InTents December2022/January 2023 - 38

business | safety
Cold weather safety tips to
protect your workers this winter
By Doug Sicking, president & CEO of Safety International LLC
A
s we head into December, it's important
to be prepared for the oncoming
winter weather. In this article, we're detailing
the extreme risks associated with
winter weather and sharing our top cold
weather safety tips to protect your workers
on outdoor jobsites.
Types of cold stress
There are a number of risks that can occur
from losing body heat when working in
cold and wet conditions. Below are the
most common types of cold stress and
how to respond to each condition.
Frostbite
Frostbite occurs when the skin and tissues
become frozen, hard and numb. Warning
signs for frostbite include reddening of the
skin and white or gray patches that develop
most commonly on the ingers, toes,
nose or ears. It's also possible for blisters to
occur on these same areas, and the worker
may experience tingling, aching or a loss of
feeling. If not treated, frostbite can cause
permanent damage or even require amputation
in the most extreme cases.
If frostbite occurs, move the worker
to a warm, dry area. You'll want to slowly
warm the affected area by gently placing it
in a warm water bath around 105 degrees
(F) and monitor the water temperature.
It's important to not warm the area too
quickly, as this can cause tissue damage.
Do not rub or pour water over the affected
area. Warming can take up to 40 minutes.
Once the affected area has been warmed
and normal feeling has returned, it should
be dried and wrapped to keep it warm.
38 intents dec 2022-jan 2023
Seek medical attention as soon as possible,
as re-exposure to cold conditions can
cause severe tissue damage.
Hypothermia
When the body temperature drops below
95 degrees (F), hypothermia can occur.
Hypothermia most commonly occurs in
extreme cold conditions, but can even happen
in higher temperatures if the person
becomes wet. One of the biggest warning
signs of hypothermia is extreme shivering.
Body temperature that is abnormally low
can also affect brain function and can cause
confusion, slurred speech, loss of coordination,
unconsciousness and even death.
In case of hypothermia, call 911 immediately.
Move the worker to a warm, dry
area and remove any wet clothing and replace
with dry clothing. Use layers of blankets
to wrap the entire body, including the
head and neck. If they're available, place
hot packs under the armpits, on the sides
of the chest and near the groin. If the person
is conscious, offer warm, sweetened
luids (no caffeine or alcohol). Do not rub
the body or place the person in a warm
water bath.
Trench/Immersion foot
Trench foot, also known as immersion
foot, can happen from prolonged exposure
to wet and cold conditions. It doesn't
necessarily occur just from the cold, but
more commonly from the feet being wet
because wet feet lose heat much more
quickly. Symptoms of trench foot include
tingling, reddening, swelling, numbness or
blisters on the feet.

InTents December2022/January 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents December2022/January 2023

InTents December2022/January 2023 - Cover1
InTents December2022/January 2023 - Cover2
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 1
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 2
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 3
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 4
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 5
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 6
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InTents December2022/January 2023 - 8
InTents December2022/January 2023 - 9
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InTents December2022/January 2023 - Cover3
InTents December2022/January 2023 - Cover4
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