SafeStart newsletter published by Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co

January 20, 2010  

Fight fatigue

Fatigue is defined as a weariness from bodily or mental exertion. It is one of four states in the SafeStart program that can lead to critical errors. It also is a state that can be prevented by setting priorities and taking care of oneself on and off the clock.

Diet, exercise and sleep can all greatly impact energy level. Here are some simple tips to jump start energy:


Eating a balanced diet can help ensure vitamin and mineral needs are met. Incorporating more whole grains and protein into your diet and reducing sugar creates balance so energy is constant. Eating a sweet food can cause a spike in blood sugar, which provides an initial boost of energy. However, that is followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, which can lead to a let down.

Overeating causes the stomach to digest food at a constant rate, which also zaps energy. Be careful not to skip breakfast and to eat approximately six small meals per day if prone to overeating. For a snack, try whole wheat crackers with peanut butter or a handful of mixed nuts. Drinking plenty of water can also keep a person feeling full. Eating healthy can be a challenge for railroaders always on-the-go, so planning meals and snacks ahead of time is critical to carrying out diet goals.


The body is designed to be in motion. When you are not in motion, everything slows down. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily could make a positive impact on energy level. That could mean lifting weights or simply taking a walk. Get the blood pumping by getting up to take a break, whether that be to get a drink of water, or to use the bathroom. Stretching for a few minutes or doing some jumping jacks can increase circulation and boost energy for employees who have a more sedentary job.


Even the loss of sleep of only one to two hours a night can cause short-term sleepiness. Problems sleeping can be associated with caffeine, alcohol, smoking, poor diet and irregular bed times. Create an ideal sleep environment by using the bed only for sleep, drowning noise with car plugs and reducing light with heavy curtains. Find time to relax before bed through listening lo music or reading. Adults should receive seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

Customer Spotlight: Scrap Metal Services, LLC

Since start-up service in 2007, Scrap Metal Services LLC in Burnham, III., has proven to be a rapidly growing customer served by 1HB employees.
SMS provides scrap management and brokerage services for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap suppliers and customers. Various grades of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap generated from industrial demolition and obsolete scrap generators are recycled in a safe, environmentally responsible fashion.

SMS has capitalized on growing corporate and consumer recycling initiatives by providing innovative service to the recycling market. It operates recycling facilities open to the public and a 30-acre scrap processing and mill services processing facility located within an integrated steel producing mill.

Scrap Metal Services also operates a subsidiary, SMS Mill Services LLC. in Bums Harbor, Ind.

Scrap Industry Fast Facts:

  • 33 percent of U.S. aluminum supply comes from recycling.
  • Two out of 3 pounds of steel made in the United States is manufactured using ferrous scrap.
  • Recycling one ton of aluminum conserves up to 8 tons of bauxite more and 14 megawatt hours of electricity.
  • More than 150 million metric tons of scrap are processed annually.
  • The amount of energy saved by using recycled materials versus virgin ore is 74 percent for iron and steel.
  • Recycling one ton of steel conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
  • 60 percent of the alloys and metal produced In the U.S. are made from nonferrous scrap.
  • All information is data from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.