driver whose vision is blocked can actually see what is in front. A simple concept that could save thousands of lives.

Have a look at the YouTube video: