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Monday Move: "When You Feel Something Funny"

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, October 31, 2016

This Monday, MineFit offers you a deliverable (attached) to our members: a user-friendly way to identify the Top 5 most common injuries, aches and pains - and real solutions to remedy them!  Print the attached hand out: "When You Feel Something Funny" and put in your worker break room.  Forward it to your HR department and Heads of Health and Safety.  Engage your leadership, and support your workers by leading by example!  

Also, please join our Webinar on Thursday: The 24/7 Approach to a Sustainable Workforce! 2pm EST. Click here to register.

Download File (PDF)

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Friday TidBit: Are We Really Affected by Seasonal Change?

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, October 28, 2016

A study published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry found that people suffering from SAD secreted the hormone melatonin for longer periods during winter nights than during summer months. Normally, human production of melatonin, which regulates sleep and is called the hormone of darkness, does not vary with the seasons. Melatonin is what makes us sleepy, and is a natural “depressant.” But, when we have too much of it coursing in our veins throughout the winter, which can happen as temperatures drop and daylight hours go down, varying levels of depression are the result — the SAD symptoms.  

As many as 20% of us can suffer from mental symptoms as a result of seasonal change. But, independent of light changes and temperature changes, a recent study has indicated that our brain actually changes with the seasons. Researchers kept participants in a controlled lab both during winter and summer months with no changes in light or temperature, and studied brain activity. During the winter months, brain activity involved in sustained attention was at its lowest. Conversely, working memory and recall was higher during fall and winter months.  

Implications for your workforce? When it gets cold outside, don’t expect people to be able to pay attention as well to a task for long stretches of time. But, the fact that memory and recall are better during this time of year might make for a great Training Course season!   

See these links below for articles on SAD And Brain Function When the Season Changes


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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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The Power of the Smile

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, October 24, 2016

A Q4 Focus on Reducing Physical and Mental Stressors 

(1) People prefer happy faces.  We can spot a smile at 300 feet, which is the equivalent of a football field.  Furthermore, research indicates that we like and remember those who smile at us.  This is because, according to Duke researchers using fMRI to examine brain activity while doing "smile tests,"  the orbitofrontal cortices (a “reward center” in the brain) were more active when participants were learning and recalling the names of smiling individuals. 

(2) Smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.

(3) Smiling is also a double-dip of success.  It not only stimulates your own sense of well being, but also tells those around you that you are approachable and trustworthy.

(4) Today, skip the emoji and go for a real smile.  Begin by finding something that makes you smile: a YouTube clip, a song, an animal or something in nature.  Then, go out into the hallway, onto the street, into a local establishment, and look someone in the eye (eye contact is a huge contributor to success in conversations which require decision-making and trust) and say, "hi, how are you?" with a huge smile on your face.  Can't stomach it?  Then pay someone a compliment, even if you don't mean it: "that's a great color on you!" or thank someone for something they have done "thank you so much, I appreciate it!"  These actions elicit smiles from others, and you are likely to return the favor.  

(5) Nothing working?  Well, go outside and pick up the first piece of trash you see, find a garbage can, and throw it away.  Best case scenario: someone sees you, is happy, and pays forward the good deed. Worst case?  Your community is a little cleaner, because of you.  ...Now, doesn't that make you want to smile?  


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Friday MineFit TidBit: Focus Your Mind to Train Your Muscles With Less Work

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, October 21, 2016
The power of the mind can never be underestimated. Year over year, we discover how powerful the mind is in controlling our behavior, mood, motivation, actions — and our muscles! A recent study has significant implications on your fitness: People with robotic limbs can actually use their own minds to control the new limb - as if it were their own - when properly cued. This is an incredible illustration of the power of your mind-body connection.

Application: You can feel more, do more, and get more out of your workouts simply by THINKING about your own body. Start with a single body part: Bicep, Thigh, Kneecap, Calf, Ankle, Shoulder, Neck. Think about it, move it, breathe through it, and do a head-to-toe check-up on yourself.  

You have four limbs. A human who has lost a limb and can learn to move a new one is proof that we are the epitome of mind over matter.  

Link to Article:

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Monday Move: Q4 Kickoff! Learn WHY and How to Breathe to Get Ahead of Stress

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, October 17, 2016
The MineFit Q4 focus is: Physical and Mental Stressors

Get ahead of the stress for a more enjoyable end to your year!  This quarter will highlight the following “stresses” and give our members the tools they need, and ways to give their workers, easy stress-management information and techniques.

-The holidays 
-Seasonal change 
-End-of-year goals and deadlines 
-Identifying top stressors 
-An easy on-site stress test 
-Physical did-you-knows on stress patterns 
-Sleep and stress 
-Applications for stress reduction that aren’t just fluff

For Today’s Move, we give to you Breathing 101: Muscles you Use to Inhale 

Our lungs are housed within our ribcage, and they can get trapped! By breathing more deeply and focusing on the muscles you use to inhale and exhale, you promote higher oxygen levels to your brain and your body, evoke a relaxation response to avoid “chronic” high stress levels, and cue your body to release anxiety through your breath. You can also help your waistline simply by active, deep breathing.

Breathing 101 Instructions 

1. Inhale and put your hands on the base of your ribcage, where the ribs come apart. Try to get the air to go all the way up through your neck muscles. Start your breath in through your ribcage muscles opening and let it travel all the way up to your jaw.
2. Start with a passive exhale to promote relaxation - this uses the External Obliques and Intercostals.
3. After 3 passive, deep breaths, work your Internal Obliques and Intercostal muscles with an active exhale for 5 breaths. Think about blowing out candles, rather than fogging up windows. Feel your muscles on either side of your waistline contract, and your abdominals turn on.
4. End with 10 short breaths, really working your abdominals and punctuating each exhale, with a small inhale in between exhalations.

Learn more about why and how breathing reduces stress here:


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Friday MineFit TidBit: When You Eat Fast Food, Make Sure You Get a Good Grade

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, October 14, 2016

A new report, produced by six organizations devoted to public health and environmental concerns, is alerting consumers about the use of antibiotics in the meat and poultry. Researchers surveyed and investigated the supply chains of the 25 largest U.S. fast food and “fast casual” restaurants to find out how much they were altering their product with use of antibiotics - in order to keep the animals free of infection and save money. But, what’s the big deal with antibiotics, anyway?

When livestock producers administer antibiotics routinely to their flocks and herds, bacteria becomes resistant, meaning you have to give more of them, and different types, to maintain effectiveness. When consumers eat these foods, they are basically putting antibiotic resistant cells into your body. This effect contributes to the larger problem of antibiotic resistance - it means that antibiotics may not work when we need them most.

Read which restaurants make the grade for no antibiotic additions! Remember: establishments who use antibiotic-riddled meat are also likely to add hormones and other chemicals to their products to save money. In the end, It’s YOUR money, health, and future that counts the most. So Get A Good Grade.

A Grade

B Grade

C Grade
Dunkin Donuts

F Grade
Burger King


Tags:  diet  food  MineFit  minefit tidbit  nutrition 

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North American Minerals Days 2016 This Week

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, October 11, 2016

This week marks the 2nd Annual North American Minerals Days, a continuation of IMA-NA's partnership with IMA-Europe to broaden awareness of industrial minerals, the industry, and the role our members play in creating and supporting our modern lifestyles. This year, in addition to continuing to partner and support the efforts of Earth Science Week, Kaolin Festival, and the Georgia Marble Festival, IMA-NA members are hosting a variety of events.  

Tomorrow, October 12th, KaMin and Imerys will be hosting an all day event highlighting the Kaolin industry and their culture of safety. We'll be welcoming Assistant Secretary of MSHA, Joe Main, to tour a mine and participate in a Safety luncheon with EHS representatives from across the state of Georgia. In addition to Joe Main, Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10) and representatives from the state and local governments will be participating in the activities. The Kaolin event is also being supported by Georgia Mining Association and promises to provide an excellent opportunity for IMA-NA members to interact with their legislators and regulators.

Across the country, in Nevada, Tronox will be hosting Congressman Joe Heck for a tour and discussion. Tronox's event is demonstrative of the type of relationship building opportunities presented during election years. Continuing to tell the story of the positive economic and community impacts of your businesses is especially important at the district and state level, where legislators can interact with your employees and their constituents. 

We're pleased by the expansion of the Minerals Days and believe any opportunity to educate individuals, both in government and in our communities, about our industry is productive in continuing to tell the story about the importance of mining in North America. 

Tags:  community  education  Joe Main  Legislators  MSHA  North American Minerals Days  outreach  Regulators 

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Monday Move: The Complete List For Your Strength Series

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, October 10, 2016

Our Final Two Additions to the MineFit Strength Series are... 
(1) the Plank 
(2) the Quad Extension 

**Please see the Monday Moves Section for Each of the Strength Series Exercise Postings**

Strength Move: The Plank

The plank is hugely useful to strengthen the core of the body as well as the arms, build stability to prevent joint injury, endurance to measure gains in progress, and it's easy to do anywhere. The main focus of this activity is to tighten your abdominals and create a long, flat, strong spine, then hold firm as long as you can. Squeeze your butt as you hold your plank, and tuck your belly button to engage your abdominals. If your lower back starts to sink, your spine starts to arch, or if you feel your back aching, stop the plank and rest. 

Start with performing 30 seconds of a plank hold, twice through, and add time until you reach 90 seconds. Or, add weight in your arm, or a leg raise, to make the plank more challenging.  

Strength Move: The Quad Extension 

This move can be performed in standing, sitting, or on a weights machine. It is beneficial to proper tracking for the kneecap to prevent and treat pain in the top of the knee (a result of patella-femoral syndrome) by strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint. It also helps stretch the hamstrings out, because as you squeeze your quadricep, your hamstring lengthens out. This means a more limber, stronger leg, and less pain in your lower back (a result of tight hamstrings pulling on the spine)

Perform 15 repetitions on each leg when doing one at a time, and if you are seated, perform 10 repetitions with both legs at once - engaging the abdominals. 

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Monday Move: Side Bend

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, October 3, 2016
Happy October! This week, keep your eyes peeled for the (1) Q4 MineFit Focus, the official (2) Strength Series with Audio Recordings for each exercise, and (3) other events to come between now and end of year. For today, your Monday Move is on the Oblique! An important muscle for posture, breathing, and trimming the waistline, do this move ANYWHERE and ANYTIME to strengthen your obliques and make a huge impact on your body in two minutes. 

The Side Bend For Oblique and Waistline Strength

Bend at the waist to one side until a deep slight stretch is felt and a pull on the waist. Then, lower to the opposite side, same distance, and repeat. If you are using a weight, try to lower it to your kneecap, and focus on the other side of your waistline as you go down. Do 10 on each side, either alternating or keeping on one side. Add a neck stretch for an extra benefit and reduced rate of pain and injury in the upper back.  

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