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!

Flooding

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

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

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!

National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction

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Have you started planning?

The official dates have been set! The sixth annual National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction will occur May 6-10, 2019.

Click here for more information.

New to the concept?

For those that have never participated in the National Safety Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction it can seem a bit daunting. But, when you click the link above you will find a whole host of resources to use. Whether you are a large contractor that has employees exposed to many types of fall hazards, or a small contractor that simply works from ladders, this is a great opportunity to take the time to gather your forces and focus their attention on the specific fall hazards they face during the normal course of their work day.

Take 5

Or 15… Your Stand-down doesn’t have to take hours. It really is meant to be a concentrated focus on fall hazards in the construction work place that are specific to your workers. Get them involved.

  • What are the hazards you see?
  • How can we better address those hazards?
  • Are the tools provided appropriate?
    • Maybe you provide a ladder to work from but would a one-man lift be safer? quicker?
    • If you work at heights, have you addressed falling objects? Do you need to look into purchasing tool lanyards.

These small questions can really help you narrow your focus and address the real concerns that your workers face every day.

Employee Recognition

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Have you ever had that one employee that you knew you could count on to always step up and give their all, no matter what the request was? I am not talking about the employees that do their job every day, or even the ones that do their job GREAT every day. I am specifically talking about the employee that goes beyond that. The employee that inspires others to do more! To be better! To take action!

When you have that employee, it is important to recognize their efforts.

And I am proud to say that we have one of those employees!

Mr. Shane Sanders

Shane, it is a pleasure to work with you. I can’t count the number of times that I have asked your opinion about a safety topic from the field perspective. And each time you have delivered.

Recently, Jordan Foster Construction asked our employees to share their #JFC2019Goals. And once again, you stepped up and delivered!

But here’s the thing, the real thing… These aren’t just your goals. These are the things that you actually do every day.

Thank you for setting the example. Thank you for watching out for your crew. Thank you for showing that our Core Values are more than just words on a poster.

Thank you!
From all of us at JFC.