With Old Man Winter right around the corner, it is time to refresh ourselves on how to recognize and prevent cold hazard work injuries. If you are an outdoor worker, it is vital to take extra precaution to minimize cold-related injuries such as frostbite and hypothermia.
There are many different ways to recognize when you or a coworker are suffering from a cold-related injury, such as:
- Slurred speech
- Excessive shivering
- Loss of coordination
- Irrational behavior
- Skin turning whitish or greyish
- Skin feels waxy or too firm
Below are several examples of ways to protect yourself and your workers from suffering from a cold-related injury:
- Wear several layers of clothing. This prevents trapped cold air from getting near your skin.
- Warm gloves are necessary. Keep an extra pair with you in case the ones you are wearing become wet.
- Wear a suitable hat that provides proper protection for your head, ears and face in extreme conditions. Remember, most of your body heat escapes from the top of your head.
- Wear appropriate footwear to protect your feet from the cold and wet temperatures.
- Avoid getting wet.
- Seek shelter out of the cold during breaks for the body to warm up.
- Drink warm, sweet beverages to keep the body from dehydrating.
- Work in pairs to keep an eye on one another.
- Keep a cell phone with you at all times in case of a cold emergency.
- Shield your work area from the elements as much as possible.
If you or your loved one has suffered an on-the-job personal injury due to cold weather conditions, you may need to contact a personal injury attorney if the employee disputes just compensation for your injuries. For your convenience, check out our lawyer directory.