I Plead the Fifth

To inaugurate the new USEDmedia publishing date, June 5, we offer some “helpful” advice penned by Justin:

I work as an imaging specialist for a broadcasting company,  where I process and archive film and pictures for preservation.  It is a quiet place equipped with cubicles, desks, computers and desk sized electronic equipment.  In short, a nice normal office with good colleagues and interesting work.

Every month we are required to have a safety meeting.  In order to prepare for this meeting, ten of us have to come up with our own individual and unique safety issues.  We are not allowed to reuse safety issues that have already been discussed. Over the years, we seem to have run out of ideas about dangerous things and we have to stretch our imaginations for things to talk about, but we all try.  

This year, for example, I suggested not eating raw cookie dough. The raw eggs are a salmonella risk. So it is not only cookie dough that could make you sick, it is anything you make with flour but haven’t cooked.

The FDA specifically says that homemade ​cookie dough ice cream is unsafe, but commercially made​ cookie dough ice cream is safe to eat because manufacturers use only treated flour​ and Pasteurized eggs.

It is hard to come up with things that apply to our office life for every meeting, so last December I ended the year with a warning that if your car is on fire, don’t drive into a gas station.  You’d be surprised that it  happens a lot more than you might think.  As if the driver is saying “Oh no! My vehicle is being engulfed in flames!  Maybe I should drive it to this gas station with thousands of gallons of gasoline directly underneath it.”

Another month, I had to wrack my brain and came up with the topic, be careful when wearing open toed shoes at and away from work.  After all, a dropped coffee mug can be enough to break a toe.

courtesy Norine Sims

Sometimes I find make-up issues to avoid.  For example, Henna Tattoos. Also known as Mehndi, henna tattoos are decorative and temporary ceremonial tattoos, popular at events such as carnivals and fairs. Henna is  reddish-brown coloring made from a flowering plant that grows largely in Africa and Asia. Recently Hanna tattoo artists have been using black dyes which contains paraphenylenediamine (PPD).​ This dye MIGHT cause a severe allergic reaction. Resulting in a painful rash and permanent scarring in some people.  The FDA has no laws prohibiting use of black dyes with Henna tattoos. They also remind people that traditional Henna tattoos with reddish-brown coloring have not resulted in any adverse reactions.

Don’t use art supplies as makeup. Crayola has issued a plea to the public not to use their colored pencils as eyeliner. A YouTuber named Brooke Eve started a trend for using colored pencils as eyeliner, justifying the action as safe by saying, “Companies literally make it so little kids can eat it and be fine.”

Crayola responded to the trend on its website, saying “the ‘non-toxic’ label on the pencils does not mean they are tested safe to use as cosmetics.” The pigments used in their art supplies have not been approved by the FDA for use in cosmetics, meaning that there could still be several unknown risks involved when using them in place of tested and approved make-up products.

Remember to use things for their intended purpose. A desk chair is not a ladder. A knife is not a back scratcher. Colored pencils are not eyeliners.

Don’t Over think.  It is possible to over work your brain. If you are using different areas of your brain all the time, you can exhaust it. The neurons in your brain are being fired up all at once, and they may need you to just slow down. If you find yourself experiencing headaches while working take a break. Walk away from your work for a short while.  Maybe consider taking a short nap if possible.

Desperately searching for new topics,  I came up with a number of sports-related safety issues, in which I took the same safety issue and just changed the sport.  It took care of six whole months:

November 2015:  Archery safety

Shooting a bow can prove very risky. You can pull muscles, scrape your fore arm with the draw string, and accidentally shoot someone. Because of health reasons, don’t do these things. Make sure to wear protective gear and call 911 should there be an accident.

Note: If shooting a person remember that law enforcement can trace arrows back to you. It is a good idea to not leave them behind as evidence.

December 2015:  Javelin safety

Throwing a Javelin can prove very risky. You can pull muscles, trip and accidentally impale someone. Because of health reasons, don’t do these things. Make sure to stretch, clear the throw zone and call 911 should there be an accident.

(Out sick for January)

February 2016:  Lawn dart safety

Throwing lawn darts can prove very risky. You can pull muscles, trip and accidentally impale someone. Because of health reasons, don’t do these things. Make sure to stretch, clear the throw zone and call 911 should there be an accident.

March 2016:  Shot put safety

Throwing a shot put​ can prove very risky. You can pull muscles, trip and accidentally bludgeon someone. Because of health reasons, don’t do these things. Make sure to stretch, clear the throw zone and call 911 should there be an accident.

April 2016:  Discus Throwing

Throwing a discus ​can prove very risky. You can pull muscles, trip and accidentally bludgeon someone. Because of health reasons, don’t do these things. Make sure to stretch, clear the throw zone and call 911 should there be an accident.

So once a month, we all start pulling our hair, searching and beating our brains for new safety issues to warn each other about.  It’s incredibly taxing and often times it makes me feel like I am getting high fived.

Over and over.

In the face.

By an extremely large truck.

 

 

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