Print Page   |   Contact Us
Blog Home All Blogs
Quick news on topics of interest to the Industrial Minerals Industry


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: Regulations  EPA  legislation  safety and health  Congress  education  msha  first friday  industrial minerals industry  MineFit  outreach  administration  minerals science  NIOSH  wotus  health  associate member  Senate  OSHA  usgs  webinar  Clean Water Act  comments  community  IMA-NA  MSIC  2015 annual meeting  CERCLA  member outreach  Monday Moves 

Drink Your Morning Cup to Help Hydration...and More.

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, September 30, 2016

Let’s hope that everyone got a chance to score a free cup of Joe yesterday, as it was National Coffee Day! Dunkin' Donuts gave out 66 cent cups of coffee, and Starbucks opted for large donations to coffee trees. In any case, this week’s TidBit comes at a pivotal time: when it starts getting... well, a little bit darker outside. Get your warm and much-needed morning cup of coffee and receive innumerable health benefits, no matter what time of year.  
Cheers this Friday to a good cup of coffee to help you: 

(1) Stay Hydrated — coffee has no diuretic effect!

(2) Improve 24-hour memory recall.

(3) Reduce cancer risk in non-specific but highly confirmed studies — just make sure it’s not too hot!

(4) Heck, even the new astronauts prefer a cup of coffee to water, and it helps stimulate the day and improve mood in a confined (space) environments.  

Check the links below:

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Monday Move: Strength Series with Two New Additions!

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, September 19, 2016
This Week, the Q3 MineFit Strength Series Includes TWO Strength Moves to help us move towards the end of the series and provide you, our members, with a comprehensive guide for your organization, serve as a valuable tool for your Health and Safety managers, and act as an amenity for your HR departments to weave into wellness programming.  

MineFit Strength Series Achieves the Following:
(1) Improvements in overall body strength and functional, proper movement patterns.
(2) Increases in joint integrity and reductions in cumulative osteoarthritis.
(3) Reductions in chronic injury, including strain to the vulnerable shoulders and lower back

Review of the Exercises So Far: 
-Row: address muscles in the back, reduce shoulder issues, improve pulling motion.
-Bicep Curl: improve posture, tighten grip strength, practice on one leg 
-Press-up: tighten your stomach, improve your upper body, stretch your shoulders.
-Squat: strengthen the leg muscles, mobilize the hips, reduce low back pain 
-Fly-Retract: draw shoulder blades in, stretch the chest, reverse repetitive movement.
-Hip-Hamstring Hinge: engage the whole body, flat spine posture, proper lifting form.

To Add to Your List!

Strength Move: The Side Lunge

This exercise is fantastic for addressing a plane of motion that we don’t often move into: side to side! It helps strengthen the hips, can be performed simply with your own body weight, or with an added load to help drive up strength gains.  

Doing a Side Lunge should follow the instructions:
Keep your eyes up looking straight ahead of you the entire time. Take a step to the side with your right foot, then drive your hips backwards, bending only the leg which is moving to the side. Keep your kneecap behind your toes, and keep your non-moving leg completely stick straight. To complete this strength move, pop your lunging leg back up to center, meeting the straight leg. Make sure that, while doing your side lunges, all parts of both feet are planted into the floor, not allowing either the heel to come up, or the foot to tilt. 

Perform 20 total side lunges, switching legs each repetition, or stick with the same leg for 10 repetitions, then switch. If you are doing them on one leg only, try coming up into a single-leg balance after each side step for a challenge! 

Strength Move: Overhead Press

One of the most vulnerable places on the body to strain and chronic problems is the neck and the shoulders. This is mostly because the “deltoids” or the shoulder muscles are (1) tight, (2) weak, and (3) not properly placed in their joint socket. By engaging in this move, light overhead presses with high repetitions, then adding weight slowly, you will strengthen your shoulders and keep them loose, limber, and away from injury, 

Instructions on how to perform an overhead press: 
Stand up tall with your feet hip/shoulder width apart. Start with no more than 5 lb weights, and raise both of your arms over your head, making the shape of a “Y” for 20 repetitions. Then, try performing a straight line over your head with one arm only, 10 more times on each side. Finally, try performing this move while in balance on one foot, or just hold your weights up at shoulder height while balancing. After you feel confident that your shoulders can add weight, raise your weight to 8, 10,and as much as 15 lbs. Be sure to keep your knuckles out of your peripheral vision, tracking your arms straight up and down, and not in front of you. If need be, lean slightly forward from the waist while you do this exercise.  

It is encouraged to do the Overhead action multiple times a day, 15-20 times, to compliment and counter-balance the fact that our arms are most often at our sides, which weakens the shoulders.  

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Perkins Reauthorization Passes House

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This afternoon the House of Representatives passed the Perkins reauthorization, HR 5587, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, with broad bipartisan support. The Perkins bill has not been reauthorized in over a decade and is an important federal investment in career and technical education across the United States.  In the current political environment or severe partisanship, it is important to note that HR 5587 passed out of the Education and Workforce Committee unanimously and today passed in the House by a vote of 405-5 (with 22 no votes). IMA-NA has worked with a broad coalition of industry and other stakeholders in support of the Perkins reauthorization and is pleased to note the continued bipartisan support for this measure. Indications seem to be that the bill will move through markup in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee next week, with the vote likely happening when Congress returns in December.

To read more about HR 5587 click here

Tags:  House  legislation  perkins reauthorization  Senate  training  workforce development 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

IMA-NA Receives TWH Affiliate Status

Posted By Darrell Smith, Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Industrial Minerals Association - North America (IMA-NA) is pleased to announce that it has been named as an Affiliate of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Total Worker Health (TWH) Program. The IMA-NA has a long history of advancing safety and health initiatives and is proud to continue leading the way to provide the best and most innovative resources for the benefit of the industrial minerals workforce.

“We think the breadth and history of the activities of IMA-NA demonstrate well the organization's commitment to worker safety and health…NIOSH looks forward to collaborating with IMA-NA to advance the well-being of workers,” said Chia-Chia Chang, the Partnerships Coordinator for the TWH program. TWH is defined as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. The mission of the TWH Affiliate Program is to foster an integrated approach to protecting and promoting worker well-being through collaborations with academic, labor, nonprofit, and government organizations.

“We are excited to begin partnering with NIOSH on a variety of projects, including our embedded ideology: “Do the Right Thing,” and more recently our new MineFit program to encourage health and safety using the principles of athleticism to ensure workforce protection,” said Darrell K. Smith, PhD, Executive Vice President of IMA-NA.

Click here to learn more about the TWH Affiliate program.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Friday MineFit TidBit: Why Protein Really Matters for Muscles and Joints

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, September 9, 2016
Proteins come in all shapes and sizes, available in meat and vegetarian options. Regardless of what protein appeals to you, it is the make or break for any weight management strategy and can build your muscles and bones. According to new research, protein is the key to losing fat and gaining muscle (reminder: muscle raises your metabolism!!): Forty overweight but recreationally active men were recruited for the study. They followed a reduced-calorie diet in which they ate about 40 percent of their normal diet and were randomly assigned to either a low-protein or high-protein group. The low protein group ate around 70 grams per day, while the high protein group ate ~200 grams per day. After one month, with regular exercise and normal daily lifestyle, the high-protein group lost 10.5 lbs of fat and gained 2.5 lbs of muscle. The low-protein group lost 8 lbs of fat and had no muscle gains. Lesson learned? Eat your protein and enjoy more muscle, a higher metabolism, stronger joints, and a sustainable body weight.  


Easy Ways to Get Protein: 
1 cup greek yogurt - 18 grams 
1 protein bar - 16-20 grams 
1 scoop protein powder - 16-20 grams 
2 eggs - 16 grams 
1 piece of chicken - 25 grams
1 piece of fish - 20-30 grams 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Annual Meeting Sponsor Spotlights - Golf Sponsorships

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, September 8, 2016

With the Annual Meeting right around the corner, IMA-NA would like to take the opportunity to recognize the four sponsors for the Golf Tournament this year. Our sponsors all come from the Associate Member Section and we'd like to take the time to thank them for their sponsorships as well as for their contributions to the IMA-NA as an Association. 

The Law Office of Adele L. Abrams PC, is sponsoring the "Closest to the Pin" prize for our golf outing. The Law Office of Adele L. Abrams PC is a full service law firm, focusing on occupational and mine safety and health, employment, and environmental law. Adele and her team are no strangers to IMA-NA membership, regularly offering their legal expertise in the form of webinars and presentations at our Technology Workshop.  With offices in Maryland, West Virginia, and Colorado the team offers both consulting and legal services related to OSHA, MSHA, and the EPA. Adele herself, is not only an active member at IMA-NA but she formerly acted as the Chair for the Associate Member Section. Working with regulatory bodies, particularly the enforcement branches, is a reality of doing business but the process is often both confusing and time consuming.  Luckily IMA-NA can count on Associate members, like Adele and her team, to provide expertise and representation to simplify the processes. 

Trimac Transportation is sponsoring the "Longest Drive" prize for the golf. Trimac provides bulk transportation, logistics, and related transportation services to meet the North American requirements of their customers. With a stress on delivering valuable service to their customers in a safe way, in 2016 Trimac was nominated as one of the best fleets to drive for by the Truckload Carriers Association. Since its founding in 1945, Trimac Transportation has become one of the largest bulk carriers in North America through internal growth and strategic acquisitions. An IMA-NA member since 2014, Galen Murphy has been an active participant in our meetings and community.  Logistics remain an important component to the ability for our Producer members to continue their operations successfully, and IMA-NA is happy to provide a space where all our members are able to interact and build stronger working relationships.

Our "Longest Putt" golf prize is being sponsored by Hapman. An Associate Member since 2014, Hapman is a global manufacturer of standard and custom bulk material handling equipment, and complete material handling systems. The team at Hapman works collaboratively with their customers to ensure the products and solutions are custom tailored to handle each need. Since its inception 70 years ago, Hapman's attention to detail and responsiveness to clients has allowed the company to expand globally and provide bulk material handling equipment for 2,600 distinct types of materials. Hapman has participated not only at IMA-NA meetings but has presented both webinars and topics during the Technology Workshop. 

Our final golf prize, "the Lowest Team Score" is being sponsored by J & M Tank Lines Inc. J & M is a family owned trucking company that has been in business for over 60 years. They have terminals located in Alabama, Georgia, and Texas, operate 550 pneumatic tanks, 50 food grade tanks and 25 flat beds; all of which makes transportation in the southeast as efficient as possible. J & M Tank Lines prides itself on the culture of safety and health for their employees, taking a proactive approach to ensuring their fleet of drivers are able to provide dependable service in safe conditions. The company is active in their local community as well as the trucking community through their involvement with associations. As with the other logistics service providers represented at IMA-NA, J & M provides valuable insight and expertise to our association and community.

For more information on the Law Office of Adele Abrams click here. 

For more information on Trimac Transportation click here.

For more information on Hapman click here.

For more information on J & M Tank Lines click here



Tags:  2016 annual meeting  Adele Abrams  annual meeting  hapman  j&m  sponsorships  spotlight  trimac 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

Friday MineFit TidBit: The What and Why of the Foam Roll

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

These days, as exercise is increasingly important, a wide variety of equipment - some of which you may have never seen or used before - is gaining popularity. While some items are just a gimmick, others serve a unique and valuable purpose.



A foam roller is very valuable addition to anyone’s home or gym environment, and it’s becoming increasingly common as a tool to release tension and increase muscle function and flexibility. The foam roller is used to perform what’s called self-myofascial release. The intent of self-myofascial release is to loosen "trigger points in the muscles" — spots that might be tight or sore after exercise, a long day in a stiffened position, or after performing repetitive job tasks that cause knots and aches in the muscles and tendons.


Self-myofascial release using a foam roll releases the tightness and improves blood flow, resulting in reduced muscle soreness, increased flexibility and improved workout performance.  They are inexpensive and can be found  at most sporting goods stores or online shops.

Self-myofascial release is beneficial any time of day, but especially at the start and end of the day.  Taking some time to “roll out” your muscles can help prevent or reduce soreness in the ensuing hours and days. The same technique can be performed using a lacrosse ball (or other small rubber ball) to pinpoint specific trigger points, applying pressure to a smaller, targeted area such as the foot, neck or shoulder.


Foam Rolling: How It’s Done

The self-myofascial release technique can be performed on any muscle group in the body, including the back, quads, thighs, calves, hips and shoulders. Begin by placing the foam roller on the ground and then sitting or lying on it so the area you want to target is on the roller. Using slow, controlled movements, roll back and forth across the roller. Don’t be too quick to move on to the next muscle group; work each muscle group for one to two minutes, and if you find an area that is tight or painful, pause over that spot until you feel the muscle release.

Self-myofascial release works as a form of deep tissue massage, so it’s common to experience minor discomfort or pain during the process. If you experience pain that is unbearable, stop. When you are finished, your muscles should feel looser and any pain or discomfort should diminish.


This 2014 Study indicates that while Foam Rolling does not increase sports performance, it does have a dramatic effect on levels of muscular fatigue and soreness.

Tags:  foam roller  MineFit  minefit tidbit  stretching 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

First Friday Ask IMA - This Friday

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Please join us this Friday, September 2nd for First Friday - Ask IMA at 1:00 EST.  As our last Ask IMA before our Annual Meeting, we'll be discussing numerous topics of importance some of which will also come up at the meeting. Amongst those topics we'll provide updates on the EPA's proposed rule on CERCLA 108(b), the ongoing project to update NISA's Dust Control Handbook, MSHA activities related to the proposed rulemaking on examination of working places in Metal-Non Metal mines, North American Minerals Days and Congressional engagement, our program for the Annual Meeting, and other issues IMA-NA staff has been working on this summer. Join us for an update on our activities as your association and to have any questions you may have answered.

To Register Click Here

Tags:  2016 annual meeting  education  first friday  legislation  member outreach  regulations 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

MineFit Strength Series Week 6: The Hip-Hamstring Hinge

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, August 29, 2016

As we enter the second half the the MineFit Strength Series, remember the series goals!

(1) Improve overall body strength
(2) Increase joint integrity and reducing osteoarthritis
(3) Reduce chronic injury and strain to the shoulders and lower back 

Strength Move: The Hip-Hamstring Hinge

This classic "lifting "exercise covers the entire body from feet to neck, and teaches how to navigate getting up and down and lifting very heavy objects without vulnerability to strain and tear. Understanding how to keep the abdominals braced while lifting, hinging from the waist to never round the spine, and bending the knees the proper amount are all important to the hip-hamstring hinge!  

Start standing tall with a long flat fine. Keep your eyes on your “horizon line,” which is about four feet in front of you, and draw the chest wide open as you begin to fold from the waist. Start to bend your knees and stick your hips out behind you as you keep folding from the waist. The knees should bend to around 45 degrees as your hands approach your ankles, with your back staying completely flat and your eyes in the same spot the entire way down into your hinge. You should feel your hamstrings start to stretch and activate, and be sure not to fold from the tummy. Keep it firm. On the way up from your hinge, squeeze your butt and finish to locked legs in full standing position.     

Engage in multiple sets if doing as a weights routine and drop the number of repetitions as you add weight. If doing for balance or stretching with body weight (no weights), perform one set and then try a second set on one leg only.  

Tips for Progression:
Try the exercise without weight to feel a stretch and check for your abdominals being tight.
Attempt the hinge using weights such as a pipe, a box, a body weight barbell or dumbbells.
Last, try the movement on one leg, body weight only. 


This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

MineFit Strength Series Week Five: The Fly-Retract

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, August 22, 2016

This week marks the halfway point of the MineFit Strength Series, which will culminate as a list of the 10 best strength exercises you can do in the shortest amount of time.  AND, as a new addition to our MineFit Member Materials, the series includes audio instructions for each exercise to be played during health and safety trainings or otherwise utilized to engage your workers.

In Week Five, we present to you: The Fly-Retract! Address your posture in standing and sitting with a strength move that can be performed in two directions for optimal strength and a pain-free spine.  

(1) It can be performed while standing, sitting, on a bench, or on the floor.
(2) Use the fly with weights to strengthen biceps, chest, and shoulders, and add an abdominal press into the bench/floor.
(3) Use the reverse fly (the retract) with half the weight you use for the fly, to engage small mid-spine muscles either standing, folded from the waist, or laying on your stomach.

Doing a Fly-Retract together with 2-5lb weights in standing position should follow these instructions:

Flatten your spine completely by pressing it against a wall for a “spine check.” Then, step away from the wall and stand with this long, tall back using no weight or light weights. Bring the weights in front of you as if you were holding a giant round ball. Then, extend your arms as far back behind you as you can go, squeezing your middle-back and making sure you do NOT use your neck. On your forward fly move, grip the weights hard to engage your bicep.  On the backwards retracting motion, you should tighten your stomach, make sure you do not arch your back, and squeeze the little muscles that bring your shoulder blades together. 

Perform 10x in both directions in standing. The pictures below represent ways to do the exercises and which muscle groups you should think about.  

Note: If you prefer to segregate the exercises, the FLY should focus on your bicep, your shoulders, and your chest. The RETRACT should focus on your spine staying flat, your shoulder blade muscles coming together, and your neck staying relaxed. Always use half of the weight for reverse fly and fly when using free weights.  



This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Page 29 of 56
 |<   <<   <  24  |  25  |  26  |  27  |  28  |  29  |  30  |  31  |  32  |  33  |  34  >   >>   >|