The most significant risk for your employees during the winter is due to Hypothermia which is abnormally low core body temperature, and that occurs when cold temperatures cause the body to lose heat faster than it can be produced.
Hypothermia begins to happen at a body temperature of 95 degrees or about three degrees lower than a typical body temperature around 98.5 degrees. When your body temperature gets too small, it affects the brain, making you unable to think clearly or move well. Most notable symptoms for Hypothermia include shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination, and confusion and disorientation.
The next risk for your employees during the winter is Frostbite. Frostbite is a result of your skin tissue freezing, and it can cause permanent damage to the body, infection, and nerve damage, and in severe cases, amputation. The highest risk of this is exposed skin to the cold, windy conditions, but even covered can suffer frostbite in extreme temperatures. Before frostbite develops, the cold skin can be warmed up; however, once frostbite is established, the patient requires professional medical care. The main symptoms for Frostbite include reduced blood flow to your hands and feet, numbness, tingling or stinging, and aching.
Here are some tips to help prevent these incidents from occurring.
- Don’t Leave Your Hands In Your Pockets - Make sure to wear gloves or mitten but don't leave your hands in your pockets because it increases your risk of falling or completely losing your balance in case you slip while walking on ice or snow.
- Mittens>Gloves - With your fingers touching each other inside mittens, they generate more body hear than when they are inside gloves.
- Forget Coffee Before Shoveling or Any Strenuous Work- Caffeine increases your heart rate and may cause your blood vessels to constrict
- Rock Salt + Kitty Litter = Safer Walkways - Rock salt and kitty litter are beneficial during the winter. Rock salt helps melt the ice on slippery surfaces, and kitty litter can give temporary traction.
- Warm Up Before Driving Off - This tip refers to not only yourself but also your car. Make sure to start your car and warm it up before going in and driving anywhere because this will reduce the moisture condensation on the inside of your car windows.