Monday, January 27, 2014



For many of us in North America, this winter may go down as one of the coldest on record. This week brings another bone chilling blast of Arctic air as far South as Texas and Florida. Wind chills are expected to drop as low as -40°F in parts of the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. These freezing temps can be extremely dangerous and we have a few suggestions to keep you safe from frostbite.

Frostbite is a medical condition where skin and other bodily tissue are damaged due to freezing. When the temperature drops below 32°F (0°C) blood vessels will constrict near the skin. This is your body’s natural reaction to keep your vital organs from getting too cold. As you are exposed to colder temperatures and wind the body will restrict blood flow to certain areas. Fingers, toes, and ears are the most susceptible to frostbite. They are located the farthest from your heart and are considered the least vital appendages to maintain your survival.

Early signs of frostbite are itching, pain, and numbing sensations followed by white, red, and yellow colorations of the skin. It is rare that these symptoms will cause permanent damage, as only the top layers of skin are affected.

If the skin is exposed to the cold long enough, it will freeze and harden but the tissue under the skin will remain intact. This will typically cause blisters after a couple days that become hard and black but should heal within a few weeks. 

Major damage to your appendages will occur when the deep tissue freezes under the skin. In extreme cases of frostbite the muscles, blood vessels, and nerves can all freeze. The skin will feel hard and waxy and use of the affected area will be lost. The damaged areas can become infected or will most likely fall off or need to be amputated by a doctor.

To prevent frostbite always use warm dry clothing such as socks, gloves, and hats. If you are unable to seek shelter put your hands under your armpits to warm them. Never rub skin that may have been frostbitten as this may further damage the tissue. Use warm (not hot!) water or a blanket to gradually warm frostbitten areas. Never use a stove, furnace, or heating pad to warm the skin as it might be too hot and burn the numb skin. 

Frostbite is a very serious issue during these cold winter months. With wind chills reaching as low as -50°F to -60°F skin can freeze in as little as 10 minutes! Make sure to take precautions when heading outside and always contact a doctor if you believe you have been frost bitten. 

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, January 20, 2014

Take a Knee


With every step you your knees take a hit. While walking the knee is constantly absorbing impacts caused by our feet contacting the ground. After long periods of time this stress can turn into an injury. Injuries that happen over an extended period of time are called cumulative injuries. This repetitive stress is very common and can cause extreme discomfort. Another type of injury employees need to be aware of is an acute injury. An acute injury is a sudden trauma to the knee such as a large impact, a severe twist, or a fall.  

There are ways in which you can protect yourself while on the job. Always try to sit down instead of kneeling or squatting. This will help take the direct pressure off of your knees. Move your work up off of the floor. Using a work bench or saw horse will eliminate the need to kneel or squat in the first place. Evaluating heavy items before lifting is a great way to prevent knee stress and sprains. Try to find a better solution to lift heavy items such as team lifts, a Lift’n Buddy, push carts, or even a forklift. This will drastically cut down on you risk of injury.

If you are forced to work on your knees a great way to protect yourself is by using knee pads. A portable cushion or knee pads are great to distribute pressure away from your knees. They will also come in handy if the surface you are kneeling on is irregular. This will pad any hard or sharp point that you may need to kneel on. If your knees hurt because you find yourself walking on hard surfaces all day it is time to invest in some quality footwear. A shoe with a supportive sole will help absorb some of the shock that your knees encounter. Good footwear will provide a strong grip that will prevent any sudden slips or twists that may cause severe knee 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, January 13, 2014

Pain in the Neck


After a long day of work many people begin to feel aches and pains. One of the most common aches that employees struggle with is neck pain. Neck pain can be felt anywhere from your skull down to you shoulders. If not addressed neck pain can become very severe, and they may even limit an employee’s ability to do their job.

Too much stress on the neck has a few unpleasant side effects. The most common being a sore neck where there is a small and uncomfortable pain that causes stiffness. Over a long period of time the stiffness may increase and leave the neck almost motionless. Another side effect of neck injuries is a headache. Headaches are caused by the input of nerve endings in the scalp and neck. This is why it is not uncommon to have both a headache and a sore neck at the same time.

Neck pain is commonly caused by added stress to an employee’s neck that is repeated and prolonged through out the day. There are many activities that can cause stress to an employee’s neck. If an employee is working on a computer at a desk it is very common that they have neck pain do to the fact that they tend to lean their head forward to read the text on the computer. A long day of work staring at a screen puts a lot of stress on your neck causing an uncomfortable soreness. So this may be a good time to lean back in your chair and do some simple next stretches. 

The best way to prevent this soreness is to make sure you keep good posture while at your desk. Sit straight up in your chair, move your computer screen so it is at eye level and is in front of you, rest your arms on an adjustable armrest, and make sure your feet are flat on the floor. If you follow these tips you will have a good posture and that will help prevent neck pain. Another tip is to avoid holding a phone between your shoulder and your ear. If possible, try using a headset or speakerphone. If you are in a meeting try to find a seat that is front and center. This will prevent you from leaning forward in your seat throughout the meeting.

There can be many other causes of neck soreness that are not office related. Poor lifting technique can be damaging to an employees body, especially if it is repeated frequently.  If you are lifting a heavy objects make sure to follow correct lifting technique.  When lifting something heavy make sure that it is close to your body. This will protect your spine from any injury. Also make sure to bend your knees, and let the strong muscles of the legs do all the work.

If you are still having slight pain in your neck even after following these tips it may be that your muscles aren't loose enough.  It may be helpful to take a break and walk around the room. Take some time to stretch your muscles and really loosen them up before going back to work.

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, January 6, 2014

Mobile Security


We live in a world where the use of technology is growing almost exponentially. Kids are getting smart phones younger and younger, and almost every college student has their own personal laptop or computer. Phone and internet safety is often overlooked as a safety issue. 

Something that most people don’t realize is that malware and viruses exist even on our smartphones. To quote Simon Hill, a freelance technology writer, “No OS is completely safe, and protection is a requirement across mobile platforms. No matter where you find a critical mass of people, there will always be some bad guys looking for ways to exploit them.” Some malware is hidden inside of downloadable applications, such as free games or free programs. Always make sure that the applications you’re downloading are highly rated by a large group of people, to help protect you from accidently downloading potential malware. One of the best choices you can make to help protect yourself is to download security for your mobile device. It’s a highly recommended choice and I’ll share some of the best security apps for different devices below.

Android devices have been targeted lately for a new wave of malware and viruses, it’s highly recommended to have some sort of software protecting you if you use an android device. Three of the most highly rated mobile security apps for android devices are:

  • AVG Antivirus (Free)
  • Lookout Security & Antivirus (Free)
  • 360 Mobile Security (Free) 

Although Apple does provide high security to it’s iOS run devices, there’s still a risk of malware and viruses on these devices. If you want to cover your bases, three of the most highly rated mobile security apps for iPhone/iPad’s are: 

  • McAfee Global Threat Intelligence Mobile (Free)
  • VirusBarrier
  • Lookout (Free)

Most of these recommended security apps for both iPhone’s and Android devices are free of charge and can help protect you from dangerous malware, spyware, and viruses. People are doing an increasing amount of personal work on their phones, such as business transactions, online banking, etc. There is no reason to leave yourself at risk by not installing a security system on your phone. 

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