Everybody celebrates Independence Day in July. But, what many people don’t know is that we also celebrate National Picnic Month in July, too! Going for a picnic is an excellent time to embrace nature and breathe in fresh air. It is also a great opportunity to bond with friends, family and loved ones. While a picnic is understood as a simple excursion with meals eaten outdoors, there are some interesting facts about the origin of picnic that not many of us are aware of.
- The word picnic was taken from the French word “pique nique” which refers to an outdoor meal. The first picnics took place in the Middle Ages when the members of the upper class society would “dine out” or eat their meals outdoors during a hunt.
- The first recorded use of “picnic”, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was in a letter written by Lord Chesterfield to his son in Berlin in 1748. The word picnic here was used in the sense of a social gathering.
- In the early 1800’s, picnic was already being used to refer to a social meal eaten outdoors.
Celebrating National Nutrition Month gives businesses the opportunity to share the latest research in healthy eating and lifestyle habits. It also provides a means of encouraging everyone to be more healthy, in a fun and engaging way.
Is everyone at your office is already focused on eating better and exercising? There’s still always something new to learn about nutrition! Read through the following suggestions for some ideas on how your team can celebrate National Nutrition Month this year.
A contest is a great way to get people talking about nutrition.
One idea – send out a daily email with a question about nutrition. Collect the right responses, then at the end of the month hold a drawing for the winner(s). T-shirts, drinking cups, pens, pencils, magnets, etc. which promote healthy living are good options for prizes.
Hold a healthy recipe contest among employees. Ask for volunteer judges among upper management and award prizes to the winner(s).
Set up a “real food” challenge. Give rewards (e.g. healthy cookbook, paid time off, etc.) at the end of the month for the employee(s) who brought in – and ate – a healthy lunch the most days of the month.
Potlucks and taste testing
Bring bite size pieces of common and unique vegetables and fruits into the breakroom. Ask everyone to vote on their favorites, then post the results on a tally board to see which foods are the winners.
If your work environment is culturally diverse, ask everyone to bring in their favorite ethnic dishes for a company potluck. Ask the cooks to bring in the recipes for sharing with their co-workers.
Set up a cooking demo with a restaurant chef or an educator from a nearby culinary school. Include recipes which employees can use in their own homes.
Invite a local fitness or yoga instructor to come and discuss fitness topics. Tips for effective workouts, when to eat, and the impact of healthy eating on weight loss efforts are all helpful topics. Hand out pedometers, t-shirts and/or water bottles to encourage everyone to get more active.
Change the environment
Instead of donuts or sugary muffins, bring fruits, veggies and/or trail mix into the meeting room instead.
Does your office have vending machines? Replace the current selections with healthier choices. Include trail mix, dried fruit, low-sugar energy bars, etc. Make sure to place them at eye level. Stock the less healthy choices at the bottom of the selection list.
Instead of soda machines, fill up the breakroom refrigerator with both filtered and flavored waters.
If you have a cafeteria, make healthy food choices easily accessible. Place the less healthy options where they’re harder to find. Label food choices by color. Use green for the most healthy selections, yellow for moderately healthy, and red for the least healthy options.
Encourage everyone to find ways to be active and eat healthy. Give prizes for the most flights of stairs walked or the most servings of vegetables eaten in a week.
Keep healthy snacks on hand at all times. Choose low processed foods such as trail mix, nut butters, dried fruit, fresh fruit, veggies with hummus or plain, low-fat yogurt. They keep hunger at bay and provide energy to get through the day.
When healthy eating and movement are structured into the workplace, employees will naturally gravitate towards making better choices both at work and at home. This leads to healthier, happier employees. It also is a good return on the company’s investment in their employees’ well being.
The first National Snack Food Month was celebrated in February 1989. It was initiated by the Snack Food Association and National Potato Promotion Board. The intent is to build snack food awareness and increase consumption of snack foods during a time when their sales are typically low.
Snack food doesn’t have to mean “junk” food
Are you and your team among the thousands of Americans trying to find balance in their eating habits? You may decide to skip the celebration, but why not choose guilt-free snack food instead?
Instead of boxes of little donuts or bags of greasy chips – or in addition to, no judgment here – add a wide variety of healthy foods that everyone can enjoy.
Here’s how to celebrate National Snack Food Month with your co-workers:
Plan your snacks
Are you the team manager, company owner and/or the person who’s been nominated to the task? Put together a quick list of possible fun and healthy snack ideas, print it out, and send it around the office for everyone’s input.
Focus on color, crunch and healthy fats
What makes a delicious snack? When coming up with your initial list of snack food ideas, remember — you and your peers may think very differently!
In addition to including special requests made by your co-workers, pull together a variety of healthier options that most people will enjoy.
Non perishable snack ideas
These snacks can be added to desk drawers or the break-room cupboards – perfect for those quick “working at my desk” moments in busy work environments.
- Whole wheat crackers
- Rice crackers
- Microwave popcorn
- Trail mix – commercial or homemade
- Chex mix
- Canned fruit
- Dried fruit
- Nuts and/or nut butters
- Peanut butter
Perishable snack ideas
While the non-perishable snacks are a great way to break an afternoon slump, sometimes you need just a little bit more:
- Dips – cheese, cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream with ranch dressing mix, hummus
- Fresh fruit – grapes, bananas, oranges, etc. make a great snack. Save time with pre-cut fruit at your neighborhood grocer.
- Low fat cottage cheese in individual packaging
- Low fat, low sugar yogurts
- Sliced bell peppers
- Snap peas
Keep calories in mind
Yes, calories do matter, even if they’re from a healthy source.
Post a helpful resource list of the calories found in your office snacks where everyone can see it, such as the shared refrigerator or bulletin board.
Try to keep your own calories consumed from any snacks at the office to between 100 and 200 calories. Save them for those times you’re really hungry as opposed to just bored or stressed.
For the longest staying power, combine a protein with a carbohydrate whenever possible.
Keep it going
If National Snack Food Month has you and your co-workers eating healthier snacks this February, don’t stop now!
Avoid the nasty side effects from unhealthy fare such as weight gain and/or low energy. Continue to keep a variety of healthy snacks on hand to power you and your co-workers through the year!
24 10 2017
Avoiding warehouse accidents is one of the most crucial aspects of working in a warehouse. Common accidents in warehouses are preventable with proper maintenance and safety procedures. What can you be doing to ensure you are using safe warehouse practices as an employer?
#1: Make Safety Part of the Workplace Culture
Employees will take their cues from superiors about what they should prioritize. If you only talk about the bottom line, your employees could feel pressured to make some unsafe decisions in order to help the company profit.
The best thing you can do is stress the importance of everyone’s safety. Make sure your employees are trained, have safe equipment, and have someone who can address any safety concerns that may arise. Address any warehouse safety hazards in a timely manner to prevent work-related injury.
Warehouse Injury Statistics
The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records warehouse injury statistics. According to OSHA, 5 out of every 100 full-time warehousing and storage workers had a recorded injury in 2015. Over 3 out 5 injuries resulted in days away from work. How can you work to get your company below the national average?
#2: Train Employees to Lift Safely
A frequent work-related injury in warehouses is back strain from improper lifting. While employees are still in training, review the proper ways to lift heavy objects.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Common accidents in warehouses include slips, trips, and falls. Workers can slip and fall if there are spills on the warehouse floor. Workers are also more likely to slip if they are walking on two different surfaces. Some floors are naturally slick, while others can be more dangerous if they have recently been waxed.
#3: Check Your Floors
Slips, trips, and falls can also be caused by slopes and changes in walkways, poor lighting, and unsecured mats or stray cables in walkways. Check your workplace for any loose flooring or uneven surfaces that could be hazardous.
This safety step is especially important when the weather is changing. If there has been a recent rainstorm or snowfall in your area, make sure all workers are not tracking water in on their shoes. This can help prevent slips. Mark any newly mopped or waxed areas to alert workers of a slippery surface.
#4: Wear Proper Shoes and Protective Gear at All Times
If protective gear is required for any duties an employee may have, ensure the employee is wearing the protective gear before starting a task. Protective gear cannot work if worn improperly. Untied shoelaces and compromised gear can do more harm than good.
#5: Clear the Workspace of Any Obstacles
This is good safety advice for workplaces in all industries. If you leave something out on the floor, you have put your fellow co-workers in danger of having an accident. If you know someone is driving a forklift in your area of the warehouse, make sure they will have a clear path through your area and a safe route to reach the pallets they may need to move.
Forklift accidents can happen to both novices and experts, so forklift safety should be reviewed with all employees operating this machinery. This type of warehouse accident can be caused by a problem with the forklift, the person operating the forklift, or the workplace environment.
You can prevent forklift accidents by tackling problems in all three of these areas. Check any vehicles like forklifts for any faults before starting the workday. Make sure all employees who operate forklifts or similar machinery have proper and up-to-date training. Complacency is a big factor in workplace accidents. All employees should be vigilant while operating a forklift, whether it is the first time or the thousandth time. Inspect the environment in the warehouse for safety hazards. If you work on improving safety and training, you may also see an increase in productivity and effectiveness of your team.
Reno Forklift, Inc.
At Reno Forklift, forklift safety is our priority. Our 20 trained specialists can be dispatched to service forklifts in the field or in our shop. We offer complete forklift cleaning and repair to keep your fleet running safely and efficiently.
Our preventative maintenance program maintains your fleet with basic services and periodic inspections. If you need a replacement forklift, we carry the top brands of forklifts. If you need a single part replaced, we use the Promatch® parts program to get you quality replacement forklift parts.
Contact us to rent forklifts and learn more about avoiding warehouse accidents.
It starts with a little annoyance. Then the blinking, headaches, and dry eyes creep in. We’ve heard it before – take a screen break, rest your eyes. But did you know that ignoring these suggestions could be affecting your team’s productivity at work?
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that nearly 80 percent of us report at least one visual disturbance at work each day and over half of us actually have to rest our eyes due to the discomfort or pain.
August is National Eye Exam Month and a good time for a reminder that eye strain at work lowers productivity. Poor eyesight and other vision problems can cost you.
Here’s how vision problems may affect your work performance and team productivity:
Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) happens from staring at a screen too long without taking a break. You can treat it by using a set of eye exercises each day (Try these) and taking regular screen breaks. You may think that taking regular screen breaks are what cause the drop in productivity for your team. It’s quite the opposite. Taking a break every 20 minutes to look away from the screen allows your eyes to rest and relax the strain put on them by office work. If you’re using the restroom or prowling the break room for water or a snack, you’re also relaxing the neck which means you’ll be avoiding the aches and pains that often come from sitting too long. When we sit and stare for too long, we end up having to take longer breaks or eventually days off work. This is far more damaging to productivity as you can’t contribute if you’re not there.
Headaches related to vision can be a product of CVS, eye strain, or simply not having the right eyewear. Millions of Americans have changes in their vision but don’t take the time to get their annual eye exam. Wearing the wrong lenses causes the eyes to work harder and lead to strain. You may also not be seeing things as clearly as you should. This can cause headaches. What happens if you can’t see clearly? You might be missing something in meetings.
Many of us wear bifocals or have the wrong prescription all together. This means we make adjustments like leaning closer to the screen. You may tilt your head up and down to see the words right too. These adjustments can cause us ergonomic issues that lead to neck and head pain or even joint pain. This pain causes a loss in productivity as we then spend more time stopping to stretch, re-position, or rub those sore muscles. Many organizations have an ergonomics consultant that can assess the work space and make recommendations. Recommendations that could increase productivity.
You Think About It All the Time
The headaches. The neck pain. The fuzzy vision after staring at the computer screen all day. You think about these things so often that you’re costing valuable work time. You’re not mentally present. When you’re not thinking about them, you’re physically trying to adjust to avoid them, again wasting valuable productivity time. Encouraging employees to get a routine eye exam can be a great start to stomping out this cause for discomfort.
Glare on the computer screen can compound any of the other potential vision issues we’ve already discussed. If your team members are constantly battling the sun, poor lighting, or improper monitor settings, it could be affecting their productivity. This comes with a simple fix. Assess the work space. Come up with cost effective solutions like blinds, stick on screen glare protectors, or even a simple (and free!) adjustment of the brightness/contrast settings on the computer’s monitor. Sometimes it’s not the most costly solution that saves time and money, it’s the simple one that wins. Removing these barriers for your employees sets them up to spend less time fidgeting with workplace conditions and more time getting their tasks done.
So what does it all mean? August is National Eye Exam Month, right? Go ahead and take a minute right now (yes, we’ll wait) and call your eye doctor for an exam appointment. Making sure vision loss, eye strain, or other interferences aren’t bogging you and your team down is an important and worthwhile contribution you can make today. Do it for yourself and your work.