For the next month or two, be prepared to work in cold conditions each workday by wearing appropriate clothing such as hats, gloves, insulated socks and footwear.
Dress in layers whenever possible. Layers can be removed as your body warms up and acclimates to the lower temperatures. When wearing extra clothing, always keep proper PPE fit in mind.
Please see the FREAS SharePoint page under Safety for more information on this topic.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), what constitutes cold weather stress and its effects can vary across different areas of the country. In regions relatively unaccustomed to sustained winter weather, near freezing temperatures are considered factors for cold stress. Whenever temperatures drop decidedly below normal and as wind speed increases, heat can more rapidly leave your body. These weather‐related conditions may lead to serious health problems such as hypothermia or even frostbite. Anyone exposed to extreme cold or who works in cold environments may be at risk of cold weather stress. Dressing properly is extremely important to preventing cold stress. The type of fabric worn also makes a difference. Cotton loses its insulation value when it becomes wet. Wool, silk and most synthetics, on the other hand, retain their insulation even when wet.
Below are some additional tips for working in cold temperature conditions:
- Make sure to adequately protect your ears, face, hands and feet from the cold.
- Take frequent breaks in a warm, dry sheltered area to allow your body to warm up
- Drink a warm beverage and eat warm high-calorie foods during your scheduled breaks
- Avoid exhaustion and fatigue that could drain energy needed to keep your muscles warm
- If possible, use a buddy system so that you can watch each other for signs of hypothermia