When NOT to Wear Tinted Safety Glasses

tinted-safety-glassesWhile many good reasons exist for wearing tinted safety glasses at work — when working for long periods in bright sunshine and during high-intensity light tasks such as welding, for example — there are some situations where NOT wearing tinted lenses is safer.

Night Driving. Unfortunately, no perfectly safe option exists for those wanting to reduce the glare of oncoming headlights when driving at night. In “Shedding Some Light on Night Driving Challenges and Solutions, Part 2,” Michael Eldridge from Safety Glasses USA says,

The bottom line remains that having perfect vision for driving at dawn, dusk or nighttime simply isn’t possible. The first approach should be to remove any obstacles to clear vision… Should you choose to experiment with night driving glasses or even with various lens tints, know clearly that eye experts warn against this as a safe option.”

Any tinted lenses used during low-light conditions will reduce visibility even further because while they darken oncoming headlights, they also darken total surroundings as well making driving less-than safe. Instead, do what you can to eliminate any sources of night vision problems as discussed in “Shedding some Light on Night Driving Challenges, Part  1” before deciding on other options, such as trying tinted lenses.

Low-Light Work Conditions. When working in shaded areas, at dusk, indoors and at night, workers should wear clear lenses to allow proper lighting for the job at hand. All too often, though, workers wear tinted lenses all day, every day, instead of making the switch when necessary.

For up-close work, working in a trench, tight proximity work, using power tools, etc. You should be wearing clear lenses. It’s not a fashion show, it’s a work site,” says John Meola, safety consultant with Invincia Insurance Solutions in Chesterfield, VA in “Ten Tips to Prevent the Construction-Accident High Season.

Fortunately, Safety glasses with interchangeable lenses provide the perfect solution for workers who may spend a great deal of time working in the sun but who also have tasks to perform in low-light conditions.

Constantly-Changing Situations. Some work situations require moving from an outside to an inside environment and back again regularly. Those few moments with a dramatic change in lighting can produce unsafe conditions without the proper safety eyewear. The best options in these situations are NOT transition lenses, however, as many believe.

Photochromic lenses should rarely be authorized since the rate of tint change is too slow to allow movement into and out of buildings where eye injury hazards exist.” (Safety Glasses and Tinted Lenses)

Instead, ANSI recommends using flip-up lenses attached to safety glasses, giving wearers an almost instantaneous view of their surroundings whether inside or outside in the sun.

For sure, individuals exposed to sunlight while working should protect their eyes with tinted safety sunglasses having 99.9% UV protection. But often, situations require using a clear lens to allow for better visibility and thus a safer working situation. Take time to understand when tinted lenses are not the best option and to find a suitable alternative for your specific situation.

How to Have a Safe Grilling Season

grillingWith summer finally here, now is the perfect time to look at one of the most frequent summertime activities… grilling outside. Unfortunately, this popular activity, according to the National Fire Protection Association, is also the source of about 8,600 home fires annually.

Since the peak season for grilling activity still lies ahead with the month of July, let’s look at how to prevent a summertime icon from becoming a horrible memory.

For starters, be sure your grill is in good working condition before using it and that you follow basic Grilling Safety tips. In addition, be sure to read the safety instructions that come with the grill. (Note: You can probably find them online at the grill’s manufacturer web site if you can’t find the original instructions.)

10 Tips for Safe Grilling

After deeming your grill safe for use and yourself knowledgeable enough to use it safely, employ the following tips during the actual grilling process itself.

  1. Make sure you can see what you’re doing. Keep the grilling area well-lit during evening hours, and consider wearing safety glasses with built-in LED lights when it’s not.
  2. Designate a fire marshal. In other words, always make sure someone keeps an eye on the grill. The NFPA says that of the over 8,000 cooking-related home fires yearly, unattended cooking areas were by far the leading contributing factor.
  3. Stay out of the smoke. While the smoke sometimes smells good, the smoke is never good for you. In fact, The Effects of a Gas Grill Smoke on Health can involve carbon monoxide poisoning as well as cancer from the carcinogens.
  4. Wear eye protection. Grease and smoke both can easily get into your eyes while grilling. For this reason, consider wearing a good pair of safety goggles or sunglasses. Not only will they keep eyes safe while grilling, they’re handy for slew of other activities around the home too.
  5. Put away the lighter fluid. For those using charcoal grills, never add lighter fluid to already lit coals. After dousing coals initially, put the fluid safely away before lighting the coals. This reduces the temptation to add fuel to the fire at any point as well as keeps additional fuel at a safe distance should a fire mishap occur.
  6. Dress appropriately. Loose clothing, like hanging shirttails and apron strings, can easily catch fire. In fact, 16% of cooking deaths are caused by clothing that caught fire.
  7. Use proper utensils. There are utensils made specifically for grilling for a reason. Namely, they can withstand the flame, and they have long handles to protect the grillmaster from being burned by the flame.
  8. Limit activity near the grill. This means anyone not grilling should keep a safe distance both during grilling and afterward while the grill cools after being turned off.
  9. Practice proper food safety. First, avoid charred food since experts believe blackened meat increases cancer risk. Second, don’t forget about other menu items, which may need to stay cool before, during and after the main dish is cooking.
  10. Be prepared for fires. Keep baking soda on hand for small grease fires and the fire hose and a fire extinguisher nearby for slightly larger fires. However, call the fire department if fires can’t be put out immediately since 3 out of 5 (57%) of cooking fire injuries occur when victims try to fight the fire themselves.

Precautions taken before, during and after grilling go a long way in preventing out-of-control fires, careless burn injuries and sickness from eating tainted food. Proper grill care along with making good cookout choices can keep this popular summer pastime enjoyable while providing a terrific way to build long-lasting memories free from mishap or tragedy.

Considering The Possibility of Smart Contacts

Smart ContactsThe article Mission Impossible Now Possible with Google Glass describes a scene from the movie Mission Impossible 2 and talks about how the smart sunglasses shown in the movie represents technology actually within reach for the average person.

Let’s take a look at another technology featured in this movie series, specifically in Mission ImpossibleGhost Protocol where viewers are introduced to contact lenses that print whatever the agent looks at when he blinks twice.

Can contact lenses really be that smart?

As we step out of fiction and back into reality, we once again see that the two aren’t so far apart. In fact, smart contacts and related technology involving the eyes may not take pictures or help you remember someone’s name (yet), but they could help save your vision and even your life.

Consider the following smart contact technology currently being developed…

  • Triggerfish by Sensimed – a wirelessly powered contact lens built to continuously measure the curvature of the eye in patients with glaucoma.
  • Daniel Kohanes lens – designed to treat disease by slowly releasing drugs into the eye.
  • Googles smart contacts – house a sensor that measures the glucose levels in tears.
  • EyeSense – developing products that embed sensors in the eye to measure glucose levels.
  • Freedom Meditech – exploring measuring glucose levels through the eye by using light.

Concerns over this technology includes the impact of the technology itself on eye health, the security of the data collected, and the potentially fatal consequences of wrong amounts of medication being dispersed. All of these challenges must be satisfactorily resolved before the technology is made accessible for everyday use.

But the potential is mind blowing. No more remembering to put in eye drops. No more painful finger pricking for diabetics. Wearable technology holds the potential for making life a lot easier and significantly less painful for the nearly 385 million people worldwide with diabetes and the 20.5 million with cataracts.

And helping these individuals is just a start. Researchers would like to see smart contacts and/or related technology that also tests blood alcohol levels and cholesterol too, among other goals.

Who knows, maybe they’ll also make it possible to take pictures and do even more with your contacts. Turns out that technology is currently a reality too! (See Google Patents Contact Lens Camera, Will Help the Blind and Create Superhumans)

For additional information on this developing technology, check out the articles “Smart Contactsand “Googles smart contact lense: What it does and how it works.”