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Bayhealth Offers Important Cold Weather Tips


01.06.2014

With severe cold weather approaching, Bayhealth offers important information to keep yourself safe and protected from the cold.

Protecting Yourself
Workers who are exposed to extreme cold or work in cold environments may be at risk of cold stress.  Extremely cold or wet weather is a dangerous situation that can cause occupational illness and injuries such as hypothermia and frostbite. Here’s how you can protect yourself:

  • Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.
  • Wear appropriate clothing.
    • Wear several layers of loose clothing for insulation.
    • Tight clothing reduces blood circulation to the extremities
  • Be aware that some clothing may restrict movement resulting in a hazardous situation.
  • Protect the ears, face, hands and feet in extremely cold or wet weather.
    • Boots should be waterproof and insulated.
    • Wear a hat to reduce the loss of body heat from your head
  • Move into warm locations during breaks; limit the amount of time outside
  • Carry extra socks gloves, hats, and jacket, blankets a change of clothes and a thermos of hot liquid.
  • Include chemical hot packs in your pockets or first aid kit.
  • Avoid touching cold metal surfaces with bare skin.

About Hypothermia
Hypothermia is a condition in which the body uses up its stored energy and can no longer produce heat. Often occurs after prolonged exposure to cold temperature. Early symptoms include shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination, confusion and disorientation. Late symptoms include no shivering, blue skin, dilated pupils, slowed pulse and breathing, and loss of consciousness.

To provide first aid for hypothermia:

  • Request immediate medical assistance
  • Move victim into a warm room or shelter
  • Remove wet clothing
  • Warm the center of their body first – chest, neck, head and groin – using an electric blanket; or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing or towels
  • If conscious, warm beverages may help increase the body temperature. (Do Not Give Alcohol)
  • Once temperature has increased keep them dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including head and neck.
  • If no pulse: Begin CPR

About Frostbite
Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing which most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Symptoms include reduced blood flow to hands and feet, numbness, aching, tingling or stinging, bluish or pale waxy skin.
To provide first aid for frostbite:

  • Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
  • Unless necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes.
  • Immerse the affected area in warm (not hot) water or warm the affected area using body heat.
  • Do not use a heating pad, fireplace or radiator for warming
  • Do not massage the frostbitten area; doing so may cause more damage
     


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