Monday, December 30, 2013

Hands On


When on the job an employee’s most useful tools are the hands. Employees are working with their hands all day, whether they’re carrying something, pushing something, or pulling something. Whatever it is that they are doing will require their hands. That is why hand injuries are so common, and so serious. Employees use their hands all day and one injury can leave them incapable of doing their job.

Employees that are not correctly using their hands are much more likely to injured. According to an article by Workplace Safety North statistics show that 25% of all workplace injuries happen to our hands and fingers. This shows how important it is to ensure all employees are using safety precautions when it comes to working with their hands.  
An employee’s hands and wrists are very vulnerable. They are made up of a very sophisticated system of tiny bones, muscles and ligaments.  The slightest scratch or cut can make it difficult and uncomfortable for an employee to work and a serious injury can take an employee out of the work force for months. The most common hand injury is either a cut or puncture wound. These injuries make up 50% of all hand injuries.
The best tips to prevent hand injuries while working are to:
  • Avoid shortcuts
  • Anticipate hazards
  • Follow safety rules and procedures
  • Analyze each task before starting
  • Where a suitable pair of gloves for the job
  • Keep your workplace clean 
If you follow all of these tips you will be able to keep you hands safe from injury.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Lucas Wertish
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, December 23, 2013

Don't be Slipping


Injuries in the workplace are unfortunate, but they do happen. The second most common type of workplace injury is a falling or a tripping injury and they happen more frequently then you’d think. The biggest cause for a falling injuries are wet or slippery floors. Floors in the workplace can get wet very easily from things spilling or it can just be part of the daily work environment, depending on where you work.
Things you can do to avoid slippery floors are to be aware where floors could or are frequently slippery. Examples of places that are frequently slippery are places where things are washed, like a dish room or a car wash. Places like this have water and soap on the floor often and create a slippery surface. If you’re aware of this you can be more careful. Another thing you can do to avoid slipping is to buy slip proof shoes. These shoes are often recommended for employees that are working in restaurants and places where you move around a lot. One way to avoid slipping on wet surfaces is to indicate that it’s wet and potentially slippery. Most employers have to have wet floor signs by law, but if you don’t use them they can’t help. If you notice that a place is wet and mark it with a wet floor sign it could save someone from slipping. The easiest way to avoid slippery surfaces is to clean up the spill. Doing that could avoid the whole problem from the start.

The second half of falling would be to trip. Tripping can occur when obstacles are in the way of frequent walking. It is very important to make sure that areas where people walk are clear of any obstacles or debris. A very dangerous injury can occur when people are carrying objects that can obscure their view and they trip over something and fall. The object they were carrying could land on them and hurt them even more. To avoid this you can make sure you have a clear path to walk before the object is picked up. You could also have someone help you make sure the path is clear before you start walking.

Slipping and tripping injuries are very common in the workplace and it is important you take precautions to keep you and your coworkers safe.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Dale Bromenshenkel
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, December 16, 2013

Starting on the Right Foot


One of the most common injuries in the work place is a foot injury. It is very common for an employee to be injured by dropping a heavy object on their foot. 80% of foot injuries occur when an item weighing 30+ pounds is dropped on an employee's foot. Lighter objects can also cause injuries and they may be more severe in hazardous work areas. 
There are more than 60,000 employees that will injure their feet and have to miss work. Loss of work hurts the employee both physically and financially. The employer will also suffer by losing productivity in the workplace, and a possible worker’s compensation claims. It is cheaper and easier for both of employers and employees to provide the right protection upfront.

Luckily for both of them it is a pretty simple fix. An employee should find a pair of work boots that are suitable for their situation. In the average workplace there are usually three key components that an employee wants in their work boot. The employee wants a snug fit to prevent strains and twists that may cause other foot related injuries. Another component an employee wants to look for are non-slip soles that will help them keep their balance. This will also prevent strains or twists. It will also prevent an employee from falling and possibly dropping a heavy object. Finally an employee should look for a work boot that has strong toe protection to prevent injury from falling object. You can find this by looking for a work boot that has a steel or composite toe. If you find a work boot that has all of these components you will be able to safely protect your toes and feet while in the workplace.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Lucas Wertish
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, December 9, 2013



It’s something that is all around us but is often taken for granted. It has the ability to power our houses, cars, computers, phones, and many other devices we come in contact with on a daily basis. However, we often forget how dangerous electricity can be. According to e-Hazard’s high voltage training course, almost 8000 electrical contact accidents occur in the U.S. each year, and one worker dies each day from electrical contact. 

In the workplace it’s important to practice and implement strict safety rules when it comes to electricity. 

  • Make sure inspections are done frequently and properly. 
  • Properly label all switches and fuses to prevent confusion when trying to turn off the power to a machine about to undergo maintenance.
  • Never overload circuits or outlets and never use extension cords as long-term wiring solutions. 
  • Check quality of cords in high traffic areas to make sure no damage or exposed wiring has occurred. 
  • Properly train your employees for detailed electrical safety if they work with high voltage equipment. 

Electricity isn’t just a safety issue in the workplace; it’s also a safety issue in homes across the country.  U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 47,820 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction in 2007-2011. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, more than 30,000 non-fatal, shock accidents occur each year, and oftentimes it occurs when a kid tampers with a wall-outlet. 

Some safety tips for household electrical safety include: 

  • If you have kids, always tamper-proof your electrical outlets. 
  • Don’t use old and worn down extension cords or electrical equipment; the cost of eliminating potential dangers is much less than the potential loss of life or valuables.   
  • Never overload outlets. If you need more plug-ins, consider paying the extra money to add separate outlets in your house. 
  • Don’t ever try to fix your electrical issues unless you are qualified; hire a professional if needed. 
  • Never leave potential fire-hazards, such as portable heaters, hair dryers, kitchen appliances, unattended. 

Paying the extra money on electrical training for your employees and spending the extra money on outlet covers or new wiring for your home use is well worth it. Never leave anything to chance; contact a certified electrician today. 

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, December 2, 2013

Secondhand Smoke


Smoking is very harmful to anyone who does it, but what many people don’t notice is that the smoke exhaled by smokers is harmful to those who breathe it in from the air. This is called secondhand smoke.  

Studies over the last 15 years by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have shown that that secondhand smoke is grouped with asbestos, benzene, and radon as Group A carcinogens. Research has shown that secondhand smoke can lead to cancer. 

With secondhand smoke being so harmful, regulations have been put in place. These regulations have been able to ban tobacco use in most every office and business across the country. Though upsetting many smokers, these actions had to take place in order to prevent non-smokers from inhaling harmful air.

To help avoid inhaling secondhand smoke, the Mayo Clinic has compiled a helpful list of 5 ways to prevent inhaling:

  1. Don't allow smoking in your home. If your guests smoke, ask them to do it outside. If your partner smokes, encourage him or her to quit. 
  2. Patronize restaurants and other businesses that enforce no-smoking policies. 
  3. Don't allow smoking in your vehicle.
  4. Choose smoke-free care facilities for children and aging loved ones. 
  5. If you must share space with someone who's smoking, sit as far away from the smoke as possible.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Phil Kwitek
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, November 25, 2013

Staying Safe This Winter Season


As the fall season is coming to an end, winter will soon be upon on us. The cold nights are beginning and the snow is soon to come. With this in mind it’s important to be prepared for the winter weather, especially when it comes to winter driving. If your car breaks down in the winter or you get in an accident and you are not prepared, it can have harmful and in some cases deadly consequences. 

Things you can do to help prevent a breakdown and/or accident are:

  • Get your car serviced. It’s important to have your car checked thoroughly for any needed repairs or parts. 
  • Check your battery. In the winter it takes more battery power to start your car; make sure your battery is in good condition to avoid getting stuck with a dead battery. 
  • Check your windshield wipers and windshield waster fluid. Make sure windshield wipers are in good condition and replace any worn blades. You should also make sure your windshield waster fluid is full. It’s a good idea to keep extra in your vehicle just in case you run out during a snowstorm. 
  • Inspect your tires. If you use snow tires make sure you don’t put off getting them installed until after the first snowstorm, the sooner the better. If you’re keeping your current tires, check to make sure the tread is not too worn down or uneven and that they have the proper air pressure. 

However, no matter how much we try to prepare, we can’t be certain that someone else wont hit us, or that our car won’t break down unexpectedly. Because of this it is a good idea to be prepared in case an accident or breakdown does occur. We recommend stocking your vehicle with the following supplies in the case of an emergency:

  • Shovel and Ice Scraper. If your car gets buried in snow or freezing rain covers your windshield and windows, you need to be prepared.
  • A Towrope. It’s possible you could end up stuck in a ditch or on the side of the road. It’s a good idea to have the ability to get towed out of the ditch if someone stops to help you.
  • Blankets & Warm Clothing. It’s important to be able to stay warm if you have to wait for a tow-truck or for emergency workers to come to your aid. 
  • Jumper Cables and a Flashlight.  It’s good to be prepared if your car does not start. Don’t assume someone else will have the jumper cables to help you start your car. 
  • Flares or Reflective Markers. In a snowstorm, visibility is often times very limited. Because of this, if your car breaks down it is important to make yourself as visible as possible to avoid getting hit by another driver. 

Winter is soon to be upon us so I thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday and winter season.

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, November 18, 2013

Indoor Air Contaminant Safety


There’s nothing quite like taking a deep breath of fresh clean air. This indeed is something that all students and employees should be able to achieve. By just breathing sanitary air, an individual can perform job functions at much more productive rates opposed to working in unsanitary air. Unfortunately, there are many students and workers that face the issue of indoor air contamination. This is an issue that is very important to cover.

Indoor air quality in schools and workplaces is not only a comfort concern, but it is also a safety concern.

Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has been tied to several symptoms including:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Irritation of eyes, nose, throat, and lungs

Also, certain exposures such as radon and asbestos can cause long-term health issues such as cancer.

Reasons typically causing poor IAQ include; poor ventilation systems, problems controlling humidity and temperature, dust from construction or renovations, mold, cleaning supplies, and pesticides.

By carrying out common inspections of ventilation systems and indoor humidity and temperature control systems as well as sanitation procedures, this will assure that your establishment has optimum IAQ. If any clear issues are spotted, it is very important that the issue is discussed with management so that a solution can be acquired.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Phil Kwitek
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, November 11, 2013

Save Money, Invest in Your Employees

Injuries in the workplace happen every day.  According to the National Safety Council (NSC) the most common kind of workplace injury is overexertion.  This includes injuries related to pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, carrying, and throwing activities at work.

Overexertion is not only the most common type of workplace injury, but it is also the most expensive for employers.  The injuries are often classified as acute, meaning that they aren't that serious and will go away after preventive action takes place.  The sad truth is that many people don’t take these preventative actions and end up overexerting the same part again and again allowing the injury to become a chronic one.  This repetitive overexertion without preventative action is the cause for the most common type of workplace injury.

The most common part of the body that ends up with a chronic injury is the back.  People often lift heavy or awkwardly shaped objects and if they lift improperly or repetitively it can lead to serious back injuries.  Some quick hints and guidelines for avoiding injury would be to have proper lifting posture and if the object is to heavy have someone help you.

A way to avoid lifting an object off the ground would be to have a mechanical lift of some sort.  A lift will allow the worker to move and lift the object without having to bend down and potentially hurt their back.  A mechanical lift could also make the workplace more efficient allowing workers to lift heavier loads by themselves and move them with ease.  Mechanical lifts are not the cheapest things, but if you compare the cost of workers compensation to the mechanical lift, the lifts are not that bad, especially after adding the money saved through the efficiency gained in the workplace.

Bottom line is the overexertion of the back is a very common injury in the workplace and precautions should be in place to avoid workers getting hurt.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Dale Bromenshenkel
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, November 4, 2013



Harassment.  Bullying.  Discrimination.  Although there are laws to deal with flagrant versions of these social interactions in the workplace, they are often glossed over in an attempt to avoid additional conflict.  These behaviors are often ignored, but this is unacceptable and sometimes dangerous. These actions between coworkers can lead to an increasingly hostile environment.

Harassment can be loosely defined as when a person is subjected to behavior that is repeated, unwelcomed, unsolicited, or offensive. According to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, surveys show that 5% of workers reported being subject to some form of harassment/bullying (in 2005). This might seem like a small number; however, that means that in a small company of 100 people, 5 of those people are being subjected to some form of bullying and therefore suffering from emotional instability while trying to work.

Harassment at work can diminish self-esteem, compound stress, and trigger depression. Co-workers may gloss over an incident by saying something like, “He/she just doesn’t know how to take a joke.”  If ignored, these negative interactions can escalate and may result in lower quality output, whether in the product line or customer service, possibly leading to company ethics violations.  In extreme cases, it can lead to P.T.S.D. and even homicides and/or suicides.   Harassment is not a joking matter.

It is better to prevent harassment than to have to deal with the costs of counseling and possible compensation that may be required after the harassment has occurred.

Five important steps to take to help prevent harassment include:

  • Outline and clearly state unacceptable behavior.
  • Keep an up to date anti-harassment policy. 
  • Provide conflict management training. 
  • Have clear and strict consequences for harassment complaints. 
  • Maintain confidentiality with all internal issues, making sure rumors cannot be spread due to breached confidentiality.

Always report any suspected harassment, bullying, or discrimination to your PR representative, your union (if applicable), or to the proper supervisor.

Remember: even if you get a good laugh, the end results of harassment won’t be a joking matter!

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday. 

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fork Lift Safety


In fast paced working environments, safety is a very important priority.  Many of these fast paced environments involve the use of forklifts and can be very dangerous. According to statistics reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), they estimated that forklifts cause roughly 85 fatal accidents per year and injure roughly 35,000 others. Also, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, a loaded forklift weighs an average of close to 14,000 pounds. With this much weight, it’s not surprising how dangerous forklifts can be.

Many of these injuries could be avoided if the necessary safety precautions were taken. Proper training and use of forklifts is very important; trying to save a few seconds here and there is not worth risking the safety of yourself and others.

Three obvious but important safety tips to remember when operating forklifts or any factory machinery are:

1) Stay Focused. This might seem too obvious and simplistic, but it’s way too easy to get distracted and to mentally check out when doing something that you’re doing habitually. Focus is something that you should apply to all aspects of work, whether you’re using heavy machinery or just writing up reports.  Staying fully focused on the task at hand is a simple but effective way to stop avoidable mistakes.

2) Be Aware of Your Surroundings. This is an often overlooked safety precaution. Make sure you always look behind you the whole time you back up.  It must be more than just a quick glance before you begin to move. Surroundings can change between the beginning and the end of your travel space. Also, be aware of the location of pedestrians and slow down when you’re unsure of what is ahead. Knowing your surroundings helps you be prepared for what may lie ahead.

3) Don’t Cut Corners. From a young age we’re always told to obey the rules and do what we’re told. So it might seem unnecessary to say this. However, so often in the workplace you can be under pressure to get things done quickly and therefore feel the need to cut corners (physically and metaphorically). This can lead to going too fast and ignoring the rules you find unimportant, possibly causing accidents and potential injuries along the way. In the end cutting corners is never worth it and it’s best to realize that all safety regulations and rules have been put in place for a reason. If you suspect any corners are being cut or notice any unsafe working conditions, report it to the proper authorities immediately.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, October 21, 2013

Overexertion in the Workplace


Overexertion is one of the most common work-related disability injuries. Overexertion injuries involve working the body or one body part too hard, causing damage to the muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage or joint. Overexertion can be caused be pulling, pushing or lifting with excessive force. There were more than 3.2 million overexertion injuries in 2009. Overexertion injuries account for almost 27% of workplace injuries in the US. These injuries are most common in young employees. In 2005, businesses paid a total of $12.7 billion in over exertion injury costs. In 2000 sprains and strains alone lead to $40 billion in lost productivity. 
Employers that want to minimize these costs should take a few steps to help reduce the risk of their employees overexerting themselves. Employers should make safety a priority for their employees. Employers should encourage employees to report all concerns about aches and pains. If aches are reported early they can often be healed early, and it will lower the risk of more severe injuries. When an employee reports an injury the employer should consider removing the employee from the task that is causing he/she an ache or pain. The employer should also make sure that their employees are never lifting something that is too heavy for them.

Employers should also teach all of their employees proper form and technique when it comes to lifting or moving an object. Teaching simple changes to an employee’s movements can prevent overexertion. The employer should make sure their employees are lifting with their arms and legs and not their backs. This helps by keeping movements slow and smooth instead of quick and jerky, and it reduces exertion. Also, when employees are lifting repetitively the employers should allow them a few short breaks to allow recover

Employers can protect workers by helping them stay healthy and fit. Many employers will offer discounts on gym memberships, nutrition programs, and exercise courses to help employees stay active, and lose weight. These discounts encourage employees to start exercise programs due to the affordability provided by their employer. These programs keep workers’ muscles strong, and help keep workers from getting winded easily on the job.

One of the best methods for employers to reduce the risk of overexertion by workers is by providing tools to make lifting easier. Employers can lower shelf height to make lifting easier for workers. The best height is from knees to shoulder height. This allows the workers to lift an object in an easy fluid motion, reducing risk of injuries among workers. Another effective way employers can reduce the risk of injuries in workers is to purchase technology that fits the needs of an employee.

Employers that take the initiative, and have taken action against overexertion injuries have seen a major reduction in costs spent on work place injuries. They have become aware of their inefficiencies and have stepped up to protect their employees.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Lucas Wertish
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hearing Loss

Many people work in an environment that is very loud and protecting the hearing abilities of employees is very important.  Hearing loss naturally happens with age, but when people are exposed to excessive noises or loud sounds on a regular basis it could significantly increase the rate of hearing loss.  Being able to hear is something many take for granted, but it is important to remember to protect it the best you can.  Employees who are constantly under pressure of loud noises can lose their hearing and it is a usually a painless, progressive, and a very permanent processes.  When employees are experiencing hearing loss it can reduce their quality of life and affect their work and family life.  If an employee is experiencing hearing loss they may not be able to hear alarms, warnings or other auditory signals that are important for their job.  Excessive noise has also been associated with digestive problems, irritability, loss of concentration and even high blood pressure according to Occupational Health and Safety Online.  The noise that causes problems can come from numerous locations including manufacturing equipment, vehicles, construction equipment, power tools, aircraft and even lawn maintenance tools. 

Damage to your hearing cannot be repaired, but the good news is that it is preventable.  There three steps to help prevent hearing loss. 
1) Recognize that a noise problem may exist  
2) Evaluate the potential problem
3) Control the situation
Using this three step process could be very beneficial to the hearing of employees.  

Recognizing that there is a noise problem is the first step. Inexpensive decibel readers can be found online to accurately test for ear damaging noise. Even less expensive but less accurate smartphone apps can be found in the Apple and Android markets. It also helps to pay close attention to your surroundings, for example not being able to hear someone close talking to you.  It can be difficult to identify a problem if the noise is not constant.   If you notice a potential noise problem the easiest way to protect your hearing is to cover your ears with ear muffs and ear plugs.  Many employers recognize that noise problems exist and they will provide hearing protection. It is still important that you take precautions to protect yourself and make your employer aware of any unsafe work environments.  

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Dale Bromenshenkel
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, October 7, 2013

How to Survive Flu Season


With October just beginning, many are getting excited for the Halloween festivities, the changing colors of the trees, and Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks. While October is a favorite month for many, it is however, the beginning of the infamous flu season.

Flu season is marked in the United States as a time between October and May where there are often prevalent outbreaks of influenza, or known more commonly as “The Flu”. It is estimated by the Center for Disease and Control that US businesses loose roughly $10.4 billion dollars in any given year related to employees getting the influenza virus.

In order to stay clear of the flu this month and enjoy everything great fall has to offer, here are some precautions one can take to prevent the flu:

  1. Always wash hands to defeat germs.
  2. Get a flu shot from a local clinic or pharmacy.
  3. Stock your medicine cabinet with any drugs you use, like pain relievers or decongestants. Don’t forget tissues, soap, and hand sanitizer.
  4. Pay attention to symptoms – Symptoms of just the common cold are milder than those of the flu.
  5. Take a sick day and relax – If you work yourself too hard when you have the flu this can delay your recovery.
  6. Use throwaways – swap cloth hand towels with paper to prevent the spread of germs.
  7. Drink lots of fluids – broths, water, sports drinks, and herbal tea are all excellent for fighting the flu.

Keep yourself healthy this flu season and be sure to take preventative measures. Your family and co-workers will be thanking you for not getting them sick.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Phil Kwitek
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, September 30, 2013

Harvest Time Driving Safety


It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, and farmers are starting to harvest their crops. This increase in large equipment on roadways, leads to an increase in accidents in farming communities.  A study at Iowa State has shown that almost half of all collisions involving farm vehicles happen from October through November. 

The most common of these collisions occur when a distracted driver runs into the rear end of a farm vehicle, or when a passing motorist hits a farm vehicle trying to make a wide left turn. Data by the Iowa Department of Transportation shows that collisions involving farm vehicles are five times more likely to produce a fatality than any other type of motor vehicle accident. This is why drivers need to be on the lookout for farm vehicles.

Many motorists do not know the limitations of large farm vehicles. In order to make a wide enough left turn, the equipment operator might need to turn to the right slightly. Motorists see this slight right turn and assume the farm vehicle driver accidentally signaled to go left when they meant to signal right. This causes impatient motorists to begin to pass the farm vehicle only to have that vehicle start to turn left, and cause a collision. 

Farm equipment lighting may also not be very well maintained, especially the rear lighting. This may also contribute to rear end collisions. Motorists driving late at night might not notice the farm vehicles. 

Farm machinery travels slower than normal traffic, often at speeds of 25 miles per hour or less. Automobile drivers need to quickly identify farm equipment and slow down to avoid rear end crashes.  It is a good idea to stay back at least 50 feet so you remain visible to the equipment operator.

Vehicles aren't the only thing that drivers need to be aware of. The harvesting of crops like corn disturbs the habitat of wild animals. Deer are the leading cause of animal related car accidents. Motorists should be on the lookout for deer that are moving at this time of year.

To avoid accidents during the harvest season, keep an extra eye on the road, and always be patient when driving near farm vehicles.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Lucas Wertish
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, September 23, 2013

National Recovery Month


Millions of people around the world deal with mental illness and substance abuse on a regular basis. Chances are you have a co-worker, family member or friend that has suffered from a mental illness or dependency issues with alcohol or drugs. Vincent van Gogh, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln are just a few of a long list of famous individuals that have struggled with mental disorders. September is National Recovery Month and today on Make-It-Safe Monday we would like to raise the awareness of those suffering from mental illness and substance abuse.
Mental Health | Grey Matters International

Mental illness is not fully understood by the medical community but most believe that it is caused by a combination of genetics, brain injuries, infections, drugs or alcohol. An abnormal balance of chemicals in the brain will inhibit certain nerve cells from sending messages correctly from different areas of the brain. Drugs and alcohol can also temporarily and permanently change the chemistry and damage nerves in the brain. This can cause severe anxiety and social isolation which can lead to depression. If not treated, it can eventually lead to individuals harming themselves and others.

It may not always be easy to tell if some has a mental illness or substance abuse problem but if you see some of the following characteristics from someone you are around on a daily basis it might be in both of your best interest to approach the subject of seeking treatment.
  • Social withdrawal
  • Difficulty preforming familiar tasks
  • Problems with concentration or memory
  • Loss of initiative
  • Dramatic sleep and appetite changes
  • Mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts or tendencies

It is very important to seek help for a co-worker or friend that has suffers from mental illness.  It is extremely dangerous in certain situations to work with an individual that could cause serious harm to themselves or others. There are many organizations and professionals on the local and national level dedicated to helping with recovery.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a federal government organization dedicated to prevention, treatment and recovery. SAMHSA offers dedicated national helplines (1-800-662-HELP) and the website provides multiple links to online resources and local treatment centers.

Mental health is a serious issue that needs our full attention. The recent increase in school and work place shootings is a reminder that it is of the utmost importance that we recognize the warning signs of the people around you. With proper care and treatment roughly 90% of adults are able to lead happy and fulfilling lives.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Brad Lindemann
Sales Coordinator, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Monday, September 16, 2013

There is NOTHING More Important Than Safety in the Workplace


In a couple short weeks (11 days to be exact at the time of this writing) Lift'n Buddy, A Southworth Company, will attend the National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Chicago, Illinois.  This event not only allows us to showcase our innovations, but to go shoulder-to-shoulder with what is new in safety, industry regulations and policies, and to get all the necessary inputs to be on the cutting edge of safety in the workplace.  Afterall, there is nothing more important than safety in the workplace.  It's about saving lives!  Check out the following youtube video on this event and see the info from the NSC website below:

About the National Safety Council

About the event

The NSC Congress & Expo is the world's largest annual "must attend" event for safety, health and environmental professionals. For more than 100 years, professionals have turned to this event for industry-leading technology, education, networking opportunities and the tried and true products and services needed to stay at the forefront and remain competitive within the industry.

In 2010, NSC introduced the Journey to Safety Excellence philosophy, which can help you and your company answer the following questions regarding its current safety program:
  • Where are you now – and where do you want to be?
  • How will you move forward?
  • How do you manage your improvement and measure your progress?

Congress is designed to build awareness of the tools available to you and your organization as you continue down the path to safety excellence.

The NSC Congress & Expo experience offers:

  • Educational Opportunities
    Attendees don't have to hunt through blogs for perspectives on trends and best practices - they can choose from a host of carefully selected opportunities led by verified safety experts. And because safety challenges come in all shapes and sizes, presenters make time for Q&A at the end.
    • Keynotes
      Hear nationally recognized leaders and motivational s from both the public and private sectors speak about current and future issues affecting the industry.
    • Technical Sessions
      Participate in more than 130 technical sessions, selected by a team that has hands-on knowledge of the latest industry trends providing the most comprehensive information needed to face today's challenges.
    • Professional Development SeminarsParticipate in more than 30 seminars providing in-depth, hands-on opportunities to focus on continued professional growth.
  • The Expo Floor:  With both employee safety and budget-friendliness in mind, attendees can compare vendors for a particular product in one place over the course of three days. The time and energy put into researching options is minimized - and face-to-face communication ensures questions are answered and needs are met.
  • Explore the Expo floor offering 190,000+ net square feet of more than 900 companies showcasing the latest innovative products and services. You'll also find the New Product Showcase area, the Solution Center, OSHA's Top 10 most cited safety violations and solutions from the International Safety Equipment Association.
  • Networking EventsNetwork and unwind with like-minded professionals during Rock 'n' Community: Connections for a Cause and the National Awards Celebration.

Who attends and why?

The NSC Congress & Expo attracts decision makers, end users and distributors from a wide variety of industries including: manufacturing, construction, petrochemical and utilities. Coming from the United States, Canada and more than 60 other countries, these individuals range in experience from entry level to seasoned safety professionals representing companies such as Boeing, Schneider Electric, BP, Industrial Scientific, Kimberly Clark, URS, RockTenn Norcross, Fruit of the Loom and more.

Who exhibits?

Hundreds of industry-leading companies from around the world exhibit offering products and services in the following categories: general safety products, personal protective equipment, hazard controls and fall protection. Additionally, vendors specializing in facility maintenance and operation, environmental protection, ergonomics and risk management are in attendance to showcase their latest safety solutions. The show not only features large companies such as Honeywell, 3M and Grainger but hundreds of small to mid-size companies.

Come and visit us at Booth #526, and see how Lift'n Buddy is an agent for change in the modern day workplace. In the meantime check us out at and LIKE us on Facebook.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Aaron Lamb
General Manager, Lift'n Buddy , a Southworth Company

Monday, September 9, 2013

Keep Your Eyes On Safety


Thousands of work related eye injuries occur every day in United States. 10% of these require at least one or more days off to recover from injuries. The financial burden placed on employees and employers costs hundreds of millions of dollars every year. The quality of life decline after the loss of sight in one or both eyes cannot be measured monetarily. 

Most eye accidents are caused by industrial equipment that can send particles of wood, metal or concrete into the eye. Small particles can cause abrasions to the eye while large objects staples or wood slivers can penetrate the eye causing permanent blindness. Ropes or chains can cause a whipping effect when released under tension. This can cause not only damage to the eye but to the eye socket. Falling tree limbs are another major concern, as it will cause splinters and you are typically looking up while working on a tall tree.

People working around welders must take extra precautions because of the multiple ways eye damage can happen. The bright light given off by arc welders consists of visible light, ultra violet radiation, and infrared radiation. Without the proper protection the arc flash can cause pain, irritation, scarring of the retina, and both temporary and permanent blindness.  Sparks from a welder or grinder that land in the eye can cause painful burns. The arc flash and sparks will not only effect the welder but standing nearby is also at risk. 

Construction workers and welder are not the only ones that need to be concerned. Medical providers, lab technicians, and animal handlers need to be protected against chemical burns and bodily fluids that can spread disease. Infectious material can be transferred into the body through the mucous membranes of the eye. Rubbing your eyes with dirty hands, spraying bodily fluids or coughing can easily spread diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV, or the flu. Acidic or alkaline chemicals can cause severe burning and permanent damage to your eyes. 

Many options exist for eye protection depending on the application. Safety glasses with impact-resistant lenses are the most common type of protection. These are usually the most comfortable and unobtrusive making them the most likely to get used.  Goggles are the most effective form of eye protection because they create a seal to keep out dust, liquids, and vapors. Face shields are often used by welders and medical staff to protect the entire face. It is suggested to use a face shield with goggles as a face shield is not a primary form of eye protection. Be sure to install an eye wash station in an area where caustic chemicals are used. 

Always take advantage of any safety devices available because you only get one body and you need to take care of it the best you can. Keep both eyes on your future and don’t get caught without your safety glasses.  

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday

Brad Lindemann
Sales Coordinator, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Here's to you, Laborers!


After a refreshing Labor Day, it is a good time to reflect on what this occassion is all about, and frankly, to keep the celebration and recognition going.  

Indeed, this day is about you, the worker.  Nice, right!  It is a time to thank those magical hands that toil, and build, and create, and do.  However, we get the day, the singular day, off.  Most of us anyway.  Let's take a look back on this much deserved day's historical meaning.

According to Wikipedia, labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.
Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre, US President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.
The equivalent holiday in Canada, Labour Day, is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. In many other countries (more than 80 worldwide), "Labour Day" is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers' Day, which occurs on May 1st.

In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York.  Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada. Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.

Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation's trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers' Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the nascent Communist, Syndicalist and Anarchist movements that, though distinct from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in International Workers' Day.  All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.
Obviously, as Wikipedia goes on, this day is about YOU the worker.  Putting the normal safety jargon aside, here are some fun Labor Day facts:

Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white or seersucker.

In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. NCAA teams usually play their first games the weekend of Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day. The Southern 500 NASCAR auto race was held that day from 1950 to 1983 in Darlington, South Carolina. At Indianapolis Raceway Park, theNational Hot Rod Association hold their finals to the U.S. Nationals drag race. Labor Day is the middle point between weeks 1 and 2 of the US Open Tennis Championships held in Flushing Meadows, NY.

In the U.S., most school districts that started summer vacation 1-2 weeks into June will resume school the day after this day, while schools that had summer vacation begin on the Saturday before Memorial Day in late May will have already been in session since late August. However this tradition is changing as many school districts end 1-2 weeks into June and begin mid-August.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday, or Tuesday ;).

Aaron Lamb
General Manager, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company