Close up eye rainbow color
National Eye Exam Month and PPE

Snellen Eye Chart

August is National Eye Exam Month

It is always a great time when a bunch of safety professionals get together to chat. This happened this past weekend when several of us in the field ended up on someone’s back patio. There were five of us discussing what we see at various facilities. A topic that was recurrent throughout was Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) particularly eye protection. This got me to thinking about how ICC can help get the word out about this. Oddly enough, August is National Eye Exam Month. Let’s put these two together and see what happens.

Back in 1989, Sears Optical created National Eye Exam Month. Many ophthalmologists and optometrists take this time to focus on eye safety. Just for general knowledge, an ophthalmologist is someone who specializes in medical and surgical eye disease, whereas an optometrist is a medical doctor who specialist in eye and vision care. Most of us spend at least 40 hours at work a week with many doing more. A large number of us work at computers, outside or even near chemicals. This puts stress on our eyes. Depending on your age, an eye exam could be useful even if you have no symptoms. The American Optometric Association provides some basic guidelines around when to get an exam.

Eye Exam Schedule

OSHA Labeling
Are Safety Signs Really Necessary?

Traffic in many metropolitan areas can be nasty. Ask anyone who lives in a large city and chances are they will tell you traffic in their area is horrible and busy. This is the case in St. Louis and was most noticeable last weekend as I attempted to run errands. As I sat in stopped traffic I began to notice the number of signs around me. Some of them blinked or flashed while others were attached to the cement barriers in the median due to road construction. There were even more signs on the trucks in the actual construction area. Once I reached the shops, I noticed all of the signs in the parking lot and again inside the stores. Of course at this point the 1994 song “The Sign” by the band Ace of Base popped into my head. For a quick reminder of how the song goes, listen here. In this song the lyrics are pretty straightforward:

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign//
Life is demanding without understanding//
I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign//
No one’s gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong

Is it true that the signs we see throughout the day open our eyes to what is around us? Take a look around your workplace right now and Continue Reading…

Stop Sign
Everywhere a Sign – Signs in Everyday Life

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign … Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” was a hit song for Ottawa’s Five Man Electrical Band (written by founder Les Emmerson) in the early ‘70s (19 not 18!), but the query in the refrain still can be heard today.

“Sign” shares a common root with the word “signal” and the noun may refer to an object that communicates by words &/or pictures; or an indication/event related to something that has taken, or is about to take, place. We will concentrate on the former in this discussion.

Signs are a fact of everyday life and at best may provide a quick and concise way of communicating information in a variety of circumstances. In some cases there is a legal requirement for signs (e.g. fire exits, hazard communication); others are for commercial purposes (e.g. advertising, business or product identification/branding); some may help ease life’s journey (e.g. rest stop, washrooms, HOV lanes, deer crossing); whereas we also encounter those that appear to just be of the “blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind” variety.

When the sign content and/or format is prescribed by a regulation or organization, life is fairly simple. The producer of the sign has a specification to follow and the audience at whom the message is directed can be educated or trained to take the expected course of action.

Signs Continue Reading…

Signs, Signs, Signs

“Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs.
Blockin’ out the scenery; breaking my mind.
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the signs?”

According to the words of “Signs” a song by the Five Man Electrical Band there are signs everywhere. Sometimes they are there for a good reason, such as to comply with a law, other times to voice opinions, and yet other times to advertise products or political agendas. In OSHA, and if you think that is a small town in Wisconsin you are in trouble, we find requirements under both Part 1910 and Part 1926 for regulatory signs.

For those of you not familiar with Part 1926, it deals with the Safety and Health Regulations for Construction. Signage is found in OSHA under Part 1926.200 and gets pretty specific about requirements. Topics include; Danger, Caution, Exit, Safety and Directional Signs. In addition to the signage regulations you also have warning and advisory tags and “Safety Motto” signs. Pretty soon you begin to have sensory overload for your brain to try and absorb. So let’s try to simplify things for you.

View all of ICC’s signage »

Danger signs are red and shall be used only where an immediate hazard exists.
Caution signs are yellow and shall be used only to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices.
Exit signs are white with red lettering in a Continue Reading…