Monday, April 20, 2015

Prevention Workouts: Back Strength and Stretching


Back injuries can be very devastating, not only for the person that is experiencing them, but also the company that employs the injured person.  The person with a back injury is usually out from work and the company has to pay for the workers compensation if the injury happened while on the job.  There are ways to help prevent back injuries on the job, but there are ways to help strengthen your back at home.  Preventions workouts can be done at home every day to help stretch and strengthen your back to help prevent injuries.

There are some workouts and stretches that can help strengthen your back.  The first one will start with you lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.  You will lift one knee toward your chest and pull it closer with both of your hands.  Then switch legs and do the same thing.  Finally, do both legs at the same time.  Repeat this stretch two to three times.

Another stretch starts off in the same position as the last one.  This time keep both of your knees and ankles together, and shoulders flat on the floor.  Twist your back so that your right side of your right knee is touching the floor.  Hold for ten seconds and then do the same thing for the left side.  Switch sides for a three to five times.

This next stretch starts off in the same position as the last two.  For this one keep your feet and shoulders flat on the floor with your knees together.  Start by lifting your lower back while keeping your hips on the floor.  Hold this for five seconds and go back to the original position.  Next lift your hips off the floor as well as your lower back.  Hold for five seconds and then return to the original position.  Go through this cycle three to five times.

This next stretch will require a different starting position.  Start with your hands and both of your knees on the floor.  Have your body positioned so that your arms and legs are parallel to each other and are perpendicular to the floor.  Once you are in this position start the stretch by arching your back up and hold for five seconds.  Then curve your back downward and hold for five seconds.  Keep your head looking at the floor and repeat the cycle three to five times.

Now sit in a chair that allows you sit up straight.  An armless chair works best for this exercise.   Sit up straight with your feet on the floor.  Fold your right leg over your left and twist your back to the right.  Hold this position for five seconds and then repeat for the left.  Repeat this exercise three to five times.

To finish off your back exercises for the day continue sitting straight up in the chair.  While maintaining good posture pull your shoulder blades together and hold for five seconds.  Relax and then repeat three to five times.

After doing all those stretches your back should be loose and stronger.  It is important to do them ideally once a day, but at least a few times a week.  Make sure you are physically able to do some of the floor exercises before you try them.  Doing these more often, and doing more repetitions when you are doing them, will only strengthen your back more.  

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, April 13, 2015

What is NIOSH?


If you’re someone who is currently reading this blog you’re probably very familiar with what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is. However, OSHA has a less known counterpart in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  Today we are going to look at the difference between OSHA and NIOSH, what NIOSH is, and the importance/purpose that it serves.

On December 29th, 1970, President Nixon created both NIOSH and OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. According to, its mission is to “assure safe and healthy working conditions for both men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance." OSHA is charged with creating and enforcing health and safety laws whereas NIOSH is more focused on developing recommendations for health and safety standards and conducting extensive research on new health and safety concepts. Simply speaking, OSHA is the lawmaker whereas NIOSH is the researcher.

As seen on, NIOSH’s vision is “Delivering on the nation's promise—safety and health at work for all people through research and prevention.” With the mission to “provide national and world leadership to prevent work-related illnesses and injuries.” NIOSH is a research center institution with three primary goals:

1.      Conduct research to reduce work-related illnesses and injuries.
2.      Promote safe and healthy workplaces through interventions, recommendations and capacity building.
3.      Enhance international workplace safety and health through global collaborations.

NIOSH is part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and lacks the authority to establish laws and regulations that OSHA has. However, OSHA tends to listen to any recommendations that NIOSH discover through their research. To learn more about what NIOSH is, visit the website at:

NIOSH has played a crucial part in creating the safety that is found in workplaces throughout the U.S. today and will continue to serve an important purpose for many years to come. It’s important to recognize the importance of NIOSH and to keep up with the safety research they might be doing in your field.

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