The CDC’s Top Tips for Working Safely in Cold Weather

The CDC’s Top Tips for Working Safely in Cold Weather

Protect your skin, temperature and extremities in extreme weather.

The winter months are in full swing. If you’re spending any length of time outdoors as part of your workday, you’ll know that keeping warm is a top priority. But what dangers exist, apart from developing a bit of frostbite?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have these tips to offer, to stay safe.

1) Layer, Layer, Layer

Those who live in the land of snow are probably already doing this. For others, remember to dress in layers. This means wear a t-shirt under a sweater, under a warm jacket. Why? Layering provides you with better insulation and will keep you warmer. It also makes it easier for you to peel off some clothing and still stay warm, when the temperature rises.

2) Protect Your Extremities

Make sure you wear the right footwear. In snow, wear snow boots (not rain boots)! In wet weather, toss on some waterproof boots with good traction to prevent you from falling.

And remember to wear a winter hat, as well as gloves or mittens to prevent your hands from developing frostbite.

3) Know Your Limits

Don’t spend too much time outdoors. Limit your time, and take breaks inside to warm up. Try your best to keep work hours in the warmest part of the day.

Related: 3 Holiday Weight Gain Myths

4) Keep An Eye Out for Hypothermia in Co-Workers

As experts state, one of the biggest dangers of working in the cold can be the hardest to detect.

Hypothermia can strike and you won’t know it. It can be deadly. The CDC states that early symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, feeling tired, loss of coordination, and confusion.

Here’s what happens: as you grow colder and lose more heat, you’ll stop shivering and your skin might turn blue. The pupils of your eyes will dilate, your heart rate and breathing will slow, and ultimately, you’ll lose consciousness. Stay safe.

5) Trenchfoot

What’s this? Trenchfoot happens when your feet are wet and cold for too long-something that must have happened a lot in WWI. Your feet grow cold, and this slows your blood flow, damaging tissue. Broken skin, swelling, blisters, redness and itching are all on the table. Watch out- this can occur in weather as warm as 60° F.

6) And, Of Course, Frostbite

This happens when your skin is damaged by the cold. Fingers, toes, nose, and ears are all most susceptible to it.

When frostbite is severe, parts of your body affected may need to be amputated. Warning signs of frostbite include numbness or tingling in your tissues, stinging, or pain.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website.

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