Working in the Cold
As temperatures drop, the increase in health hazards begin. Per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the months of January and February typically feature the coldest temperatures of the year in many locations across the United States.
One health hazard of cold weather is the strain it puts on your heart, even without exercise. In addition, when the temperature drops, and your body can’t produce enough energy to keep your internal temperature warm enough, you can suffer from hypothermia.
Per the American Heart Association, aside from cold temperatures, high winds, snow, and rain can steal body heat. Wind is especially dangerous because it removes the layer of heated air from around your body.
It is important to be aware of lower temperatures and safely prepare for cold workdays ahead.
Here are a few recommendations for working in cold weather:
- Wear loose-fitting, layered clothing for insulation
- Wear a hat; it reduces the amount of body heat that escapes from your head and will keep your whole body warmer
- Be sure your boots are waterproof and insulated
- Take a frequent short break in warm, dry shelters
- Avoid exhaustion or fatigue – energy is needed to keep your muscles warm
- Eat warm, high-calorie foods and drink warm, sweet beverages
- Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses and injuries and how to help workers
- Work in pairs so that one worker can recognize danger signs