Monthly Archives: May 2017
The Power of the Word
Some of the most timeless words ever uttered in a speech by an American president were inspired by a poem with an illustrious history of its own.
In Hollywood in the 1940s, movie stars came to Kathryn Kay for the poems she wrote for special occasions. One day, the wife of Hobart Bosworth, a well-known movie star, bought a copy of Kay’s book If the Shoe Fits and immediately fell in love with the patriotic poem Thanksgiving Prayer.
The poem was read on the radio by Mrs. Bosworth’s famous husband on Thanksgiving Day, 1941. The occasion was the 150th anniversary of the State of New Jersey’s ratification of the Bill of Rights.
Later Mrs. Bosworth personally presented a framed copy of the poem to President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt in appreciation of Eleanor Roosevelt’s tireless efforts to promote the cultural arts.
The Bosworth’s also had the poem cast in a bronze plaque, which was to be presented at a Southern California Bill of Rights commemoration on December 7, 1941. But early that morning the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
Years later, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Kathryn Kay got a call from Washington lobbyist Charles Siems. He said President Kennedy had heard the 1941 radio broadcast of the poem upon his graduation from Harvard and was greatly moved by it, especially the final line: “God, help me make America as proud that I am hers—as I am proud and grateful she is mine.” Some 20 years later, that sentiment surfaced in Kennedy’s mind. He expressed it in some of the most memorable words ever uttered in one of the most famous speeches in American history: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
Just as President’s Kennedy’s words held the power to inspire a nation, there’s one word that should inspire you because your happiness and your livelihood depend on it. That word is “safety.”
A Word to the Wise: Safety
* Copyright 2002 Harkins Safety (B158)
Comets and You
A brilliant comet appeared over England in the spring of 1682. Edmund Halley, a young and respected English astronomer suspected that this comet was not a new one and searched primitive records of stars and planets to prove it. In 1705 Halley predicted, by combining Newton’s newly formulated laws of motion and old records kept over centuries that the comet seen in 1531, 1607 and 1682 would return in 1758. Halley calculated that the comet had been appearing about every 75 years. The next appearance will be around 2061.
Slowly the scientific community accepted the Newton/Halley reasoning but neither man lived to see the prediction finally proved on Christmas Day, 1758.
When Halley’s Comet last approached the Earth in 1986, the United States and Russia each sent spacecraft to probe in and around it. When we saw the footage from these probes on television, we were fascinated.
The reaction to comets in ancient times was quite different. Then astrologers and royal advisors rushed to provide whatever predictions would please their masters. Common folk hid their children and valuables, in fear of destruction by the “demon” in the sky. By combining old records with new principles, Edmund Halley took the superstition out of comets.
Similarly, safety rules and procedures are your tools to demystify accidents. Safety rules and procedures work because they’re based on experience and research. Studies on how others have been injured in the past are designed to prevent a reoccurrence. An accident is not a random occurrence anymore than a comet is a demon in the sky.
Sound thinking about your safety will convince you that you should know and use all the tools important to your job. Including safety rules and safe procedures. With continual practice, they too will become part of your job.
Chances of disaster from a comet striking the earth are about fifteen million to one. You improve your chances of avoiding serious injury every day when you know and follow safe procedure. Remember
YOUR BEST TOOLS ARE SAFETY RULES
- Copyright 1999 Harkins Safety (B113)
The Long View
There’s nothing unusual about a telescope. They’re in observatories and backyards across the country. But a telescope in space-now, that was something to talk about. And in the late 70s they did. Here’s the story of the telescope in space and how it almost didn’t happen.
The Hubble Space Telescope is named after American astronomer Edwin Hubble, and its purpose is to get an up-close-and-personal look at the quasars, pixars , quarks and other lights in the sky. Because the Hubble is in space-beyond the earth’s atmosphere-it can take extremely detailed pictures with no background, giving astronomers a better look at the stars than ever before. These are the most inclusive images ever produced of some of the most distant objects in the galaxy.
The Hubble is the only telescope designed to be serviced and maintained in space. Planned repairs and maintenance will allow it to stay in operation until at least 2013, when its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is set to be launched.
But the Hubble almost never happened. The idea for a space telescope was proposed in the 1940s, and the Hubble was funded in the 1970s, but it wasn’t launched until 1990. Throughout there were technical glitches and budget problems. In 1986, the launch of the Hubble seemed possible, but the Challenger space shuttle disaster brought the space program to a screeching halt. When the Hubble finally was launched, scientists found that its mirror had been ground incorrectly-a problem fixed by an in-space servicing mission in 1993. Had the problems not been overcome, the world would never have seen the incredible images the Hubble telescope has produced.
Are you letting “problems” with PPE stop you from protecting your precious eyesight on the job? Most eye injuries occur because workers aren’t aware of potential hazards, don’t use protective eye wear, or use the wrong type. Flying chips or particles, electrical arcing or sparks, chemical gases, light from welding and other harmful sources, chemicals, molten metals, dusts and swinging objects. They are all hazards that require protection.
So, first know which is the right eye protection for the job you are doing and the hazards you will encounter. If you wear prescription glasses, make sure your protective eye wear fits properly over them. Second, inspect your PPE before each use. To be effective, it must be in good condition and fit well. Third, keep your protective eye wear clean and store it properly.
Remember, take the long view and protect your eyesight for a lifetime of amazing and awe-inspiring sights.
SIGHT SAVERS***PROTECT WHAT’S PRICELESS
*Copyright 2008 Harkins Safety B-247
Symphony of Silence
“My noblest faculty has greatly deteriorated.”
“How sad is my lot, I must avoid all things dear to me.”
“I am resolved to rise above every obstacle, but how will it be possible.”
That is what the great composer Beethoven wrote to his close friends when his deafness became more and more inevitable.
“For two years, I have avoided almost all social gatherings. Often I can scarcely hear someone speaking, the tones yes but not the words.”
As a composer who devoted his life to music, Beethoven tried to keep his affliction a secret. He tried all kinds of remedies-hot baths, cold baths, almond oil, tonics. Nothing helped. Unfortunately in Beethoven’s time, no hearing specialist existed. The doctors could only guess as to what was causing the ailment.
Beethoven died in 1827, having lived most of his life in either partial or complete deafness. Was deafness caused by syphilis, common at that time; was it caused by a virus; or was it caused by the loudness of the music he surrounded himself with? The doctors didn’t know.
Today we know a lot more about deafness. We know that exposure to loud noise over time can harm your hearing. Don’t take a chance. Always wear the right hearing protection every time you must enter or work in a noisy environment.
Improvised hearing protection doesn’t work. Putting cotton in your ears or wearing headphones won’t protect you from noise. You need to use approved hearing protection.
The type of hearing protection you use depends on the level of noise exposure. Earmuffs give you the greatest protection available from excessive noise. Another choice is earplugs. They seal the ear canal and come in a variety of sizes. Yet another choice is canal caps. These are soft pads on a headband and they seal the entrance to the ear canal. Make sure you use the proper hearing protection and make sure you get a good fit for maximum protection.
Noise destroys your ability to enjoy the wonderful sounds of life. Beethoven suffered from long periods of horrible depression because of his deafness. Even though he gave the world some of its most beloved music, he was dejected and miserable for most of his life. Don’t risk your hearing. The simple act of using the right hearing protection on the job will ensure that you can hear all that life has to offer for many years to come.
USE IT OR LOSE IT!
NOISE RELATED HEARING LOSS IS PREVENTABLE
*Copyright 2005 Harkins Safety B-203