Facts about working in cold weather

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Working in cold weather can be tough in New York, especially when workers are not prepared for the conditions. It’s one of the reasons why many workers get ill and suffer injuries that lead to workers’ compensation claims.

Cold stress

Cold stress is the body’s reaction to low temperatures, and it occurs due to an imbalance between heat production and heat loss. This can lead to illness or even death if not managed correctly.

Cold stress occurs as the body tries to keep its core temperature at 37 degrees Celsius, but it cannot produce enough heat to maintain this temperature. When workers are suffering from cold stress, they will feel fatigued, and their concentration levels may reduce, which could lead to accidents in the workplace.

Some of the most common symptoms of cold stress include shivering, slurred speech, apathy, fatigue and poor decision making. It’s also common for workers to develop serious health conditions such as hypothermia or frostbite. Workers may even slip into a coma if their body temperature drops too low, and all these issues can lead to workers’ compensation claims.

How can workers avoid these symptoms?

It is essential for workers to dress appropriately in cold weather. They should keep their skin covered with a scarf or gloves. In addition, workers should use thermal clothing at all times while working outside in the cold.

Secondly, workers should ensure that they stay hydrated. If a person feels extremely thirsty while working in cold weather, then this is a sign that their body needs more liquids to remain healthy and functional.

Thirdly, workers can protect themselves against cold stress by taking regular breaks away from the cold weather whenever possible. It’s recommended for workers to take five-minute breaks every hour in cold weather, which can allow them to warm up their bodies with hot drinks.

Lastly, workers should engage in physical activity indoors when they are not working outside. Physical exercise helps the body generate more heat, which is important to maintain warm blood flow throughout the body.

Working in cold weather can be difficult and dangerous. That’s why workers should always dress appropriately, take regular breaks and engage in physical exercise to prevent physical and psychological complications.