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January 11, 2013

Merrimac snow plow drivers participate in wellness training

MERRIMAC — Department of Public Works employees are prepared to face long winter nights ahead while staying alert and healthy, thanks to a Snow Plow Driver wellness training offered free of charge by the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, Merrimac’s health insurance provider.

Sixteen Merrimac workers from highway, water and sewer divisions — as well as the DPW director — participated in the program, which was held Dec. 19 at the Merrimac Town Library.

The hour-long training session focused on informative tips for working long night-time shifts throughout the winter months, including how to stay alert, maintain a healthy diet, avoid back problems and stay limber to prevent muscle tightness. Participants learned how to make healthier, energizing food choices while on the road and at fast food restaurants. Because most work-related back injuries occur to the lower back, exercise trainers also demonstrated safe lifting techniques and proper stretching to target back pain and muscle stiffness that can occur during truck driving.

“The town is fortunate to be able to use the resources provided by MIIA for Health and Wellness training and support,” said Carol McLeod, Merrimac finance director, in a press release. “The programs not only give the employees information to help learn healthier lifestyles, but the town also benefits with credits for participation, which reduces our insurance costs.”

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