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Cold Weather Safety

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2018 in News / Announcements

Posted By:
Jan Schawe - jschawe@roeding.com

Hypothermia Treatment Tips

When the body loses heat faster than it produces it, causing the body temperature to drop below 95°F, hypothermia has occurred. The first sign of hypothermia is shivering, followed by drowsiness, irritability and confusion. A loss of coordination can also set in. If untreated, hypothermia may progress to slurred speech, irrational behavior, unconsciousness and ultimately, heart failure. To treat hypothermia:

·   Call for emergency medical help

·   Move the person to a warm, dry area. Do not leave him or her unattended. Remove any wet clothing and replace with warm, dry clothing, or wrap the person in blankets.

·   If alert, have the person drink warm, sweet drinks (sugar water or sports-type drinks). Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

·   Have the person move his or her limbs to produce body heat. If unable, place warm bottles or hot packs in the armpits, groin neck and head areas. Do not rub the person’s body or place him or her in a warm water bath. This may stop the heart.

Did You Know?

Since almost 40 percent of the body’s heat is lost through the head, insulated hats are vital. When hard hats must be worn, quality winter liners that cover the neck and the sides of the face should be used.

Considerations for working in the cold

·     Cold reduces the skill and ease of using your hands.

·     Cold affects your grip force, and the skin’s ability to sense temperature and pain.

·     Winter clothing, head protection, gloves and boots can all restrict your normal range of motion.

·     Cold exposure reduces muscle power and time to exhaustion. Do not overexert.

·     Cold tool handles reduce grip force.

·     Special care is needed while using ladders or working on elevated platforms in snow and icy conditions.

·     Power tools and equipment need special care to be operational in a cold environment.

·     Cold exposure aggravates vibration, which can make manual work more painful.

·     Blizzards can produce extremely cold conditions and endanger lives within minutes. In blizzard conditions, seek shelter immediately.