Workers who are exposed to extreme cold or work in cold environments, like outdoors during winter, may be at risk of cold stress. Extremely cold or wet weather is a dangerous situation that can cause occupational illness and injuries such as hypothermia or frostbite. Here are some ways you can protect yourself from cold stress:
- Monitor your physical condition. Watch for signs of cold stress such as shivering, loss of coordination, fatigue and numbness in hands or feet. If you notice those symptoms, get into a warm environment immediately to warm up.
- Wear appropriate clothing. Wear several layers of loose clothing for insulation. Tight clothing reduces blood circulation to the extremities. Be aware that some clothing may restrict movement resulting in a hazardous.
- Protect the ears, face, hands and feet in extremely cold or wet weather.
- Boots should be waterproof and insulated.
- Wear a hat to reduce the loss of body heat from your head.
- Move into warm locations during breaks; limit the amount of time outside.
- Keep handy an extra pair of socks, gloves, hats, jacket, blankets and maybe even a change of clothes in case yours get wet.
- Avoid touching cold metal surfaces with bare hands.
For more information contact OEHS at 801-581-6590.