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Prepare for winter weather and be safe on the job

| Nov 17, 2020 | Workplace Safety

Working in a cold environment has the potential to be dangerous. As winter approaches, it’s a good idea to go over some of the steps that you can take to improve your workplace and to prevent incidents related to the cold.

Some of the most common issues with the winter include:

  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Trench foot
  • Chilblains

These four issues are all serious illnesses that can significantly impact those who suffer from them.

For example, hypothermia can be deadly, because it means that the body has totally used up its stored energy and cannot produce the heat it needs.

Frostbite can lead to tingling, stinging and numbing pain. In a worst-case scenario, a digit or limb could be lost due to frostbite killing the skin and tissues in that area of the body.

Chilblains are a medical emergency as well. This is a reaction where the skin blisters because of the cold. Tissues may also become red, inflamed or itch badly.

Then, there is trench foot, which happens when the feet stay wet for too long. The cold and wet together are worst, and they can lead to severe blisters, gangrene and worse.

All of these winter hazards and illnesses are avoidable, but your employer and your colleagues need to take safety seriously. If you’ll be working outside in the cold, make sure you have regular breaks to warm up. If someone gets wet, they should have time to dry off and change their clothing.

If you notice that someone is developing confusion or pain due to the cold, call for medical help. They may need medical assistance for hypothermia or frostbite, which is essential to protecting their life.