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Working Safe in Cold Weather

Working Safe in Cold Weather

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  • Time of issue:2012-12-28 14:10
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(Summary description)

Working Safe in Cold Weather

(Summary description)

  • Categories:News
  • Author:
  • Origin:
  • Time of issue:2012-12-28 14:10
  • Views:
Information

Working in a cold environment can involve several adverse effects on human performance and health.

 

A number of industries and occupations involve substantial outdoor cold exposure. These include construction workers, postal workers, delivery people, utility and telecommunication workers, firefighters, police and others. Many indoor workers — such as those in the food processing industry, cold storage industry, supermarkets or in the transportation chain — also can be negatively impacted by cold work environments if not properly protected and trained.

 

Cold temperatures have hazardous effects on humans and their ability to work well. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, the negative effects can include dehydration, numbness, shivering, frostbite, immersion foot and hypothermia.

 

It is best to get to a warm place where the employee can stay dry and warm after re-warming the body part(s). Use warm (100 F/38 C), not hot, water for 30-45 minutes until a good “flush” or reddening of color has returned to the skin. Do not place affected extremities near a fire. It can cause burns due to the lack of sensation in the affected area. You can place affected areas under the armpits or groin area for re-warming as well.

 

Once an area is re-warmed, it is imperative to keep the area from re-freezing. If re-freezing occurs, this is very serious and can cause permanent damage. It is better to delay warming if there is a chance the area can refreeze while trying to make it to permanent shelter

Do not thaw the injury with melted snow or ice. Do not rub the area with snow. Finally, avoid alcohol, nicotine and other drugs that can further restrict the blood flow to the affected area.

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