Cold weather is feel good up to some specified level, but then after it may increase health risk. A long-standing or working in cold weather can cause serious health problems such as trench foot, frostbite, hypothermia, and, in extreme cases, death. To avoid these we must know some Cold Weather Safety tips in the workplace.
Cold Weather Safety Tips are important while working in an extreme freezing environment. There should advance training and guidance given to the worker before start working in cold weather. In this article, we will discuss the risk of working in cold weather and some cold weather safety tips to be followed.
Effect of Cold Weather on Human Body
Following are some effects of cold weather on human body,
1) At Risk: Immune System
During all winter season, most of the people stay inside and keep close contacts with each other, such as in stores, malls, and restaurants. This may become a reason for spreading of the flu, coughs, and colds are more easily spread.
2) At Risk: Heart
Cold weather means very low temperature which may act as a vasoconstrictor, which means it narrows blood vessels. This changes may increase the risk of a heart attack.
3) At Risk: Balance
Walking on ice sidewalk, putting you at risk for fractures.
5) At Risk: Skin
During winter, there is dry air which easily sucks the moisture from skin.
6) At Risk: Body Temperature
Older age people are at high risk of hypothermia in which body temperature falls down too quickly. It can also happen due to long exposure to mild low temperature also.
Cold Weather Safety Tips
Following are Tips for Working Safe in Cold Weather,
1) Wear Protective Dress for Cold Weather
- Wear Protective dress which has out layer to resist wind action.
- Always wear a hat, mittens or insulated gloves in cold weather.
- Try to warm your face with a scarf, neck tube or facemask continuously.
- Always wear warm and waterproof footwear to protect the foot from the cold temperature.
- When there is cold or snowfall, try to cover the exposed skin as possible.
- Your ears, nose, fingers and toes lose heat at the fastest speed.
2) Drink the Right Liquids
To safeguard yourself to become dehydrated, continuously drink warm and sweet water such as
- Sports drinks
- Sugar water
Try to avoid some liquids with caffeine, such as:
- Hot chocolate
3) Be Proactive and Alert
Cold Weather safety tips while working in a cold environment for a long period of time:
- Get information about are signs and symptoms of cold-weather illnesses and injuries.
- Do not work for too long hours, always take breaks in a warm area.
- Always work in a couple so you and your coworker can spot the danger signs.
- Quickly inform your supervisor and get medical help immediately if you or another worker has symptoms of hypothermia or another cold-related illness or injury.
- Remember – the person who takess certain medicines or is in poor physical condition, or suffers from illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease.
4) Be Aware of Weather Forecast
- Always listen to the local weather forecast before going out.
- Get information about wind chill warning. Warnings are based on local atmosphere condition and are issued when significant wind chills are expected.
- Visit local weather forecast website to get full detail about the weather.
5) Advance Cold Weather Safety Plan
- Prepare advance cold weather safety plan to ensure that safety during cold weather condition, or when the wind chill is significant. For example, during cold schools can hold their recesses inside, worker outside can take warm-up breaks, and those involved in winter recreation could reduce their cold weathering hours.
6) Seek Shelter & Stay Dry
- When there is a wind chill is extreme, get away from the that and limit the time you spend outside.
- Wet wear clothes chill the body rapidly.
- Sometimes if you are sweating you can remove your coat outer layer.
6) Keep Active
- During cold weather, walking and running will help you keep your body warm by generating the body heat.
7) Be Aware
- Get knowledge about what are the signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
- Some members of our family are more susceptible particularly children, the elderly and those with circulation problems.
- Always keep eye on elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure they are warm enough and have sufficient supplies, particularly when the weather is cold or snowy.
- Sometime, the use of tobacco and certain medications will increase your susceptibility to cold.
- Working in cold weather for a long period of time can cause a drop in body temperature
- Cold weather can responsible for shivering, confusion and loss of muscular control (e.g., difficulty walking) can occur.
- It may become serious up to a life-threatening condition where shivering stops or the person loses consciousness. Finally, it may result in cardiac arrest.
What to do:
- Get medical attention immediately.
- Make the person lay down straight down, particularly if the person is unconscious.
- Get the person indoors.
- Gently remove wet clothing.
- Try to the increasing temperature of a person by supplying heat to his body.
- A condition of person becomes more serious if the skin and the underlying tissue (fat, muscle, bone) are frozen.
- Person’s skin becomes white and waxy and is hard to the touch.
- No sensation – cold effect area is numb or tingling.
What to do:
- It is serious damage in cold weather and can result in amputation. Get medical help!
- Do not rub or massage the area.
- Never try to warm the area until you can ensure it will stay warm.
- After assuring the condition try to warn up the body by use body heat, or warm water (40°C to 42°C). Avoid direct heat which can burn the skin.
10) Keep a Cold Weather Safety Kit in Your Vehicle
If you’re traveling the road, make sure to take a cold-weather safety kit. This kit must include emergency blankets, candles, and matches. A candle is essential because its burning in a vehicle could provide enough warmth to ward off hypothermia for a period of time.
Above cold weather safety tips are important for you if are you working in a cold environment. People who are not familiar with the cold-weather environment are more susceptible to get easily affected. It is always advisable to keep cold-weather safety kit with you which can save the life of a person during extreme condition.
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