Cold weather exposes the workers to unfavourable conditions, especially during the winter or rainy season based on the geographical location. Prolonged exposure of a worker to cold will result to series of health problem
The health problems associated with cold weather.
Trench foot– causes tingling and burning sensation from being exposed to cold and wet environment.
Frostbite– Ice crystal forms in the skin tissue because of the extreme freezing of the skin.
Hypothermia– Gives rise to shivering and confusion among the victim. Sometimes with a blurred speech from the person.
Cold weather: What to do to ensure safety when working in a cold-weather environment?
- Make sure you wear your protective clothing. It will help to insulate your body away from cold.
- Barrier the work environment from cold conditions
- Provisions for warm refuge or heated shelter for workers.
- Always remember to remove all wet clothing in your body and replace it with warm ones.
- If possible, insulate all equipment with thermal insulation handles.
- Do not allow any worker to be exposed to cold-related stress.
- Allow a period for workers to rest before the start of the work when there is a cold-weather environment.
- Encourage work breaks at intervals for workers.
- Seek medical assistance when you notice any case of frostbite, trench foot and hypothermia during work.
- When there is a case of frostbite, do not massage that body tissue as this may cause more injury to you.
- Avoid taking alcohol and certain medications like caffeine or as they may affect your body’s response to cold temperature.
- If you have certain diseases such as diabetes, or vascular diseases. Please be careful on how you expose yourself to cold as this may make you more susceptible to attack.
- Don’t allow yourself to be exhausted while working. However, this will make you more susceptible to cold temperature effects.
Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.