On a cold winter day, most of us want to stay inside cozied up by the fireplace with a warm drink and a warm blanket. Unfortunately, however, many people have jobs that require them to be outside in the elements all winter long. Being in the snow, wind, ice, and below-freezing temperatures day after day can be dangerous to your health. If you are a person with a job that requires you to be outside, take a look at these five tips for working outside this winter.
1. Wear The Right Gear
Appropriate gear is essential in the winter. Basic hats and gloves do not adequately protect you from the bitter cold while working outside. You need to bundle up with insulated pants, hats, boots, and gloves. All clothing should fit loosely to avoid cutting off circulation. Furthermore, while outside, ensure that your face (including ears and nose) is covered when the temperature drops below freezing to avoid frostbite and other cold-related ailments.
2. Stay Dry
It might seem obvious, but one of the most important things a worker can do to prevent cold-related injuries is to stay dry. All clothing should be waterproof if possible, especially boots and gloves. Once your feet and fingers get wet, the chance for hypothermia and frostbite increases, both of which can cause severe long-term damage.
3. Take Frequent Breaks
Getting out of the cold and warming up one’s body is essential to staying healthy. While working outside, you should aim to take a quick break every 30 minutes. During your breaks, drink warm beverages and eat high-calorie foods to help ensure your body has the fuel it needs to maintain the energy required to withstand the cold.
4. Always Work With a Partner
One of the best things you can do while working outside is to follow the buddy system. Being with another person helps to prevent injuries because you can warn each other about hazards and keep an eye out for signs of hypothermia and frostbite. And, if you happen to get injured, a partner can alert the proper authorities to get you the help you need.
5. Know The Signs of Hypothermia
Your best defense against the cold is to be prepared with knowledge. Knowing the signs of hypothermia can help you catch it before it causes serious damage. Warning signs of hypothermia include:
- Loss of coordination
- Slow pulse
- Blue skin
If you can identify any of these symptoms in yourself or a co-worker it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately.
OSHA cautions that in addition to cold stress, there are other winter weather-related hazards that workers may be exposed to when performing tasks such as driving in the snow, removing snow from rooftops, and working near downed or damaged power lines.
- Winter Driving
- Work Zone Traffic Safety
- Stranded in a Vehicle
- Shoveling Snow
- Using Powered Equipment like Snow Blowers
- Clearing Snow from Roofs and Working at Heights
- Preventing Slips on Snow and Ice
- Repairing Downed or Damaged Power Lines
- Working Near Downed or Damaged Power Lines
- Removing Downed Trees
Patch & FitzGerald Can Handle Your Worker’s Compensation Claim
An injury on the job should never ruin your life. If you have suffered from an injury or illness related to working in the cold, you are entitled to worker’s compensation claim. Attorney John FitzGerald Patch has over 30 years of experience handling worker’s compensation claims and wants to help you win your case. For a free consultation, call 603-647-2600 or contact us online today.