How to take workplace safety into your own hands

When you commit to the evolution of an idea, leave your ego at the door. The best self-editing, whether in writing or design, usually involves taking what you thought was shear mind-blowing brilliance, and tossing it straight out the window. Creative problem solving is all about trial and error, either performed mentally, or, as in this case, getting your hands dirty in real world testing.

This polymath has no Medici patron. As I explore Blank Canvas Living and work within the medium to develop a new way to tell a story using Story Thread Posts, I earn my creative freedom in a rather bizarre, yet beautifully brain preserving, way – rolling paper. Literally. I spend my 9-5s rolling epic seismic printouts, and when occasion calls for it, folding them. When our new set of wide-format printers came online, I went rollin…’ rollin…’ rollin’… along as usual, but when I stopped my palms and fingertips were black with toner! Sure, my version of coal dust is (probably? hopefully?) only vaguely toxic, but I couldn’t believe the engineers had overlooked the long term health of everyone using their products. The fact that these are the same minds currently slaving away on artificial intelligence is even more horrifying. ‘Slaving’ being the operative word. But anyways…

Protective Glove Criteria:
-full barrier (most critical at rolling contact points)
-easy on and off
-breathable
-dexterous grip
-replaceable and/or washable

Latex was instant clammy hell. Garden gloves compromised dexterity. Everything was either too thick or too porous, or made my skin react. Cheap knit gloves worked best, but were still too porous at the contact points. I tried doubling them up, which worked at first, but made my fingers stiff with strain (a very odd sensation). I used a strip of tape to block the most stretched palm pores, then I had the exquisite, genius idea to impregnate the contact points with white glue. This proved effective, but was bulky and its texture rubbed off even more toner.

So, grudgingly, I chucked the genius and went for taped fingers (open at the back) and a T shaped palm covering. The solution is easily replaceable (to prevent the fibers from collecting too much toner dust), easy on and off, and doesn’t compromise my grip or dexterity. Is it the best solution? Ask my doctor in fifty years. But by then A.I. will have taken over and we’ll have some new version of coal dust to panic about – you’ll find my opinion (in pink) about that directly below.

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