Safety Matters
Summer is here! Now is the time many people working outdoors break out the sunglasses. While conventional sunglasses may protect the eyes from glare, they do a poor job of protecting your eyes from the industrial hazards of splashes, flying objects, and dust. In fact, conventional glasses can present their own hazards in the workplace.

It is a fact that the frame and lenses used in safety glasses are stronger than the frame and lenses used in conventional glasses. When an object strikes the lens of safety glasses it is very unlikely that the lens would dislodge. This is not true of conventional eye wear, especially those types with wire frames. When an object strikes the lens of conventional glasses, the lens can shatter, showering the wearer's eye with shards of glass. This can happen, and it has happened. With a pair of approved safety glasses, the lens may break, but it will not shatter back into the eye.

Safety glasses also have shields to reduce the risk of foreign objects reaching the eye from the sides, top or bottom. Sunglasses do not. In some parts of the country, glasses with leather side shields are popular among skiers and have found their way into general use. These types of sunglasses are never recommended for general or industrial use because they almost completely eliminate peripheral vision. In fact, in some parts of the country these glasses are illegal to wear while driving.

Because sunglasses have a darkened lens, some people mistakenly believe these glasses will provide the needed protection when welding, brazing, or cutting. This is far from the truth. A darkened lens will not protect your eyes from the infrared (IR) and ultra-violet (UV) radiation. Wearing glasses with darkened lenses which are not made for industrial applications can actually be more dangerous than wearing no glasses at all. This is because the eye attempts to compensate for less light by opening the pupil wider. In turn, this allows more of the damaging radiation in. For adequate protection from the visible light produced by welding, the lens must be of a specified shade. Sunglasses are not welding/cutting goggles.

What should you look for when selecting safety sunglasses? First, be sure the glasses are indeed safety eye wear, by checking to see if they comply with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, the organization which sets the criteria for safety eyewear. This will be stated on the packaging and on the frame of the glasses. Look for "Z87.1" or “Z87+”.  This is the ANSI designation identifying the glasses as approved safety eyewear.
Posted: 6/13/2016 3:00:00 PM by Townsend Corporation

Types of heat-related illness:
  • Heat Rash. Heat rash is a series of red, blister-like marks with a burning or prickling sensation.
  • Heat Cramps. A heat cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle. It can also manifest itself as fibers of a muscle that don’t relax. Heat cramps are often caused by heavy sweating and large electrolyte losses.
  • Heat Exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is primarily caused by the failure to self-regulate body core temperature. Heat exhaustion is a more serious and advanced stage of heat-related illness. Untreated heat exhaustion can quickly progress to heat stroke.
  • Heat Stroke. In heat stroke, the body becomes so stressed that it can no longer regulate its own temperature. As a result, the body rapidly overheats.
Risk factors:
  • Direct Sun. The more direct sun you are working in, the hotter the environment.
  • Humidity.  Humidity (moisture in the air) interferes with sweat evaporating from the skin, thus interfering with the cooling of the body. The more humid it is, the less sweat can evaporate, and the less body cooling occurs. That’s why increased humidity increases the risk of heat-related illness.
  • Radiant Heat. Radiant heat is the transfer of heat energy through the air from sun and other sources such as asphalt, engines and dark surfaces. Heat can be reflected by these sources, increasing temperature.
  • Conductive Heat. Conductive heat transfers heat to the body by direct contact with heat sources such as tools, equipment and machinery.
  • Limited Air Movement. Limited air movement, such as when there is little or no wind, creates a hotter environment. Because less air is moving, less cooling of the body can occur.
  • Physical Exertion. The harder and longer you work, the hotter you become.
  • Protective Clothing. Wearing PPE such as rubber sleeves, gloves, switching suits, rain gear or respirators can hold heat to the body and inhibit cooling.
  • Personal Factors. Age, physical fitness, weight and overall health can impact the amount of heat your body can tolerate.
  • Medications. Some medications can make a person more sensitive to the effects of heat and many contribute to dehydration.
Posted: 6/6/2016 3:00:00 PM by Townsend Corporation

As temps rise, it is important to keep cool and know the signs to look for when it comes to illnesses caused by the heat. Below are some factors that lead to heat stress.

  • High temperature and humidity
  • Direct sun
  • Limited air movement
  • Physical exertion
  • Poor physical condition
  • Certain medications

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

  • Headaches, dizziness, lightheaded or fainting
  • Weakness and moist skin
  • Mood changes such as irritability or confusion
  • Upset stomach or vomiting

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

  • Dry, hot skin with no sweating
  • Mental confusion or losing consciousness
  • Seizures or convulsions

Preventing Heat Stress

  • Know signs/symptoms of heat-related illnesses
  • Monitor yourself and coworkers
  • Block out direct sun or other heat sources
  • Use cooling fans/air-conditioning and rest regularly
  • Drink lots of water - about 1 cup every 15 minutes
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or heavy meals.

What to Do for Heat-Related Illness

  • Move to a cool, shaded area
  • Loosen or remove heavy clothing
  • Provide cool drinking water
  • Fan and mist with cool water.

If symptoms are life threatening call 911 immediately.

Posted: 5/23/2016 3:00:00 PM by Townsend Corporation

  • Get comfortable - Adjust your seat so that you are high enough to see the road, yet can still reach all of the vehicle's controls. Many newer vehicles feature tilt and telescoping steering columns to help you get more comfortable. Some new Ford Motor Company products (Ford, Mercury, and Jaguar) offer electrically adjustable foot pedals that allow short, medium, and tall drivers a comfortable driving experience.
  • Interior rearview mirror - The positioning for the inside rearview mirror is fairly obvious; you should be able to see out of the rear window from the driver's seat. Be sure the day/night switch found on most rearview mirrors is in the day position during daytime operation. The night setting reduces the headlight glare from cars behind you and helps you see well.
  • Exterior rearview mirrors - As for the side view mirror or mirrors, most people adjust them so they can see the side of the car on the inside edge of the mirror. If you adjust your mirrors using those criteria, are you aware of the huge blind spots that you've created? (Now is the time to take another look at the animated diagram at the top of the page.) Consider the view when the side view mirrors are set up as just described. Essentially, you have created "tunnel vision" to the rear. Your side view mirrors overlap much of what you’re inside rearview mirrors sees and you've also created blind spots. What in the solution to tunnel vision and blind spots? Simply adjust the side view mirrors just beyond the point where you could see the side of the car on the inside edge of the mirror. With this setup, you almost completely solve the blind spot problem. It takes a little while to get used to, but it is an improvement. Some quick tips: For the driver's side mirror: Place the side of your head against the window, then adjust the mirror until the side of your vehicle comes into view. For the passenger's side mirror: While sitting in the driver's seat, lean to the right so that your head is in the car's centerline. Adjust the mirror until the side of your vehicle comes into view.
  • Stay safe- With this in mind adjust your mirrors to help prevent the blind spots that so many of us have.
Posted: 5/16/2016 3:00:00 PM by Townsend Corporation

Employees are paid for production, and there can be no quarrel with the worker who gives his or her all toward this end.  However, this does not mean you have to take safety shortcuts. Statistics indicate that accident prevention and high production can coexist with the right mindset.

Accidents cost money and must be paid for by the company.  This cost is not like the cost of materials, equipment, or wages.  It is a total loss, to say nothing of the loss and suffering of the injured employee.  There is no return for the company or the injured employee on money spent as the result of an accident.  Look at it this way:  An accident-free business is a profitable business.

An important part of a good safety attitude is to set an example for others.  If you see unsafe conditions make others aware and take steps to eliminate them.  This may sound too simple to work, but it really does.  Safe attitudes are contagious.  If you run into a problem that you’re not sure you can handle safely on your own, report it to your supervisor or manager.

A good safety attitude toward policies, procedures and housekeeping practices is the best way to protect yourself and your fellow employees from accidents.  People with lackadaisical attitudes about safety blame accidents on the "law of averages" or “stuff happens”.  But accidents don’t just happen -- they are caused.  Most accidents happen as a result of an unsafe condition, a poor attitude, or both. Do your part to keep yourself and your coworkers safe.
Posted: 5/9/2016 3:00:00 PM by Townsend Corporation