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MSHA Alliance - Structural Failure Alert is the Focus in November

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

As part of IMA-NA's ongoing MSHA Alliance, MSHA just published IMA-NA's Structural Failure Alert as their Safety Hazard Alert for November. The MSHA Alliance is an opportunity for industry to collaborate with MSHA to highlight proactive measures that can be implemented or taken to improve safety conditions at facilities across the entire mining industry. The Structural Failure Alert is the result of a presentation from IMA-NA's Operations & Engineering Committee during our Annual Meeting. To further underscore MSHA's appreciation for IMA-NA members' proactive approach to Safety & Health Assistant Secretary of MSHA Joe Main had intended to present the alert at the Kaolin Minerals Day event. Unfortunately, Mr. Main fell ill and was unable to offer his remarks on the alert to the group in October. However, IMA-NA is thrilled to announce the latest MSHA Alert and sees it as a reflection of our industry's positive impact on the culture of safety and health in the industrial minerals sector. 


To download the Structural Failure Alert click here

Tags:  alert  msha  MSHA Alliance  operations and engineering  safety  safety and health  structural safety 

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Webinar: The MineFit 24/7 Approach to Sustainable Workforce

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, October 25, 2016
WEBINAR: The MineFit 24/7 Approach to Sustainable Workforce

Date and Time: November 3, 2016, 2:00 PM ET

In this webinar we will discuss the best ways to create a system which effectively disseminates new and valuable health information: things like the very MineFit materials you enjoy as a member of the IMA-MA. Please join us to review MineFit tangibles available for easy use on-site, online, in-office, and among your entire organization. Use triangulation to create a foolproof system which uses materials as employee amenities, not mandates, and guides your workers to protect their health and their future, 24/7. The webinar is perfect for (1)Plant Managers, (2) Heads of Health and Safety, and (3) you HR department to help thread together health and safety with wellness programming and ensure a sustainable worker.

Instructor: Monica Pampell

Click here to register

Cost: $29/person for IMA members
$59/person for non-members

Tags:  health  MineFit  safety and health  sustainability  webinar  workforce 

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Monday Moves: Q3 MineFit Strength Series Week One

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, July 25, 2016

Q3 MineFit Strength Series Week One

This week, our move marks the beginning of a strength series, which will culminate as a list of the best strength exercises you can do in the shortest amount of time.

The Series
Exercises will be illustrated by way of resistance band, and can be transferred to bodyweight, machine, and dumbbell format. Each "Strength Move" will explain the WHY and the HOW while engaging in resistance training and define specific muscle group exercises, with the goals of:
(1) Improving overall body strength
(2) increasing joint integrity and reducing osteoarthritis
(3) reducing chronic injury and strain to shoulders and lower back -- the two most common joints at risk.

Strength Move: Row

This classic "pulling "exercise covers the large group of muscles in your middle back, and engages shoulders to pull back into the proper place in their socket, reducing chronic injury by way of keeping them away of a vulnerable position to strain tendons.
Also, strengthening the muscles of the middle back reduces the risk of lower back injury by assisting movement and lifting without using the various tiny muscles in the lower spine improperly.

Stand tall with a long flat fine, and stay firm through the stomach. Engage in two sets of 15 to 20 repetitions, focus on drawing in your chest open and pulling your elbows back, trying to touch your elbows together behind you as you pull. Perform three times per week.

 Please note: this exercise can be performed in a seated or standing position, and, can be transferred to a cable cross machine, or performed bent from the waistline if you have a dumbbell. 

The last photo represents our MineFit coach getting "fancy" with single leg balance while pulling a resistance  band and is purely aspirational! Please do not perform this version on the worksite. :-)




Tags:  health  MineFit  Monday Moves  monica pampell  Row  safety and health  strength series 

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Friday MineFit TidBit: Why Fruit Won't Make You Fat-Deciphering One Sugar Myth Using Science!

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, July 22, 2016

In a study published in September, 2015, researchers from Harvard University found that, while eating more fruit and vegetables can prevent long-term weight gain, specific types can either enhance or curb weight loss efforts. Study results showed benefits in terms of improved weight loss in two ways: First, increased consumption of fruit showed a greater effect than for vegetables for weight loss. Second, the foods showing the strongest weight loss associations were berries, apples/pears, tofu/soy, cauliflower, and cruciferous and green leafy vegetables, according to a release from Harvard's School of Public Health.

The report noted that a possible factor in play is the increased satiety value with fewer calories as partially responsible for the beneficial effects of increasing fruit and vegetable intake, in addition to important vitamins in produce items.

Be sure to print and post this notice about the best veggies for weight loss at your mine sites for all to see!


Tags:  diet  food facts  health  MineFit  minefit tidbit  safety and health 

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MineFit Tidbit: Carry Your Weight Stretching

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, July 8, 2016

Osteogenic dynamic loads delivered to the skeleton during exercise prevent aging-associated bone fragility. WHAT the heck does this mean?  When you "carry your weight and add an additional “load” or weight-bearing exercise, you can counteract the effects of bone loss which happen over the age of 50.  

Why does bone loss matter?  It is a direct contributor to arthritis, muscle strain and tear, and chronic joint pain.  

Weighted stretching exercises not only improve quality of life, muscle strength, and bone strength... they are a known factor for coordination and balance, reducing the risk of fall-related fractures. 

Exercise is the mainstay of the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis; often however, physicians don’t have enough know-how for evidence-based prescription of exercise. Moreover, the lack of facilities for safe implementation of the exercise programs compound the problem. Worksites and employers can assist in building a structure whereby employees can exercise and sustain their bodies, bones, and muscles.  And, stay on-site for a productive workday, everyday.  

Look at Our Three Items Easy to Implement at the Workplace or at Home.




Tags:  health  joint health  MineFit  minefit tidbit  safety and health  stretching 

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Announcing MineFit's Q3 Initiative: Releasing Stiff Joints & Strengthening Muscles

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, July 7, 2016

The MineFit Q3 Initiative: Releasing Stiff Joints and Strengthening Muscles 


We are pleased to bring to our members a collaborative effort from the IMA-MA, our member-driven Task Force Committee, and our MineFit Head Coach, for the second half of 2016 with an innovative Health and Safety Program: MineFit.  The primary goal for the third quarter initiative is to inform and guide in simple and easily-distributable ways the most successful ways to engage your workers and your organization to keep joints and muscles healthy. 


 •   No Sick Days. Nobody wants to be sick or injured either on or off the job site.  The goal is to reduce lost days due to sickness and injury and make sure people are not in pain.

   No Health Claims. Sometimes what you don’t know really can hurt you.  The MineFit information to distribute on-site and to carry-out at home reduces healthcare and workers compensation claims for easily treated, minor issues.  It essentially offers the cure before the call to the doctor.

   No General Malaise. Our research investigated the association between injury and on-site productivity using stretching programs and exercise information.  There is heavy scientific correlation between healthy bodies and better work product and morale.  Having a succinct stretching and training program embedded in the work day makes workers more aware of their bodies and in better control of their daily routine, which improves quality of work and life.


MineFit Q3 Initiative Highlights:

 •   On-Site Stretching Videos - Audio and Video to show on your job site, and instructions on when and how to disseminate information to engage employees in the most successful way.  Health and Safety managers, Plant managers, and HR directors should all be on-board…Triangulation = Better Participation!

   Strength Training Guides for All Ages - Appreciate that employee needs differ according to age and job responsibility.  Increasing strength for younger populations, maintaining bone mass for older populations, and improving stiff muscles and joints for all groups, is our objective.  Health information will be distributed accordingly.

   Q3 Webinar:  All Hands on Deck for 24/7 Health and Safety - How to weave in the MineFit materials to help employees on board, explain best tactics to disseminate information effectively, and create a timeline and structure for integrating ways to keep muscles and joints healthy for a 24/7 Health and Safety mindset.  Join us on August 16th at 2:00 EST for this webinar.


Stay tuned for all MineFit's exciting news and information through Q3, including a Fitbit Giveaway!

Tags:  health  joint health  MineFit  safety and health 

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MineFit Tidbit: Q3 Initiative Sneak Peak - Releasing Stiff Joints & Strengthening Muscles

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, July 1, 2016

MineFit Tidbit:  The Q3 Teaser!  Read Ahead For Your Worksite Strategies, including a comprehensive list the most popular preventive care picks.  

 As we get ready to launch the MineFit Q3 Initiative: Releasing Stiff Joints and Strengthening Muscles, we offer a sneak peak of the content you can look forward to.  We begin this initiative examining the most successful ways to engage your employees and your organization to keep their joints and muscles healthy, using the most popular modes of fitness, wellness, and preventive care.  

 The following items are teasers for the Q3 topics and materials to come, so keep your eyes peeled and muscles limber!  

   Wearable Technology — the 2016 FitBit Blaze Giveaway 

   Body Weight Training and Stretching - Guides and Handouts to be posted on-site 

   Lower time (duration) and Increased Intensity (interval) Training - To be performed at home

   Strength Training - The tangible research on bone loss reduction techniques 

   Educated and Experienced Professionals - Engaging with your MineFit Coach and On-Site Professional 

   Fitness for Older Adults - Considerations for those in their 50's 

   Group Personal Training - How the “team” effect bolsters participation and results 

   Worksite Health Promotion - Engage your HR department and your plant managers to see results 

   Smart Phone Exercise Apps - Any type of phone on site and at home can track steps and improve health

   Outcome Measurements - measuring baseline and follow-up data, with a specific intervention period, is easy and highly effective to gain traction


Bonus Tidbit!

Did you know that wearing an activity tracker is directly associated with a 15% weight loss?  

Click here to read the Stanford led research study on weight loss with activity trackers.

Tags:  fitness  health  joint health  MineFit  minefit tidbit  safety and health 

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MineFit Tidbit: Fighting Fatigue (8 Common Causes of and Solutions for Fatigue)

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, May 20, 2016

The MineFit Q2 initiative, Attention and Focus, has presented a variety of information, research and applications for physical activity and nutrition, aiming to improve focus, attention, mood, productivity, morale, and physical state of being. 

This week for our MineFit Tidbit, we turn to identifying and curing fatigue, which can present itself from a wide base of possible root causes.  Here are the top identifiers of fatigue, and solutions for a more restful night, and a better, more productive day.  


1. The Obvious: lack of sleep.  

Solution:  Turn off all TV’s and devices 1 hour before bedtime, to reduce serotonin production in the brain and help induce a better night’s rest.

2. Sleep Apnea: this condition is marked by brief interruptions in breathing, causing tiny wake-ups throughout the night.  

Solution: Lose weight and stop smoking, and go to a sleep clinic to check for this condition.

3. Lack of Food Fuel: eating too little causes fatigue; however, you might be getting the wrong foods, which cause abnormal fluctuations in blood sugar and lead to fatigue and lack of focus:  

Solution: Always eat breakfast and be sure there is protein added to each of your meals, especially breakfast. 

4. Depression: this disorder is commonly thought of as emotional; however, it has many physical manifestations, namely fatigue and headache.  

Solution:  Take an online screening test and try to use lifestyle habits to improve your mood and positively affect fatigue.  

5. Diabetes: wherever you are on the spectrum of diabetes and insulin resistance, this causes a malfunction in the ability to convert food to energy, resulting in fatigue and low energy, despite eating enough food.  

Solution: In most cases, diabetes can be treated with lifestyle changes, namely in the form of cardiovascular exercise and monitoring blood sugar. 

6. Dehydration:  fatigue is commonly a result of dehydration, especially for people who don’t engage in physical activity and thus don’t perceive the need for fluids.  

Solution:  If you are thirsty, you are already fatigued, so have two cups of water per hour and monitor urine frequency and color.  

7. Shift Work Sleep Disorder: working nights or rotating shifts such that your schedule changes, can disrupt your internal clock and lead to chronic fatigue.  

Solution: Limit your exposure to sunlight when you need to rest, keep your room very quiet and cool, and do not use devices when you are trying to settle down to sleep.  

8. Heart Disease:  when fatigue strikes everyday activities such as cleaning the house or gardening, it can be an sign of incoming heart disease, or the slow blockage of the arteries and blood flow in the body.  

Solution: Lifestyle changes, mainly in the form of cardiovascular exercise and weight management, curb heart disease before it gets out of hand.

Tags:  fatigue  health  MineFit  safety and health 

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Monday Moves: Super On-Site Stretch Full Series Posted

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, May 9, 2016

We are pleased to annouce this week's Monday Move, in conjunction with the IMA-MA Spring Meeting in Washington, DC, is the culmination and product distribution representing:

  • Seven weeks of Monday Move stretches
  • Integration of the MineFit photography project
  • Thoughts and feedback on easiest implementation on-site, both in paper-form and electronically, to heads to operation, leaders in health and safety, and to workers themselves 

Super On-Site Stretching Series Intro:

MineFit has developed a basic set of seven stretching moves which would be an excellent start for employees to use on-site. They are easy to present to employees one-by-one at toolbox talks or other meetings. Start by doing them yourself, and see if your site can make them a habit. We are open to your feedback and ideas on ways to utilize the MineFit tools on-site.  

Please download the attached document and distribute to your employees, plant managers, HR team, and heads of training and safety.  We hope you can use them provide questions and feedback.  If you would like an extended version of each of the stretches, available as single-page documents to be sent weekly or posted on internal AV systems, please send a direct mail and we can transfer them to you.  

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  MineFit  Monday Moves  monica pampell  safety and health 

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Monday Moves: Super On-Site Stretch Series Week Five: The Heel Raise

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, April 18, 2016

MineFit has developed a basic set of seven stretching moves for employees to use on-site. In previous weeks, we introduced the Cross-Body Stretch, the Overhead-Reach, the Side-Bend, and the Single-Leg Stretch.   This week, the Heel Raise helps prepare workers for each step they take, starting with raising the back heel on every step, to land safety on the front leg!  It is valuable in connecting balance from head to toe: staying upright when the heel is lifted and improving range of motion in the foot and ankle to stay limber in each stride. 


Perform 20 heel raises in standing position.  Do half with arms still at the sides to promote core stability, and half with arms extended at chest level for an active trunk.   The body should be complete upright, aiming to get the heels off the ground an inch more with each repetition.  Imagine a rope on top of your head pulling you to the sky.



Tags:  MineFit  Monday Moves  safety and health  Stretch Series 

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