It is cold outside, and temperatures are dropping. It’s essential to be aware of cold-related injuries. According to NIOSH, workers who are exposed to extreme cold or work in cold environments may be at risk of cold stress and cold-related injuries. Extreme cold weather is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies.
Hypothermia, frostbite, and trench foot/immersion foot are the common types of cold-related injuries. When working in cold temperatures, focus on prevention strategies:
- Do understand the effects of wind chill and guard against exposure.
- Do use the buddy system. Act quickly to address cold weather injuries.
- Do adjust the workload. Take breaks, warm-up, avoid over exertion.
- Don’t ignore the warning signs/symptoms.
- Don’t think cold-related injuries won’t happen to you!
- Don’t drive in extreme weather conditions or leave your vehicle when stranded or when in an emergency.
To help workers best understand the signs and how to prevent them, ACP has awareness materials that include a reference card and a PowerPoint training module. These materials will help you understand the signs of cold-related injuries and what to do if you are experiencing any of the symptoms.
Stay warm, stay hydrated, and stay safe.