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