Health and Safety Special Committee

State State Health and Safety Committee Chair

Ron Leiman

State Health and Safety Committee Members

Mary Ann Dolezal, Judy Hart, Verna Mitchell

The TRTA Health and Safety Special Committee was created by President Marcy Cann and approved by the TRTA Executive Board for 2022-24. This committee will provide some of the information and resources previously promoted by the Healthy Living and Informative and Protective Services State Committees. It is an “opt-in” Committee at the district and local chapter levels.

Districts or local chapters can have a Health and Safety Chair, a Health Chair, a Safety Chair, or none.

The purpose of this special committee is to serve the entire membership of TRTA with health and safety information.

The goals of this committee are to provide monthly health and safety articles; and to promote health and safety programs and special events.

On the first Tuesday of the month, a health article will be posted on the TRTA website. On the third Tuesday of the month, a safety article will be posted on the TRTA website. These articles will include pertinent information for our members and will often include resources and online references. Once an article is replaced, it will become available under the appropriate menu tab. Please see the tabs below. This information is provided for all TRTA members.

Additional information will be provided, primarily for districts and local chapters, including newsletters, a monthly observances planning calendar, program ideas, and special events. Special events will include planning information for health and safety fairs, fitness walks, and other large-scale programs.

In addition to the committee members, advisors will serve in specific roles to assist the committee.

Marcy Cann, TRTA President, overseed this committee.

Roy Varney, TRTA Multimedia Specialist, is the TRTA Staff Liaison.

May Is Healthy Vision Month: Take Care of Your Eyes!

Healthy vision can help keep you safe each day. Taking care of your eyes should be a priority just like eating healthy and being physically active. People with vision problems are more likely to have diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and strokes, as well as have increased risk for falls, injury and depression. Just 21.5% of older Americans without vision problems reported fair to poor health.

There are nine ways you can help protect your vision according to the CDC.

  1. Get regular comprehensive dilated eye exams
  2. Know your family’s eye health history because some conditions are hereditary.
  3. Eat right to protect your sight.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or being active.
  6. Quit smoking or never start.
  7. Wear sunglasses that block 99-100% of ultraviolet A and B radiation.
  8. Wash your hands before taking out contact lenses and cleanse them.
  9. Practice workplace eye safety.

You can also promote healthy vision by staying hydrated and getting enough sleep.

Looking at a computer or phone screen for an extended period of time can cause eye strain, blurry vision, focusing at a distance problems, dry eyes headaches, headaches as well as neck, back and shoulder pain. You may want to use computer glasses, move the screen so your eyes are level with the top of the monitor, use an anti-glare screen, use a comfortable and supportive chair, have your feet flat on the floor, use artificial tears if your eyes are dry and rest your eyes every 20 minutes.

WebMD Guidelines for taking care of your eyes includes eating well. Eat foods that have omega 3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamins C and E. These nutrients help defend against age-related vision problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. Foods that support healthy vision include:

  1. Salmon, tuna and other oily fish
  2. Green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale and collards
  3. Eggs, nuts, beans and other nonmeat protein sources
  4. Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices
  5. Oysters and pork

You may want to consider wearing safety eyewear such as safety glasses or protective goggles when using hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home. This is especially true when mowing the lawn, raking leaves and yard waste or working outside in windy conditions. Be proactive and protect your eyes!


CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vison Health Initiative (VHI)

Hamptons Eye and Vision: March 2023 Is “Save Your Vision” Month   

April 2023 Safety Article

March 2023 Safety Article

Feb. 2023 Safety Article

Jan. 2023 Safety Article

Dec. 2022 Safety Article

Nov. 2022 Safety Article

Oct. 2022 Safety Article

Sept. 2022 Safety Article

Deep Breathing Can Improve Your Wellbeing

A deliberate focus on breathing can be an effective tool for healing and wellbeing. When we feel stress, our heart rate may increase, our breathing may get shallow, and/or our blood pressure may rise. We can shift that response by using slow deep breaths and activating the parasympathetic nervous system. This can slow the heart rate and bring equilibrium to the body. In other words, you calm down.

You may choose to incorporate “Coherent Breathing” into daily life. This technique can create a relaxed yet alert state by focusing on the in-and out-breaths. Begin by sitting comfortably upright, supporting your back if preferred. Take a few deep breaths, allowing the belly button to balloon outwards. Relax the mind as much as possible. Once you feel calmer, begin the practice as follows:

  1. Exhale to a count of six.
  2. Allow several breath cycles to complete, and then again focus on exhaling to a count of six.
  3. Let the breaths be smooth, and feel the body relaxing.
  4. Switch your focus by inhaling to a count of six.
  5. Again, allow your body to breathe in and out naturally several times, Focus on the the six-count inhalation every few breaths.
  6. Combine these by inhaling for six and exhaling for six. There’s no need for every breath in and out to be a six-count. The idea is to eventually piece together this rhythm without force. Allow your body to ease into it.

Another technique you may use is the “STOP” practice. This may be used in the middle of the day after a stressful phone call. The technique takes about one minute, and the acronym guides the practice:

S   Stop or slow what you are doing.

T   Take a few, deep slow breaths.

O   Observe how you are feeling in your body as you are taking slower breaths. Notice the thoughts and emotions. Invite calm.

P   Proceed with what you were doing.

Visualizing the breath as nourishing can help create a more peaceful physical and mental state. As you inhale imagine something positive. As you exhale think of letting go of negative things.

These techniques are meant to be gentle and unforced. Through time, this kind of attention can help decrease blood pressure as well as reduce other ill effects of stress, including headaches, digestive issues and depression.

Reference: UCLA Health Healthy Years Volume HY19A ; Natalie Bell, Certified Meditation Teacher with the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.

April 2023 Health Article

March 2023 Health Article

Feb. 2023 Health Article

Jan. 2023 Health Article

Dec. 2022 Health Article

Nov. 2022 Health Article

Oct. 2022 Health Article

Sept. 2022 Health Article

TRTA Health and Safety Special CommitteeEffective Date: September 9, 2022
ObservancesMonth and Week
JanuaryGlaucomaWinter Safety
Cervical CancerRadon Action
Birth DefectsSlavery and Human Trafficking
Folic Acid Week
FebruaryHeart HealthEarthquake
Girls and Women in SportsTeen Dating and Violence Prevention
Cancer PreventionBurn Week
Mascular Degeneration and Low Vision
Eating Disorder Week
Sepsis Survival Week
MarchKidney DiseaseLadder Safety
NutritionSpring and Flood Safety
Colectal CancerWorkplace Eye Safety
TuberculosisPoison Prevention Week
Brain InjuryTsunami Week
Multiple Sclerosis
AprilAutismAlcohol Awareness
Sexually Transmitted DiseasesFinancial Capability
Irritable Bowel SyndromeYouth Sports Safety
StressSexual Assault Prevention
Minority HealthChild Abuse Prevention
Parkinson’s DiseaseOccupational Therapy
Testicular CancrWindow Safety Week
Infertilty WeekPlayground safety Week
MayOlder AmericansElectrical Safety
Mental HealthBetter Hearing and Speech
Women’s HealthClean Air
Better Hearing and SpeechWildfire
ArthritisBuilding safety
LupusMotorcycle Safety
Asthma and AllergyTrauma
OsteoporosisWater Safety
Physical Fitness and SportsHealthy Vision
StrokeEMS Week
Nurses Week
JuneAlzheimer’s Disease and Brain HealthNational Safety Month
Men’s HealthHydration
CataractPet Preparedness
Migraine and HeadacheSummer and Extreme Heat
PTSDLightning Week
ScoliosisTrailer Safety Week
Youth SportsVehicle Theft Protection
Cleft and CrainiofacialFireworks
Group B Stress
AugustChildren’s Eye Health and SafetyWater Quality
BreastfeedingBack To School
ImmunizationStop on Red Week
SeptemberHealthy AgingSuicide Prevention
Food Safety and EducationPain
Blood cancerFall Safety
Childhood ObesitySport Eye Safety
YogaFarm Safety and Health Week
Ovarian Cancer
Prostrate Cancer
OctoberHealth LiteracyCybersecurity Awareness
Breast CancerFire Prevention
ADHDSubstance Abuse Prevention
Dental HygieneDomestic Violence
Down SyndromeCrime Prevention
School Bus Safety Week
NovemberDiabetesFamily Caregivers
Lung CancerHospice and Palliative Care
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary DiseaseHoliday Cooking Safety
Alzheimer’s DiseaseHoliday Online Shopping
Pancreatic Cancer
DecemberFlu VaccineFrostbite
HIV/Aids AwarenessImpaired Driving Prevention
Holiday Fire Safety
Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNational Safety Council