Cold conditions guidelines for outside workers

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Many people don't have the option to say indoors during cold weather. FOX19's Dan Wells reported live downtown to explain how outside workers are protecting themselves.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Hypothermia causes approximately 600 deaths each year in the United States.

Working in cold environments requires people to be aware of the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. It's important understand how to protect the body from excessive exposure to cold conditions.

Wells says that firefighters need to protect their feet, head, hands and face by doing the following:

  • The head should always be covered with a winter hat or hood. Up to 40% of your body heat can be lost when your head is cold.
  • Fingers and hands lose their dexterity at temperatures below 59°F. Find gloves that will allow you to perform the tasks you need to perform and remember to put dry gloves on if your gloves get wet.
  • Wear insulated boots or other footwear.
  • Keep a change of dry clothing available in case work clothes become wet.
  • Do not wear tight clothing. Loose clothing allows better ventilation.

Wells also warns anyone who works outside to remember the following:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol. It is easy to become dehydrated in cold weather.
  • If possible, heavy work should be scheduled during the warmer parts of the day.
  • Take short breaks in warm dry shelters out of the wind and cold.
  • Try to work in pairs to keep an eye on each other and watch for signs of cold stress.

As always, anyone who works outside should recognize the environmental and workplace conditions that may be dangerous.

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