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National Miners Day - December 6th

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, December 5, 2016

Tomorrow, December 6th, is National Miners Day. Designated by Congress in 2009, December 6th, is marked as a day of commemoration and appreciation for the more than 350,000 miners whose work allows for our modern lifestyles. As IMA-NA members are aware, the mining industry goes largely unrecognized by the wider public for the enormous contributions to the global economy and community.  National Miners Day is a wonderful opportunity in the United States to recognize your workforce and the miners whose hard work underpins so much of our modern world. 

IMA-NA and our staff would like to take the opportunity to extend appreciation and gratitude for our Producer Members and their workforce. Furthermore, we would like to encourage IMA-NA members to share that tomorrow is National Miners Day with their employees, post to social media, or simply highlight your contributions to your community throughout the day tomorrow.

Click here to connect to the Facebook National Miners Day page.

Click here to read NIOSH's salute to Miners.

Click here to read MSHA's background on the day.

Tags:  education  facebook  msha  national miners day  NIOSH  outreach  social media 

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MineFit Monday Move: Foot Starters for Stress Relief

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, December 5, 2016

Do you know how much tension your FEET can hold, especially after a long day at work? Stiff feet and ankles can be quite uncomfortable - and can manifest in tension and anxiety. If your core strength is compromised, landing on your feet can be brutal because the core and trunk cannot properly decelerate the legs back down to the floor with each step you take.  

It’s important to walk softly and use your core to land gently on your foot. Also, these foot starters will help you get a leg up on foot/ankle pain and improve stress relief. 

Foot Starter Cues: 

(1) keep weight equally distributed on the inside and outside of the foot 
(2) keep your toes and heel aligned 
(3) try to create space between your arch and the floor to treat your foot like a hand and “grip” the floor 
(4) when walking, lift your knees up towards your chest a bit more so you don’t shuffle 
(5) try to keep your lower back flat and spine more aligned from top to bottom in walking and standing 

Foot and Ankle Exercises: 
(20 of each, first thing in the morning)

(1) Toe curling - wave “hi-hello” with your toes
(2) Flexion-extension of the ankle - give a nod with your foot
(3) Rolling of the ankle 10 circles each direction
(4) Inversion eversion - closely connected with the posterior tibialis, a commonly strained stabilizer muscle - the picture indicates this exercise!

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The Secret Algorithm for True Motivation

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, December 2, 2016

We begin with Extrinsic motivation. This refers to something in our environment: something to hold on to, someone to stimulate us to behave, press on, engage, perform, etc. The balance and the key is in finding the more solid form of motivation:  Intrinsic. This is the internal, self goal-oriented approach which negates the need for anything else but a staunch belief that YOU can do it. It is intrinsic motivation and a self-buried confidence which drives and catalyzes change and success. The Extrinsic motivators will get you started and pick you up when you are tired and need some help, but Intrinsic motivation will stay with you forever - if you can find it.  
When seeking motivation, use your toolbox: 

Photos of beauty in people and nature
Leadership and teamwork
Recognition of yourself and others 
Music, TV, coaching, prizes

Body awareness 
Your own High-Five System
Self-care and personal skill sets 
Systems for success in work and personal life 

Exercise Application:  Extrinsic is the equivalent to sitting on a chest press machine and pushing the weight you see fit.  Say, 12x at 40lbs. Intrinsic is standing up and telling your pectoral muscles, triceps, and shoulders to activate, knowing they are on, and then pushing any weight: 10lbs or 100lbs, feeling equally strong. It's not the weight you push. It's how you do it.

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First Friday Ask IMA - Post Election Update TODAY

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, December 2, 2016

With the election finally over, DC is preparing for the start of a new Administration and Congressional Session in January. Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches, meaning there will be tremendous opportunity to enact their policy agenda. Please join IMA-NA staff today, December 2nd at 1:00pm EST to hear insights on how the Trump Administration's Cabinet choices could impact our industry, what the House and Senate are likely to focus on in the coming year, and how to get involved in shaping upcoming tax reform and the other issues important to the industrial minerals industry.


Click here to Register.

Tags:  administration  Congress  first friday  legislation  Legislators  politics  president  Regulations 

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MSHA RFI Comments and Diesel Exhaust Health Effects Partnership Meeting

Posted By Darrell Smith, Thursday, December 1, 2016
IMA-NA and its Diesel Emissions Task Force filed extensive comments on the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) Request for Information on Exposure to Diesel Exhaust of Underground Miners (RFI). MSHA was soliciting information and data on approaches to controlling and monitoring miners’ exposures to diesel exhaust. Because of the carcinogenic health risk to miners from exposure to diesel exhaust, MSHA is reviewing the Agency’s existing standards and policy guidance. During the course of RFI proceedings, IMA-NA successfully requested that MSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) form a Diesel Health Effects Partnership with the mining industry, including both coal and metal/nonmetal mines, diesel engine manufacturers, and representatives of organized labor.  Partnership stakeholders will work together to better understand the evolving science on potential health effects, as well as current technologies and current mining practices. The Partnership will hold its inaugural meeting on December 8 in Washington, PA.

To view the RFI comments and information on the Partnership meeting, click here.

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Vote for Monica!

Posted By Darrell Smith, Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Vote for Monica Pampell, the MineFit Head Coach, to be recognized as one of the nation’s top Health Promotion Professionals. Your vote will help bring attention to IMA-NA, MineFit, and our favorite health leader. The contest is being sponsored by WELCOA, the national leader in workplace and corporate wellness programs.

Click here, create a login, and vote as many times as you like up to once an hour until December 17, 2016.

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Monday Move: Neck Stretching to Reduce Stiffness and Headaches

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, November 28, 2016

When it gets cold outside we start to bundle up…but we also stiffen up! How many times in the past couple of weeks, as the temperature has dropped, have you noticed yourself clenching your neck and shoulders to stay warm? Cold weather, pent up holiday stress, and extra layers can cause excessive stiffness, which leads to injury in the joints and headaches referred from neck pain. Stretch your neck and shrug your shoulders to keep the upper body loose and limber.  After all, we all want to shake our heads yes and no without any difficulty this holiday season :)  

Perform 15 shoulder shrugs, 15 shoulder circles going “backwards,” and finally hold your neck off to one side for 5 full breaths, reaching the opposite arm to the floor -  or holding a bench for counter-leverage to get your head and neck loose and pain-free.  

Enjoy, I hope everyone discarded their turkey neck on Thursday and enjoyed the family festivities.  

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Monday Move: 5 Yoga Poses You Can Actually Do

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, November 14, 2016

Yoga!  ...Really?  What does it mean, and why do some people swear by it while others loathe it?  However you envision “yoga,” it’s really just the fundamentals of stretching and breathing, put into practice in a structured way, to address all of the joints and muscles.  So, for today, let’s show you 5 “poses” that anyone can do.  Rule of Thumb: Take 6 full breaths for every pose, holding each one for that amount of time.

Enjoy your Mini-Yoga-Break, and a total of 30 breaths, to keep circulation up and joints limber and tweak-free.

Your MineFit Coach, 

The Pictures are in Order of Directions Below.  

(1) Child’s Pose: Sink your butt toward your heels, let your head drop between your arms, press your palms into the floor and keep your elbows away from the floor.  Feel a stretch in the arms, hips, and trunk.  
(2) UpDog Pose: Lay on your stomach, put your hands by your shoulders on the floor, then press your upper body away from the floor.  Try to keep your pelvis down on the floor, and open up the chest and collar bone.
(3) Standing Forward Fold Pose: Spread your feet beyond hip width apart, keep your legs almost all the way straight, and fold from the waist, attempting to get your hands close to your knees, ankles, and eventually the floor.
(4) Warrior 1 Pose: Keep your front leg bent at the knee, and take a big step back with your back leg mostly straight and your spine very long.  Raise your arms overhead and feel the stretch in your back hip.
(5) Sumo Squat Pose: Keep your feet beyond hip width apart, squat down as low as you can into a crouch, and press your elbows against the inside of your kneecaps to feel both inner thighs stretching.   


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Monday Move: Measure Your Stress

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, November 7, 2016

“Stress” is such a nebulous term, and can be a good or a bad thing. Depending on the extent to which you channel your stress in a negative way, you could be doing yourself a great deal of physical damage. From sleep deprivation to weight gain to general malaise and poor relationships, stress really can kill you. Be aware - take a stress test, measure your blood pressure, and see the following items below to get ahead of your stress when it starts to overwhelm or stifle your life.  

Want to Know How Stressed You Are?

Best Way to To Regulate Stress 24/7, in 60 seconds flat. 
If you want to feel in control for a presentation, when you’re stuck in traffic, or even for going to the dentist, use “box breathing.” It’s a trick that Navy SEALs learn to use before going into a high-stakes mission. This will keep your mind in the present moment instead of slipping into anxiety or running away with thoughts.

Directions: Inhale for four counts. Hold that breath for four counts. Exhale for four counts. Hold for another four counts. Keep repeating this pattern. You can do this through your nose if you’re already calm, in your nose and out your mouth to regulate energy or all through your mouth to channel the energy of the stress.

Want an on-site Presentation on Stress?  
Take a Look at the attached PDF: Prosper Under Pressure Presentation.  Email your MineFit Coach at with your questions.  

Download File (PDF)

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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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