Beating The Cold
How to stay safe when working in wintry weather
Working in cold weather puts enormous strain on your body. To fight back, try these cold-weather safety tips while working on the job:
– Securely tie down or weigh down supplies so they are safe from gusts of wind.
– Be careful in high wind and be aware of potentially slippery surfaces.
– Take frequent breaks in warm, dry shelters to allow your body to warm up.
– Sweep water out of passageways inside buildings that are under construction to avoid slipping.
– Clean off and sand work surfaces covered by ice or snow to prevent falling.
– Use the ‘buddy system’ – always work in pairs.
– Drink warm, sweet beverages, like sugar water or sport drinks and avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and hot chocolate.
– Eat warm, high-calorie foods like hot pasta.
Can You Spot The Symptoms Of Frostbite
Frostbite occurs after prolonged exposure to low temperatures or wet working conditions. Frostbite can be dangerous and even life-threatening. That’s why it is important to look for the following symptoms when working in cold temperatures:
- Discolouration of the skin
- Burning or tingling sensations
- Partial or complete numbness
- Intense pain
Frostbite darkens gradually if left untreated and will eventually turn skin black. Nerve and blood vessel damage can lead to gangrene and amputation of the limb. To prevent frostbite, wear loose-fitting layers of clothing and always cover your hands, feet, nose and ears. At the first sign of pain or if your skin gets wet, look for a place to warm up.
Did you Know?
In cold weather, wear a hat. Considering that 20 to 30 per cent of your body heat is lost through your head, wearing a hat can make a big difference in keeping you warm.