Prolonged exposure to freezing or cold temperatures may cause serious health problems. Danger signs include uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsy movements, fatigue, and confused behavior. If these signs are observed, call for emergency help.
Tips for working safely in the cold:
- Wear proper clothing for cold, wet and windy conditions, including loose-fitting layers that can be taken off and put back on depending on the conditions. Warm clothing includes hats, gloves, socks, or even insulated shoes.
- Take frequent, short breaks in warm, dry areas to allow your body to warm up.
- Schedule work for the warmest part of the day, if possible.
- Ensure you work in pairs so that you can keep an eye out for any danger signs the other might have.
- Drink warm, sweet beverages (sugar water, sports-type drinks), and avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, sodas or hot chocolate) or alcohol.
- Avoid overworking or fatigue; muscles require energy to keep warm.
- Eat warm, high-calorie foods such as hot pasta dishes.
- Health concerns: some workers face increased risks when taking certain medications, due to poor physical condition, or because of illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease.
It’s the winter season, and it has been cold outside so please take care, stay warm and safe!