Toolbox Talk - September 2018

Written by Matt Taylor, CHST, SMS

September is declared as Home Eye Safety Awareness Month in an effort to remind everyone of the potential hazards within the home that could damage sight. While this declared awareness month focuses on home safety, it also acts as a reminder for us to appropriately guard our eyes in the field.

In the field you will begin to see magnetic wands at cut stations. The idea behind the wand is to wave the wand across your body to pick up metal shavings that fall on clothing following use of a chop saw or other materials. Many times these shavings can move from your clothing, into your eyes once safety glasses are no longer being worn, such as during breaks, when walking to the restroom, or driving home following work.

Those with a pace maker or other heart controlling devices should not use the magnetic wand as it can shut these devices down. Alternatively, ensure you are regularly brushing down your clothing.

Furthermore, always remember to refrain from rubbing your face when wearing gloves, as metal shavings can also adhere to gloves.

Bringing safety home, my eye safety advice for the home applies to yard work. Almost 40 percent of home eye injuries occur in the yard or garden. Debris from lawn mowers or power trimmers unexpectedly can enter the eye at a high rate of speed. Prevent Blindness America offers these tips on how to protect your eyes while doing work in the yard:

When mowing, wear safety glasses with side protection or goggles. Check your yard and remove debris before mowing.

  • While using a weed eater, power saws, trimmers, fertilizers, pesticides and other yard chemicals, including lime dust, wear safety glasses or goggles under a face shield.
  • Turn off power tools when near an unprotected bystander, especially when young children approach. Bystanders and helpers need eye protection when around tools that are in use.
  • Read and follow all product instructions. Obey warnings on yard chemicals and equipment.

As always, if you have safety questions or would like additional training, please contact myself or your local safety director.

  • Toledo - Matt Taylor at
  • Toledo - Pete Paskiet at
  • Cleveland - Skip Powell at
  • Columbus - Stacey Ransom at