With the current conditions and cold weather along the Northeast, it is important to keep in mind workers safety from the cold. Cold weather and wind speeds cause heat to leave the body quicker.
Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops to 95 degrees or less. With moderate symptoms, in the affected person, they may be confused and in extreme cases, death can occur.
Frostbite is when body tissues freezes, most frequently on the hands and feet. Frostbit can occur when temperatures are above freezing but there is a windchill. Symptoms are numbness and reddened skin that may blister.
Trenchfoot is a non-freezing injury to the foot, caused by long exposures to wet and cold environments. Symptoms are redness, swelling, numbness and blisters.
To prevent injuries caused by the cold, workers should schedule breaks in warm areas, train on stress hazards and prevention. Radiant heaters may also prevent these types of injuries. Employees should self-monitor and keep an eye on co-workers. Layering of clothes is very important as well as insulated jackets, insulated/waterproof boots, gloves and a hat.