Pine Branch with Snow

Winter weather creates a variety of hazards that can significantly impact everyday tasks and work activities. These hazards include slippery roads/surfaces, strong winds and environmental cold.

Workers who are exposed to extreme cold or work in cold environments may be at risk for cold stress. Extreme cold weather is a dangerous situation that can bring on health emergencies in susceptible people, such as those without shelter, outdoor workers, and those who work in an area that is poorly insulated or without heat.

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection, in conjunction with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, have described the types of cold stress that can occur with those who work in extreme temperatures, including symptoms and how to apply first aid. Some of these include hypothermia, frostbite, and chilblains, which is caused by repeated exposure of skin to temperatures just above freezing to as high as 60 degrees F. The article includes recommendations for employers and workers who are required to work outdoors during the winter months.

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