SEB Safety Tip: Don’t glue your headset to your ear.

You would think this would be self-evident, but apparently at least one fellow out there needed to be told:

“I hit my ear on the boom of my truck and broke the headset of my phone,” Mr Gardner told the Northern Territory News.

“So I got some superglue and glued it back together – and that was … when my boss rang.”

The truck driver said he usually had the phone’s headset in his ear most of the day.

“I guess I didn’t think much of it when I put it back into my ear to talk to the boss.

“I drove from Casuarina to Rapid Creek when I realised I had done something kinda stupid.”

If you do accidentally glue your headset to your ear, don’t compound the problem with half-assed attempts at removing it:

Mr Gardner told the Northern Territory News it crossed his mind to use his pocket knife to remove the unwanted gear from his ear.

“I realised I didn’t want to see myself going to a doctor to put my ear back on after I chopped it off.

“So I used a spoon.”

The 43-year-old said he scraped the earpiece out of his ear with a spoon but several pieces of skin were still stuck to the headphones.

“Yes, it did hurt – but I guess I did hurt my pride much more than it did hurt my ear.”

Kudos to Mr. Gardner for not using his pocket knife, but a spoon is hardly an adequate second choice. What he should have used instead is a bit of acetone, which is like Kryptonite to super glue. Just a bit of your average nail polish remover – check the bottle to be sure it has acetone in it – on a Q-tip is all it takes to remove the glue without removing parts of your ear along with it. Be sure to wash the acetone off your skin once you free yourself and perhaps put some lotion on the spot as well.

As it turns out, it’s possible to get super glue on parts of your body that you really shouldn’t use acetone on such as your lips or your eye. Apparently this has happened enough that the Original Super Glue Corporation actually has a webpage detailing what to do:

Should Super Glue bond to any body part where acetone should not be applied, such as the lips or eyes, the following steps will help you get out of any sticky situation!

  • Skin
    Immerse bonded areas in warm, soapy water. Peel or roll skin apart; a spatula or teaspoon handle or even a pencil will help. Remove cured adhesive with warm, soapy water (may take several applications). Fingernail polish remover with an acetone base has also been successful for removal of cured adhesive from skin.
  • Lips
    If lips are accidentally stuck together, apply a generous amount of warm water and encourage maximum wetting and pressure from saliva from inside the mouth. Peel or roll (do not pull) lips apart. It is almost impossible to swallow the adhesive as a liquid. The adhesive solidifies upon contact with saliva (moisture) and could adhere to the inside of the mouth. Saliva will lift the adhesive in 1-2 days, avoid swallowing the adhesive after detachment.
  • Eyelid
    In the event that eyelids are stuck together or bonded to the eyeball, wash thoroughly with warm water and apply a gauze patch. The eye will open without further action within 1-4 days. To our knowledge there has never been a documented case of adhesive in the eye causing permanent damage. Do not try to force eyes open.
  • Eyeball
    The adhesive will attach itself to the eye protein and will disassociate from it over time, usually within several hours. Periods of weeping and double vision may be experienced until clearance is achieved. Use of a warmed 3% sodium bicarbonate solution to wash eyes repeatedly may assist in aiding more rapid removal of the adhesive.

In other words, please don’t sue the shit out of us due to your own stupidity.

12 thoughts on “SEB Safety Tip: Don’t glue your headset to your ear.

  1. 1) You make it sound like it’s unusual for someone to accidentally glue things to themselves, or glue other parts of themselves to themselfs.

    2) These tips are going to come in VERY handy around my house.

  2. The problem with superglue (as hinted in the offial “don’t panic” instructions) is that water acts as a hardener. This is why the vase you are trying to fix will not stick, but your fingers do. Apply glue to one edge, then breath on the other to moisten- this helps the bond form quicker. The reason it does not bond instantly is that they appear to have weakened it to stop so many glue related incidents.

    When I am glueing my metal figures to a base I use PVA on the base (all over) then a dab of super glue on the bottom of the figure, then put onto the PVA. The PVA being water based mixes with the SG to give a really stong bond once both are dry. As soon as the figures are on the base I dip in flock (modellers grass)- this is paper, so sticks well to the PVA. Leave for 30 minutes.

  3. Peel or roll skin apart; a spatula or teaspoon handle or even a pencil will help.

    See, he was following directions by using a spoon! Well, parts of the directions. πŸ˜‰


  4. Very interesting stuff. And thanks for the gluing tip, Hussar- I would never have thought to combine superglue with PVA. I’ll test it out for some problem joints in the workshop.

    For years, I went to our Hallowe’en party with horns- the tips of two antlers, superglued to my forehead. They held remarkably well, but after about six hours they peeled off fairly painlessly. Don’t any of you young’uns be trying this, mind.

  5. ( Another Super Glue Story )
    Years ago ( early 70’s ) when I was in College, The instructor passed out a packet of assorted things we would be using that day. This also included a tube labeled Adhesive 2-Octyl cyanoacrylate with a skull and bones on each side. This is surgical grade super-glue. It had a top to it. And as we were listening to the teacher we heard a sound come from the back of the room. A student had bitten the top off of the tube and resulted in emptying the contents into his mouth. They were afraid he had swallowed it. But it just saturated his oral cavity. He was in the ER most of the day.

  6. A student had bitten the top off of the tube and resulted in emptying the contents into his mouth.

    This student passed the college entrance exams??? πŸ™‚


  7. You can be as intelligent as hell and still do no-brainer stupid stuff, if you’re bored or have something to prove. Guy in my student co-op, Greg Bragg, disillusioned upper class beatnik, wondered if the heat detectors of the sprinkler system really worked, so he held a lit match to one of them. They really worked, and lots of carpet had to be replaced.

  8. do no-brainer stupid stuff, if you’re bored or have something to prove.

    Or are distracted, like this guy was. That’s why using cell phones or texting while driving is so destructive, among other distractions.


  9. I was glad to hear that the FMCSA finally made it illegal to for any commercial vehicle to Text while in operation. I just wish it had been expanded to all vehicles in all States. Only 19 States have laws pertaining to automobile operation while texting. I believe texting is in the top ranks of carelessness given the information and statistics available. Super Glue your ears and mouth shows a lacking of common sense. But Texting is more reckless disregard for the safety of others as well as self.

    Found a good PSA in the UK about texting. Check it out !

    I have been trying to find a PSA about gluing your mouth and ears, but still unsuccessful.

  10. A few years ago my mum superglued her fingers together. Luckily for her she married an engineer. Any one else would have taken her to the hospital, where there would have been a wait.

    My dad took her to Halfords (a national Car parts retailer) where their mechanics had the stuff to release her.

  11. L.H. I believe the hospital was run by the government, whereas the car parts retailer was a private industry, right? πŸ˜‰


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