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Cold weather work safety tips

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

New Jersey winters can be bitterly cold, so if you work outdoors in the state, be prepared. Workers who have to work outdoors during the winter can face serious injuries without the proper precautions. Use these cold weather work safety tips to stay safe this season.

Layer up in warm clothing

If you have to be outdoors for hours at a time while working, dress appropriately. You will want to wear layers of warm clothing but ensure that nothing is too tight that it restricts your movement. Make sure you wear a warm hat, gloves and lined boots. It can prevent hypothermia and the need to file a possible workers’ comp claim.

Keep yourself nourished

Working outdoors in extreme cold can lead to the same problems as doing so during hot weather. If you aren’t properly nourished and hydrated, you can become dehydrated and suffer a variety of symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and more. Eat regular small meals throughout the day to retain your strength and make sure you have carbs and fats. Drink water, coffee or tea to stay hydrated and warm while working.

Take breaks from the cold

Many people who work outdoors in the cold end up overdoing it by not taking breaks. Pushing yourself too hard in such harsh weather can lead to more workers’ compensation claims. Take your breaks when it’s time and get some much-needed warmth indoors. You can stretch, catch your breath and become refreshed for returning outdoors to work.

Recognize the signs of hypothermia

Hypothermia is the biggest risk while working outdoors in freezing weather. Recognizing the signs and symptoms can help to get medical assistance faster. A person with hypothermia will exhibit fatigue, shivering, confusion and a loss of coordination. These are the early signs, so fast action is essential if you or a coworker begins to exhibit any of them.

A person showing hypothermia symptoms should be brought into a warm area and warmed up with blankets, towels, sheets or any multiple layers of dry fabric. Focus on the center of the body. Wet clothing should immediately be removed.