Cold Weather Safety

Cold Weather Safety

Cold Weather Safety

 

Last week the Midwest had been exposed to sub-zero temperatures.  On Tuesday (1/22) and Wednesday (1/23) everyone in Southeastern Wisconsin was watching their thermostats drop to zero, and then fighting the sting of -25 degrees once stepping out into the wind.  Once temperatures start dropping, safety measures must be taken, but as the mercury goes to extreme colds we must take even more precautions.  Some schools and businesses choose to not expose themselves to such weather and cancel the days completely.  In construction, however, the ability to stop work because of weather conditions is rare.  In some cases, work may even increase as mechanical and electrical equipment give way to the freezing cold.

 

If you do find yourself having to be outside in extreme cold temperatures, follow OSHA’s Cold Stress Equation: Low Temperature + Wind Speed + Wetness = Illness and Injury.   Additionally, be aware of the dangers/risks and go to work with a safety plan.  Some effects of being in the cold could be:

 

1)      Hypothermia: the condition of having an abnormally low body temperature

2)      Frostbite: damage caused to skin and tissue due to freezing

3)      Dehydration: loss of water and salts essential for normal body function

 

Ways to help avoid the effects of the cold are:

 

-          Layer up on clothing.  A word to wise; even if you have a lot of clothes on, it may not be effective if it is not the correct clothing.  Additionally, big bulky clothing can hinder movement.  Having so much clothing on can lead to sweating, which in turn, leads to faster hypothermia and dehydration.

-          Always know the signs of someone who may be developing hypothermia, frostbite, or dehydration.

-          Take plenty of breaks where you go inside and allow yourself to warm up.

-          Be sure to avoid drinks that may dehydrate you, i.e. coffee, soda, and tea.  If you choose to drink coffee or tea because they are warm, be sure to replenish your body with enough water.

-          Working with someone who may be able to help in case of emergency aka the buddy system.

-          The best possible solution would be to avoid working in such extreme conditions, and wait for warmer days.

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Circle Electric, Inc.

W134 N5357 Campbell Drive
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Phone: 262-783-7700
Toll-Free: 800-244-6671
Fax: 262-790-8935
Email: rjkastanek@circleelectric.com

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Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
24-Hour Emergency Service

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