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Prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures can result in health problems.  With the recent drop in temperatures, we need to be especially mindful of the weather, its effects on the body, proper prevention techniques, and treatment of cold related disorders.

Personal Protective Clothing
  • Wear at least three layers of clothing
  1. An outer layer to break wind and allow some ventilation
  2. A middle layer of wool or synthetic fabric to absorb sweat and retain insulation in a damp environment
  3. An inner layer of cotton or synthetic weaves to allow ventilation
  • Pay special attention to protecting feet, hands, face and head.  Up to 40% of body heat can be lost when the head is exposed. 
  • Keep a change of clothing available in case work garments become wet.

Engineering Controls
  • There are a variety of practices to help reduce the risk of cold related injuries.  
  • Use an on-site source of heat
  • Shield work areas from drafty or windy conditions
  • Provide a heated shelter for employees
  • Use thermal insulating material on equipment handles when the temperature drops below freezing

Safe Work Practices
  • Changes in work are sometimes necessary to combat the effects of exceedingly cold weather.
  • Allow a period of adjustment to the cold before embarking on a full work schedule
  • Always permit employees to set their ow pace and take extra breaks when needed
  • Reduce the number of activities performed outdoors
  • Ensure that employees remain hydrated
  • Establish a buddy system for working outdoors
  • Educate employees to the symptoms of cold related stresses such as heavy shivering, uncomfortable coldness, severe fatigue, drowsiness, or euphoria  

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