• Don Hansen

February 2021 Safety Meeting Topics

Many things come to mind during February. Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, Black History/Heritage Month, National Women’s History Month, and many more “National Month” calendar events.


It’s also American Heart Month.


Your heart beats 100,000 times a day and is so strong that it could lift over 3000 pounds. Yet we often overlook heart health when it comes to safety topics.


How would you know if something went wrong with your heart? Not all heart problems express themselves the same way. I know. Four years ago, feeling nauseous with flu-like symptoms at work, I asked a coworker to drive me home. On the way home I decided to have him take me to the hospital. We arrived at the ER just in time to truly understand that it wasn't the flu, it was a heart attack. I was lucky. Going to the hospital most likely saved my life and helped me avoid more serious heart tissue damage.


Some signs and symptoms of heart-related problems are not easy to recognize. So, it is important to watch out for warning signs and then to take action by seeking proper medical attention and advice.


Some of the warning signs include:


• Feeling extreme dizziness or lightheaded

• Swollen legs, ankles, and feet

• Unexplained pains. Not always in the chest but also in the legs, arms, shoulders, jaw, and back

• Shortness of breath

• Nausea, anxiety, and cold sweats (this is the one I experienced)


There are more risk factors associated with heart-related problems. Being aware of the risk factors is a great first step. In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, timing is everything. Having an emergency plan that includes CPR training could make all the difference in saving the life of a fellow employee or family member.