Safety from the Heart This February

Safety Glasses Make a Worker Happy

Protect your loved ones and give them the gift of safety this Valentine's Day.

February is a month that is truly from the heart – from Valentine’s Day smack in the middle of the month to American Heart Month casting a red glow throughout February, it’s a month that is all about giving from the heart –whether it’s a material gift or through care and thought. Safety Glasses and safety equipment might not shine as bright as diamonds, but when your loved ones are operating dangerous equipment or are working in precarious situations, you’re going to rely on safety equipment to keep the cherished people in your life safe.

A Passion For Safety
The calendar doesn’t have to specify a holiday for you to give the gift of safety – it’s a gift that is welcome all year round and shows how much you care about the special people in your life. If you’re just swinging by our website, don’t feel overwhelmed – first think about what type of conditions they’re working in. For example, does he or she need Splash Goggles, or perhaps Polarized Safety Glasses? Then, think about Safety Glasses Lens Tints in accordance with the lighting conditions he or she works in.

Think safety bundles – safety glasses, face shields, gloves, and hard hats. Giving your loved one the complete safety package ups the likelihood that he or she will keep safety on the brain, and be armed with the safety equipment to make it a reality.

Promote Safety In February
As you’re embracing the love this February, use heartfelt action to promote the cause of safety:

  • Tell your loved ones how vital their safety is to you. We live busy lives, and it’s easy to forget to tell the people in our lives how much they mean to us. Take a few minutes this February, and all year, to remind them.
  • Promote safety – together. Don’t things always seem to stick better when you do them together? If you want your husband to wear safety glasses when working in the yard, buy yourself a pair and wear them too!
  • Start safety early. We learn habits early, and the habit of safety is a wonderful one to teach. Children’s Safety Glasses are made for smaller faces, and get your kids in the habit of promoting safety from youth to adult.

Safety comes from the heart this February, and choosing safety equipment for your loved ones is not only a wonderful surprise, but one that shows how much they mean to you. We’re always here to help, so please contact us if you need a helping hand selecting the right safety equipment for the people who hold the keys to your heart!

Safety Eyewear in the Kitchen: For Adventurous Chefs to Everyday Cooks

Extreme Cooking Safety

You don't have to resort to extremes to practice good safety habits in the kitchen.

In July 2010, a deep-fried dumpling almost cost food blogger Gabriella Zagreb her eyesight. Leaning over her pot of boiling oil to dislodge a stuck dumpling with a spoon, the dumpling cracked open and released steam and moisture into the hot oil, sending an explosion right up into her face. Gabriella’s neck, chin, cheeks, eyelids, eyelashes, and eyebrows were severely burned, causing a few weeks of temporary blindness. Today the blogger has her eyesight back, but still has discernible scars. They remind her every day of the lesson she learned: that each year hundreds of people are injured — sometimes temporarily or even permanently blinded — in cooking accidents involving steam, hot oil, splattered grease, and more, all because they weren’t wearing protective eyewear in the kitchen. And in these situations, oven mitts are certainly not the protective gear that’ll ensure your ability to forever see the food you put in your mouth before you taste it.

From Mainstream to Extreme, Cooking is More Fun when Done Safely
As you’ve just read, cooking has the potential to be quite dangerous and the more experimental and adventurous you are, the more you need to consider safety. (In fact, read how to safely deep fry a turkey here). And while some culinary artists take their creations to the extreme, as you’ll read below,  wherever you fall on the spectrum — from basic domestic god or goddess to avant-garde gastronomic adventurist — you’ll find protective eyewear both useful and necessary.

Handy Hint: Wear Safety Goggles for Chopping Onions
When you cut an onion, you slice open cells that contain a certain amino acid that then mixes with other enzymes in the vegetable, releasing a volatile sulfur compound into the air. When this gas reacts with the natural moisture in your eyes, sulfuric acid is formed. The sulfuric acid stimulates your tear ducts to wash this irritant away. So if you want to avoid streaming eyes, ruined makeup, and looking like your dog just died right before your dinner guests arrive, wear goggles while chopping up the onions for your favorite recipe. 

Fancy Flames: Butane Torches Require Safety Glasses
Used as a finishing tool for many culinary delights, butane torches are probably best known for adding   a crème brulée’s golden crown — that crispy, melt-in-your-mouth, stained-glass candy top. Usually small in size, these torches use a pressurized container filled with butane gas and an igniter to light the flame, which can be adjusted from about 1/2” to 1” in length. Since theses torches are filled with a pressurized, flammable fuel, it’s important to follow safety procedures and wear safety glasses when using them. Understanding your specific tool’s features, how to properly operate and store it and keeping it away from children are also on the list of necessary safety protocols. But if Baked Alaska, melted cheese and breaded toppings on onion soup or gratins, and vegetables roasted to perfection call your name, a butane torch is a wonderfully fun cooking tool. Desserts with meringue or marshmallow topping can easily be toasted, and chili peppers or sweet peppers can achieve the darkened, roasted texture and flavor you desire with just a touch of your torch.

Sensuous Smoke: Safety Glasses a Must for the Smoking Gun
Smoked hardwood flavor can be intensely gratifying to your palate. A clever tool called The Smoking Gun allows you to sprinkle hardwood sawdust into a reservoir at the top, light it, and instantly infuse real smoke into your roasted meats, fish, vegetables, marinades — even salads and Bloody Mary mixes. But you’ll want to wear at least a basic pair of safety glasses while using this machine, considering you’re using an open flame to ignite specially treated sawdust; and — especially while performing some of the more technically difficult uses which involve sticking the hose down into blenders, stand mixers, and food processors full of potentially hot, sticky food substances  — depending on how many “smoked” Bloody Marys you’ve had while preparing the rest of your courses, expect that the unexpected could end up in your face and eyes.

Solar Sauté: Magnifying Sunlight = Safety Goggles and Protective Gloves
Moving deeper into the world of experiential cooking, Denise Rojas of GreenPowerScience shows in this video how flash cooking using a giant Fresnel Lens can scramble two eggs in ten seconds or boil water in 90. Originally invented by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel for lighthouses, when positioned correctly, a Fresnel lens acts as a giant magnifying glass that concentrates light to a very small point, resulting in a hot spot which can reach up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. In this realm of “extreme cooking”, these scientist-chefs know the importance of safety. Wearing both protective goggles and gloves is critical when cooking with the intense power of the sun. 

Lava Flambé: Safety Goggles and Gloves Needed for a Volcanic Adventure
For perhaps the most adventurous chefs of all, there are currently two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, located on the Big Island of Hawaii. John Alexander, owner of the Dolphin Bay Hotel in Hilo, Hawaii, shares his own special recipe for cooking with molten lava.

Tools and ingredients include:

  1. A supply of molten lava: approximately 2 shovels-full.
  2. A shovel you’ll never use again.
  3. Safety goggles and heavy protective gloves
  4. A game hen
  5. Eight banana leaves

“Wrap the game hen in the banana leaves (leave a small opening to vent escaping steam) and place it on one scoop of lava. This becomes the base of the “oven.” Top the leaves with the other scoop of lava and let it cool. Within about 45 minutes, the lava cools; the banana leaves burn to ash; and your hen is ready to eat. Opening your “oven” is easy: just hit the hardened lava with your shovel.”

Safety tip: be sure to select a slow-moving lava flow. Some have been clocked at speeds up to 37 miles per hour!

Liquid Nitrogen Novelties: Ice Cream in Five Minutes Flat Requires Proper Goggles and Gloves
Naturally, let’s end our romp through the creative culinary world with dessert: a frosty bowl of liquid nitrogen ice cream.

You need:

  1. Liquid nitrogen: Approximately 2 liters for an average recipe.
  2. Safety goggles and heavy gloves: The liquid nitrogen is cold enough to freeze skin on contact. Even ice cream can’t make a trip to the emergency room more fun, so be careful handling the ingredients.
  3. Your favorite homemade ice cream recipe
  4. A large stainless steel mixing bowl
  5. A wooden spoon

Put on your safety goggles and gloves and pour the prepared ice cream mixture into the stainless steel bowl. Slowly pour the liquid nitrogen into the ice cream and stir with the wooden spoon until it’s frozen and the nitrogen has evaporated, approximately five to ten minutes. Serve immediately. Stir in more liquid nitrogen if it starts to melt too quickly. (Read more about the safe handling of liquid nitrogen, as well as more fun culinary experiments here.)

So although it’s possible you may never expect to do anything more exciting than boil water in your kitchen, it’s always best to be prepared for the day you might find yourself actually cooking with hot oil or grease and need a pair of protective eyewear. (Ladies, Safety Glasses USA sells an entire line of safety glasses styled especially for you and scaled to fit a woman’s smaller face.)  So just remember Gabriella’s story. She certainly didn’t expect her seemingly innocent nudge of a stuck dumpling to blind her for three weeks, but it happened — literally — faster than the blink of an eye. Don’t let it happen to you too.

Viral YouTube Video Fails on Safety: No Goggles, No Gloves, No Common Sense

Nearly a million people have now watched the recent YouTube video “LN2 Explodes In Chemistry Experiment Gone Wrong”, and every single viewer has undoubtedly shaken their head, clucked their tongue, and thought to themselves, “What a couple of idiots.”

LN2 is liquid nitrogen; and contrary to popular perception, it’s a hazardous substance. Yes, everyone has seen it cause the volcano at the science fair to erupt quite spectacularly; but unfortunately, these seemingly innocuous demonstrations of LN2′s coolness — pun intended — cause people to forget that it can also be misused, mishandled, and very dangerous.

Top Three Things the YouTube Knuckleheads Did Wrong:

  1. They failed to treat liquid nitrogen with the proper caution and respect its due, based on the bodily harm it can inflict. Sealed containers become bombs when there is no way for pressure to escape. Pressures of over 40,000 pounds per square inch are possible. A pop bottle or a thermos with the lid on is simply asking for a trip to the ER.
  2. They failed to wear safety goggles or face shields, as liquid nitrogen can easily splash into your face while being poured, and exploding frozen projectiles can cause serious eye injury as well.
  3. They failed to wear to wear safety gloves, as skin contact with liquid nitrogen causes tissue damage within 1 – 2 seconds.

A Primer for the Safe Handling of LN2:

  • Be sure there’s no way liquid nitrogen can become trapped inside your clothing against your skin.
  • When touching any object that’s been cooled by liquid nitrogen, wear loose-fitting gloves that can be pulled off quickly in case liquid is accidently dripped or spilled inside of them.
  • Use only approved, unsealed vessels to hold liquid nitrogen. As seen in this video, LN2 explodes in a sealed container.
  • Never perform liquid nitrogen demonstrations in a small, poorly ventilated room or in a vehicle with the windows closed. It could displace enough oxygen to cause suffocation.
  • Never dispose of liquid nitrogen by pouring it on the floor. The visible cloud that forms is harmless condensed water vapor; but the nitrogen gas also formed is invisible, odorless, and tasteless and can cause nitrogen asphyxiation — suffocation caused by exhaling carbon dioxide without resupplying oxygen.
  • Do not store liquid nitrogen for long periods in an uncovered container (nor a totally sealed container). As the oxygen over the nitrogen circulates, liquid oxygen can form and build up to levels which can cause spontaneous fires to ignite on organic materials — even clothing. Eliminate any possible sources of ignition such as flames, sparks, static electricity, etc.

LN2 Safety Precautions for Educators

Students, whether children or teenaged risk-takers, tend to be very curious about liquid nitrogen. They also tend to be very tactile, so they will be tempted to reach out and touch it. As mentioned above, direct skin contact will cause severe, almost instantaneous frostbite (a cryogenic “burn”) on contact. This is the #1 safety precaution that must be prevented. Teachers must stress to their students the importance of not touching freshly frozen objects or the nitrogen itself; and set a good example by modeling the correct use of tongs when carrying LN2 and handling any object going into or out of it.

In case the worst should happen, teachers should familiarize themselves with the first aid instructions (excerpted from the Air Products Nitrogen Material Safety Data Sheet) for cryogenic burns:

  • If nitrogen contacts a student’s skin or eyes, the frozen tissue should be flooded or soaked with tepid water. DO NOT USE HOT WATER.
  • Burns which cause blistering or deeper tissue freezing should be seen promptly by a physician.

There are scads of very impressive and educational liquid nitrogen demonstrations that will delight students when performed safely with the appropriate gear and preparation. So have a little fun! Stick large flowers, like carnations, in LN2 and then crumble them in your hand. Freeze mini marshmallows  and after waiting a few moments, allow every student to eat one, directing them to chew only with their mouths open. The vapors released are quite dramatic! Freeze a banana and use it to hammer in a nail. Turn small pieces of chalk into little hovercrafts. Liquid nitrogen can be a wonderful teaching tool, but be smart and be safe.