usually a vine; poison oak, usually a bush. In the
flowering season, both types produce clusters of
small white berries.
Different varieties of poisonous sumac leaves
are shown in figure 12-30. There are poisonous
sumacs and harmless sumacs, and it is difficult
to distinguish the leaf of one from the leaf of the
other. The only way to tell the poisonous plant
from the harmless one is by the fruit. Both plants
produce a drooping fruit cluster. The difference
lies in the color of their fruitsthat of the
harmless sumac is RED; that of the poison sumac
is WHITE. In other than the fruit season, it would
be better to avoid contact with all sumacs.
There are no do-it-yourself remedies for
plant poisoning; treatment must be by, or as
directed by, professional medical personnel. How-
ever, if you have reason to believe that you have
been infected, you should wash thoroughly with
water and an alkaline laundry soap. Do not use
an oily soap (most facial soaps are oily) because
this will tend to spread the juice. Lather profusely,
and do not rinse the lather off, but allow it to dry
on the skin. Repeat this procedure every 3 to 4
hours, allowing the lather to dry each time.
If job conditions make contact with plants
unavoidable, wear gloves and long sleeve shirts
and keep all other skin areas covered. When you
remove your clothing, take care not to allow any
skin area to come into contact with exposed
clothing. Launder all clothing at once.
USING FIELD EQUIPMENT SAFELY
The standard source of information on the safe
use of dangerous field equipment and other safety
precautions is Safety Precautions for Shore Activi-
ties, NAVMAT P-5100. A copy of this publica-
tion should be available in your technical library.
Since tools are a potential source of danger
in all occupations, they should be inspected
periodically to find out whether any repairs or
replacements are needed. Only tools in good
condition should be used. There should be no
loose heads on any hand tools. Sharp-edged tools
should be kept sharp. All tools should be stored
safely when not being used.
If tools with sharp blades or points are laid
down on the job temporarily, they should be
placed in such a way that no injury can result to
anyone. Sheaths or guards are desirable when
sharp-edged or pointed tools are being carried
from one place to another. If sheaths are not
available, carry a tool with the sharp edge or point
Figure 12-30.-Varieties of sumac leaves.