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evening gown. They have read the master fiction writers of the century, and have doubled up over countless rib-tickling cartoons. And they have smiled over the warm, human traits which the great artists have portrayed on the covers and in story illustrations.
Most of the time, of course, they read our magazines under the ideal conditions of modern lighting, provided by the research and manufacturing techniques of our great electric companies, which have done so much toward preserving eyesight. But, frankly, we sometimes worry about where they read them, as do, I know, their optometrists.
They have read them by the glaring spot of the kerosene lamps of the 1880's and by the feeble light bulbs at the turn of the century. They have read them by flickering candlelight in a World War I dugout, and by a parachute light over a Pacific Island battlefield in World War II.
Today, they read them in the midday sun of a white Florida beach, and in the dusk of a city park. They read them lying, sitting, and standing. They read them in bouncing cars and on swaying commuter trains. Young and old, teenagers and nonagenarians alike, they read them in every possible position and under every conceivable condition of light and motion.
And all this time, they are tampering with my company's most valuable asset. Is it any wonder we worry?
Of course, there's not much we can do about it-how, where and under what conditions they read them. But we can, and have, done a great deal about the legibility of what they do read.
Our company is the largest integrated publishing operation in the world. We produce magazines all the way from the tree which supplies the woodpulp for paper to the finished product in the hands of the reader. We control the manufacture of the paper, the typefaces used in printing, the layout of the pages, the ink used, and the printing itself. In every step of the process we have continuous research programs underway to produce an easier-to-read magazine. For readability is a sine qua non of our business. If our magazines are not legible, they will not be read; and the easier they are to read, the more they will be read.
Because our aim is readability, we have progressed from the fancy typefaces of the Gay Nineties era to the cleaner, sharper, more legible faces of today. The same is true of layout. Where before we had pages cluttered with roccoco scrollwork, today the aim is simplicity. In paper we have made great strides in providing better surfaces, so that the type will produce a sharper impression instead of one that's diffused and blurred. Improved inks also contribute to better printing, as do the modern printing techniques in which we have pioneered.
The result is a more attractive magazine because of its legibility and simplicity, and cleaner, uncluttered pages. It makes our business prosper; and it is good, I know, for the eyesight of the American people.
No firm in the country shares with the optometric profession a greater interest in good vision than does ours, for without it we are lost; but with it we prosper. It is our most valuable asset, and one that we will do everything within our power to preserve. We are definitely with the optometrists of America in that aim.
A GOOD SCOUT TAKES GOOD CARE OF HIS EYES
(By Rebel L. Robertson, Public Relations Director, National Council, Boy Scouts
The Boy Scouts of America promotes through organization and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others; to train them in scoutcraft; and teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are commonly associated with scouting.
These methods, the outdoor and indoor experiences which help a boy develop himself, require good vision, not only physically for the sake of partaking in lively activities, but also mentally in order that he might collect visually the knowledge necessary to the constant improvement of his mind.
Tracking, trailing, astronomy, craftwork, lifesaving, first aid, and other tasks which Scouts must perform to qualify for ranks in scouting are demanders of high quality, expertly cared for vision. Events which have been associated in the main with scouting, such as signaling, beeline hikes, identification of wild
animals and birds, and others also immediately bring to mind the importance of good vision.
At the same time, a lad of Scout age should be thinking about his ever-increasing span of influence. He should see that as he grows, he must also grow in his vision of what his community, State, and country mean. He must be able to see and understand what it takes and why it is necessary to be a worthwhile citizen.
The visual welfare of the youth of this Nation is of vital interest to the Boy Scouts of America. Throughout our literature and teachings, we strive to keep our members aware of the importance of this great cause.
INDUSTRY NEEDS A GOOD VISION PROGRAM (By William H. Seymour, senior vice president, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.)
Vision programs in industry originally set a quite limited goal—the prévention of accidents. The premise was that if a worker could see better, he could avoid hazards. This limited goal quickly expanded, however, as beneficial side effects were noted by industry. Not only did corrected vision prevent accidents, it also increased worker comfort, eased the tension of eye strain, lessened fatigue, and increased worker accuracy and total output.
This evolution from a single, restricted goal into a more comprehensive program has typified our own efforts to bring occupational medicine into the service of industry. The good side effects have often amazed us.
The economic loss to industry, not to mention the human anguish, resulting from eye injuries, has been often noted. It has been estimated that daily some 1,500 industrial workers suffer eye injuries, ranging from partial impairment up to complete loss of sight. Such figures stagger the imagination. But this is only a small segment of the whole problem. Injury to the eyes is one thing, and a tragic one; but contemplate for a moment how many other injuries and even fatalities grow out of uncorrected vision defects. One might safely contend that vision insufficiency enters as a factor into more accidents, and more importintly into more accidents than any other single type of defect. Hence, importunt as it may be to avoid accidental eye injuries, it is probably even more important to prevent the far greater number of accidents attributable in whole or in part to faulty vision.
My company, Liberty Mutual, looks upon visual disability as it does upon other types of physical disability. It should not be a deterrent to employment, if the conditions are known and the individual seeks correction and is properly placed. We are far more interested in an individual's abilities than in his disabilities. Accurate appraisal of an individual's disabilities is a preliminary step made necessary only to arrive at corrective or compensatory measures which then lead to a realistic final determination of his positive abilities.
For years, in fact ever since our company was organized 47 years ago, we have pioneered in industrial safety engineering. Some time ago the limitations of this unilateral approach became evident. Despite the considerable progress in accident reduction attained through machine guarding, improved housekeeping, safety education and better work methods, it was all too obvious that even if these were brought to near perfection much of the problem of accident causation would remain untouched. Emphasis upon environmental factors was clearly not sufficient so long as the human factor, known to be present in every accident, was largely ignored. We had done a good job in the control of environmental factors and had made tentative advances, of perhaps debatable value, into safety educational philosophy.; but the individual worker as a unique personality remained a virgin fortress. Everyone felt that the individual worker, with his inner tensions, emotional conflicts, indefinable attitudes, physical frailties, and mental imitations, played a preponderant role in accident-producing situations, but to most of us the human psyche was a book with seven seals.
It became apparent, therefore, that the next decisive breakthrough by the accident prevention profession would derive from an exploration of the personal causes of accidents. This led us directly into industrial medicine in all its phases. From the beginning, we regarded our industrial medical staff as an integral part of our loss prevention department, but a part dedicated to a comprehensive investigation of the worker as a human being, as a bundle of human factors.
This study of the personal factors in accident causation has sharpened our thinking, has brought out some surprising facts, and has explained some of the opinions we held formerly but could not justify. We realize now the orerriding importance of worker attitude and motivation, how irritations which are seemingly minor can grow into major problems, and how sensory deficiencies
(especially in vision) may appear unimportant or even go unnoticed but may lie at the root of accidents, headaches, emotional upsets, lowered efficiency, and unnecessary fatigue and depression. Since this discussion concerns vision, I shall limit my remaining remarks to this aspect of the problem.
Vision is almost universally regarded as the most valuable of our senses. It gives us more information about the world we live in than any other sense. It follows from this that we should take every possible measure to conserve our vision and to correct its deficiencies.
Industry has rather generally realized the value of adequate illumination, prevention of glare, and the effective use of contrast and colors. It still must be educated beyond these environmental improvements and induced to take greater interest in the vision of the individual worker. This educational project has some obstacles which should be carefully noted.
That vision defects contribute heavily to accidents is becoming widely recogn ed, not only in factories and commercial establishments, but also among commercial drivers. The latter, in particular, are becoming more aware of the importance not only of visual acuity but also of depth perception, field of vision, and color discrimination. However, there is a lingering belief on the part of many managements that the individual worker is usually aware of his vision inadequacies and has had them corrected so far as possible. Unfortunately, this belief is often ill-founded.
The onset of impaired vision, whether through disease or the aging process, is frequently so gradual and subtle that the affected person may be totally unaware of his loss until some accidental circumstances brings it forcibly to his attention. Small day-to-day changes are difficult to perceive. Every parent experiences this in bis child. When the child is seen daily, no great change is noticed; but when he returns from an absence of only a week, the change is often rather jolting.
Even when this belief, or prejudice, of industry has been dispelled, I believe you will not find it easy to sell management on a comprehensive eye-examination program. On this subject I can speak with some degree of confidence founded upon many years of selling management on accident prevention measures. If I may be permitted to close this discussion with a word of advice and still avoid the allegation of presumption, I would submit the following:
I believe vision programs must be sold to industry on a selective basis. This is the way we sell our accident control programs. We select certain hazardous conditions; bring them to the attention of management; show their probable costly consequences; and explain clearly what can be done about them. If management buys our bit of accident prevention and sees its good results, we can sell a bigger bit next time. Evenutally, we can sell a needed comprehensive program.
The same can be done with vision programs. Select certain operations where vision plays a prominent part, perhaps an operation involving only a few workers. Prove your point with this small sample and management will take the next step. Eventually, management may ask for the full program of vision conservation.
THE INDUSTRIOUS EYE IN INDUSTRY
Maybe your company doesn't have a vision program. If so, there's nothing to stop you doing the needed job for yourself. Here's how, in three steps:
1. Find out whether your eyes are doing a good or a poor job. If your production record is slipping, if you are having accidents, that may be the tipoff. If your eyes hurt, you feel slack, your vision is foggy, you make frequent trips to the dispensary for headache or upset stomach, that's a pretty sure sign that your eyes are laboring worse than a burnt-out bearing.
2. Analyze what the seeing needs of your job are. Must you be able to see clearly at 20 feet, or 15 inches, or both? How much work area must your gaze cover; a square inch or a square yard? Moving objects or still? Bright or dark?
3. Take your job analysis to a competent eyesight specialist, ask him to make a thorough examination, and tell him exactly what your work requirements are. In the vast majority of cases he can give you, through carefully prescribed spectacles, exactly what your eyes need and lack; spectacles with one, two, or three lens powers for varying distances, if that's what is needed.
Industrial concerns that have installed vision programs did it because it pays. Why else? Production records have jumped 15 to 20 percent, spoilage and breakage have dropped off, labor turnover has diminished, absence for sickness has declined. Hourly earnings of employees have jumped sensationally in some cases.
If it's good for the company it's good for you. Better attend to it before well, before you wish you had. And while you are at it, get smart, up-to-date glasses that you will be proud to wear.
RAMBLER MANUFACTURER EXPLAINS WHY SAFETY ENGINEERING IS
Elmer W. Bernitt, Vice President, Automotive Operations, American Motors Corp.
Eye protection is the key to safety engineering and production in America's automobile industry. Vision care is closely related to individual employee skills.
Eye injuries stand high among on-the-job accidents that cost American industry millions of dollars each year.
The loss of man-hours due to industrial vision accidents is a serious drain on our national production capacity.
More and more, safety engineering is assuming a preeminent role in management function. Industry has a big stake in keeping trained workers on the job. The loss of a single employee from a key operation can result in the slowdown of an entire production process. This is of special consideration in the tightly geared operations of an automobile plant where good management practice demands every precaution for the safety and welfare of employees.
The complex nature of automobile production places unusual emphasis on plant safety engineering. Few industries can match the wide variety of job categories in a highly integrated automotive plant, such as American Motors' manufacturing plant at Kenosha, Wis., where more automobiles are produced under one roof than any plant in the world.
At Kenosha, the large concentration of manufacturing and assembly operations calls for unusual rigid enforcement of safety rules. Here, more than 13,000 persons are engaged in building Rambler cars. Demand for the compact Rambler has resulted in more than doubling production in the past year with corresponding increases in the work force. From June 1958 to June 1959, more than 6,000 hourly workers were added at Kenosha, bringing the combined total employment in Milwaukee and Kenosha plants to more than 21,000.
The heavily augmented work forces placed new demands on plant safety departments. To insure safe work environments, plant safety regulations were reexamined and strengthened. Work areas were reevaluated for hazardous or potentially dangerous conditions and safety education for employees stepped up.
Safety programs receive the close attention of top plant management. At Kenosha, a management safety and security committee meets monthly to formulate policies and check performance. Headed by the works manager, the committee includes the director of personnel, the plant safety director, factory superintendents, engineers, and plant protection officials.
Eye protection is particularly stressed in the safety programs. All possible steps are taken to safeguard the vision of employees against accidents. Under our liberal compensation laws, most workers are protected against loss of income due to on-the-job injuries. However, no legislative decree can accurately measure the cost in human suffering resulting from loss or serious impairment of vision.
EYE SAFETY INDOCTRINATION
Indoctrination of employees on eye safety begins the moment they join American Motors. The wearing of safety glasses in restricted areas is described in detail in the company's “On the Job” booklet received by each new employee. Mandatory areas and types of glasses to be worn are emphasized again in training classes attended by all new employees before beginning work assignments.
Workers are instructed that eye protection must be worn in operations involving the handling of acids or caustics, in all types of grinding operations,
chipping, welding, cutting, breaking of concrete or masonry and when working before ovens or furnaces. They learn that a carelessly used compressed air hose can send needle-sharp metal particles hurtling through the air with bullet velocity. They are advised, too, that failure to wear safety glasses in prescribed areas can result in disciplinary action—up to 60 days suspension for chronic offenders. This measure is evoked only as a final resort and in the employee's own interest.
Signs warning that safety glasses must be worn are prominently posted in all restricted areas and on the entrances of buildings housing certain operations. Workers and visitors passing through these areas also must don eye protection.
Types of safety glasses to be worn are determined by careful job analysis and evaluation of hazards involved. Plano safety glasses, clear lenses with high impact resistance, are issued for frontal protection against possible large flying particles. Where dust or small flying particles are potential hazards, safety glasses are equipped with side screens having screen openings no large than one twenty-fifth inch, as specified by the Wisconsin State Administrative Code. "Tuff-Cote" lenses, of special hardness, are used where extra impact protection is indicated. Protection against radiation and harmful light rays is provided by properly tinted lenses and sidescreens.
Wearers of prescription glasses are equipped with monogoggles in restricted areas. These lightweight plastic goggles with high-impact lenses fit snugly over the regular glasses for added protection.
Extensive welding operations are employed in Rambler production. This is due to the single unit construction methods pioneered by American Motors and recently adopted by other manufacturers. In this type of construction, body and frame are welded into a single integral unit for greater regidity, safety, and durability.
On all arc welding operations, safety glasses are worn as secondary protection under welding helmets. Spot welders are protected by plastic-type face shields, as are all those engaged in operations involving discing, brazing, and undercoating.
Employees are individually responsible for the care of safety glasses. Worn or accidently damaged equipment is replaced by the plant commissary. Workers are urged to maintain the visual efficiency of their glasses. Special cabinets in restricted areas help to reduce damage or loss by providing convenient offshift storage. Damaged glasses are reclaimed by the commissary, which replaces a cracked lens, temple pieces, and side screens. The extent of this activity at Kenosha is pointed up by the 8,000 pairs of safety glasses carried in its inventory.
WORK CLOSELY WITH OPTOMETRISTS Plant commissaries work closely with the optometric profession in maintaining visual efficiency of workers. Workers wearing prescription glasses are encouraged to replace plain glass with safety lenses. About 70 Kenosha employees each month take advantage of the company's payroll deduction plan for safety lenses. This requires a prescription from the employee's optometrist. An initial fitting is provided by the company, after which the wearer is instructed to return to his optometrist for evaluation.
Should an employee be undecided about changing to a safety lens, a look at the commissary's “rogues gallery” usually tends to make up his mind. This consists of photographs of workers who escaped serious eye injuries by wearing proper protection—a graphic and convincing demonstration of the value of safety glasses.
While preventative measures are a key part of the company's vision program, substantial attention is given to fitting the job assignment to the employee's visual efficiency. Obviously, some jobs demand better sight than others. For example, visual efficiency of machine operators and inplant truckdrivers must be 20-40 minimum. On the road drivers must meet a minimum of 20–70.
All new employees receive a complete eye check as part of their physical examination on joining the company. Vision thresholds are established for close and distant efficiency and the employee's records coded to indicate any work limitations. This might be dictated as "no work on power machinery," or "no work requiring acute vision." In addition to the safety factor, the company places a high premium on visual acuity in its quality control program. Rambler cars have won an enviable quality rating with the public and we guard this reputation zealously. The importance of good vision to the program is evident.