Rings + Construction = Disaster

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Rings are hazardous for anyone that works in construction. The hazards are numerous, but the two most common hazards are ring avulsions and electrical burns.

Ring Avulsions

Ring avulsions were “popularized” 2015 when Jimmy Fallon suffered from one in a horrific but some what mundane and bizarre home accident. And for many people the hazard remains something that is barely worth mentioning. However, for those of us that work in any industry that relies on manual labor the hazard is very real.

Ring avulsion injuries don’t go unnoticed, but because the injury does not always result in what is called “degloving of soft tissue” or “traumatic amputation” the seriousness of the injury can be misjudged. Typical symptoms of a ring avulsion include:

  • Swelling of the finger
  • Redness or bruising around the finger
  • Numbness and tingling down the finger

P.S. if you get queasy looking at gory photos, DO NOT google image this type of injury.

The surgery to repair such an injury is “many-hours-long” and more often than not results in amputation of the injured digit.

Electrical Burns

Most rings are metal. Metal is an excellent conductor of electricity. Simply by wearing your metal rings you increase your potential to create an electrical shock and the associated electrical burns.

Suitable alternative

Wedding rings are an important symbol to many people. And the thought of not wearing one just doesn’t work. So, what can you do instead?

Try one of the many Silicone Ring options that are available on the market. They come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and styles.

Silicone does not conduct electricity so the hazards associated with metal rings and electricity is eliminated.

Silicone rings are also very soft and stretchy….and ultimately breakable. Therefore if the ring did become caught on something it would more than likely break before causing significant damage to your fingers.

Eye Health

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The health of your eyes is a critical component to your overall health. And it is one that is often overlooked.

Eye protection in the form of Safety Glasses is discussed on a regular, if not daily, basis. But we only just scratch the surface (no pun intended) of eye safety and health. For this article we are going to focus on Eye Health. We will return later to discuss more on Eye Safety.

Eye Health = Brain Health

Healthy brain function needs healthy eyesight. The brain is our most vital organ, allowing us to live complex lives. Considering that your optic nerve connects your eyes and your brain, a healthy co-dependent relationship is necessary. By keeping your eyes healthy, you keep your brain healthy – improving your overall quality of life!

Good vision contributes to improved athletic ability, better driving skills, improved learning and comprehension and better quality of life.

There are a number of articles that have been published on eye health.

Click here for a few Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes.

Blue Light

Technology has brought some amazing advancements to our abilities to perform our jobs in construction, and plenty of additional opportunity to tune out of practically any situation and lose ourselves in a movie or game or social media. And with that, we are also exposing ourselves to the potential hazards that come with over exposure to blue light.

Blue light is great in normal dosages. But concerns have begun to be raised regarding the current dosages of blue light that we are now exposed to. There was a time when the only time we were exposed to blue light was when we were outside playing in the sunshine. But now we are exposed from the sun, from our computers, from our phones, from our tablets, from our TVs, from our lights in our house…the list is seemingly endless. So, what can we do to protect ourselves from blue light?

Click here to find out: Blue Light and Your Eyes

April Showers bring…

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April showers bring May flowers!

At least that is how the saying goes. But April showers have the potential to bring a lot more than just flowers in May. With Spring having officially arrived it is time to Prepare for Spring Weather!

Depending on what part of the country you live and work in your “Spring Weather” can be vastly different from others, but one thing that is very likely regardless of your location is that it will be UNPREDICTABLE!


As the temperatures start the rise the snows begin the melt. For those that live down river or down valley from the melt can be devastated by flooding. If the spring thunderstorms hit areas where the snow has melted, flooding is just as likely since the ground is potentially still frozen or is already saturated.


Thunderstorms are also quite prevalent in the spring as the warm and cool temperatures collide in the atmosphere. Strong winds can cause trucks to flip over while traveling. Strong winds can also pick up materials that aren’t properly secured and create flying debris hazards.

Lightning is another hazard that comes with Thunderstorms. If you work outside you need to make sure you have a great weather app that can alert you to incoming lightening storms. I personally recommend WeatherBug, but I am sure there are others out there that have similar features. When lightning is detected within a 10 mile radius of where you are working you should stop all outside work and take cover until the lightning moves out of your area.


Tornadoes are the ultimate of the spring weather hazards. And while tornadoes are most prevalent in “tornado alley” they are possible throughout the US so it is important to be prepared.

For some helpful tips check out the following links from the CDC

Trenching Safety

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The OSHA Region 6 Training Institute Education Centers recently published a video on trenching and excavation safety.

The video is one hour long and it does require you to register to receive the Video Link, but it is worth the effort. Click here to head to the registration page.

For JFC Employees… head to our Safety Intranet for a link to the video and the password.

Additional resources:

Here are two additional articles from last fall that are worth reviewing as well.

Daylight Saving Time – 2019

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It is that time of year again. When the days are getting longer and warmer and we start wanting to spend more time in the sun enjoying our days instead of at work. But to get to that, you have to go through the dreaded time change.

On Sunday morning at 2 AM you will turn your clocks ahead one hour. Or if you are like me, and all of your clocks are magically connected to something digitally, it will happen for you while you are sleeping. If it doesn’t happen for you magically in the middle of the night then do it before you go to bed on Saturday or you might be late for whatever you have planned for Sunday.

Adjust now so you don’t have to adjust all at once on Monday morning

Start trying to go to bed a little earlier each night and waking up a little earlier each morning. By adjusting these times by 15-20 minutes each night/morning you will transition your body gradually rather than abruptly on Monday morning when you actually need to function properly.

This includes Sunday! Don’t sleep in. Set your alarm and get out of bed at your “normal” time. Take a short 20 minute nap if you need to in order to make it through the day, but get out of bed.

Resist the extra cup of coffee, the night cap, and the heavy dinners

I know it may feel like you won’t make it without one or all of these, but for the next three days it really is better to avoid them if you can. They all worsen your quality of sleep, which will in turn create an even bigger deficit than the one you will already be facing on Monday. So, do yourself a favor and avoid the temptation.

Get some sun and some exercise!

Even if you have to bundle up, getting outside in the sunshine can help reboot your natural sleep patterns and help you acclimate. And the exercise will help you get tired enough to go to sleep each night.

Help the kids adjust too!

By simply turning off the electronics at least one hour prior to bed you will help your children rest better. This is good advise even when we aren’t talking about Daylight Savings Time, but for this weekend it is even more critical.

And make their morning routines as simple as possible. Having everything prepared and ready to go the night before will help make getting them out of the door the next morning easier.

Women in Construction Week – March 3 – 9, 2019

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This week we celebrate the “Women in Construction”!

Women in construction make a powerful impact, in spite of making up a small percentage of the construction work force. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, women held 9.1% of the positions in the construction industry by the end of 2016. Of this percentage only 2% were employed in the physical labor occupations such as laborers, equipment operators, or other skilled trades.

Regardless of the position that the women held case studies have indicated the following positive impacts that women have had on the construction industry:

  • Enhanced team performance
  • New or alternative perspectives on how to best approach challenges in the workplace
  • Increased profitability for companies with diverse teams at all levels.
  • And my personal favorite… “the overall intelligence of teams was greater when females were incorporated as team members.”

In short, women can both compensate for labor shortages and contribute to problem solving and efficiency on the project.

For me, however, the impact is far greater than what is felt immediately. Women in Construction set the example for our future generations of women.

Our daughters need role models than can show them they are just as capable as our sons in industries that are heavily influenced in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math…and physical labor.

There is NO evidence that girls are less capable than boys in the STEM fields, but sadly they FEEL less capable than boys. And often this feeling is established very early in life in ways that many of us may not even realize. Yes, girls tend to automatically want to watch the princess movies while boys want to watch the transformers. But by constantly reminding your daughters that there are no “boy” activities or “boy” skills or “boy” colors…. you will see her blossom into a strong smart and lively woman…. Trust me, as a mother of a young daughter I am constantly explaining that yes, women CAN do construction, CAN be good at science and math, CAN wear jeans rather than dresses, CAN like blue rather than pink, CAN like dinosaurs. The list is endless of the things that she has thought that girls can’t do…and it is with rare exception I am annihilating that list.

So now I have a daughter that loves science and math and dinosaurs and really really really wants them to wear pink dresses and let a princess ride on them. I’ll take it. Because now I am confident that whether she chooses a STEM field or not, at least she FEELS that she can if she wants to. And THAT is the important part.

How can I celebrate Women in Construction?

Take a look around you and celebrate the women you work with. Share their stories with your daughters. Encourage your daughters to follow their dreams. Teach them to cut the grass, or plant a flower, or build their toy box, … Get your daughters involved!