Working in the Cold

Goals: This safety session should teach employees to

Recognize the hazards and symptoms of exposure to cold.
Know how to prevent and respond to cold exposure.
Applicable Regulations:       General Duty Clause Sec. 5(a), 1910.132

  1. Overexposure to Cold-Indoors or Outdoors-Can Be Harmful to Health
    • Frostbite. Body tissues may freeze when skin is exposed to extreme cold or touches a very cold object.
    • The nose, ears, cheeks, fingers, and toes are at greatest risk.
    • Worst cases can cause permanent tissue damage, loss of movement in affected parts, and possibly unconsciousness and death from heart failure.
    • Damage may be greater if the body part is thawed, then refrozen.
    • Hypothermia. Exposure to cold may send body temperatures to dangerously low levels.
    • It can occur in above-freezing temperatures when it's windy or you're exhausted or wearing wet clothes.
    • Worst cases can lead to unconsciousness and death.
    • Factors that increase the risks of frostbite and hypothermia include:
      • Age
      • Overweight
      • Smoking and drinking
      • Certain medications, allergies, or poor circulation
      • Victims' failure to recognize symptoms and take prompt action

  2. Reduce the Risks of Exposure to Extreme Cold
    • Avoid bathing, smoking, or drinking alcohol before going into cold conditions.
    • Wear layers of loose, dry clothes.
    • If possible, wear wool underneath and a waterproof layer on top.
    • Always cover hands, feet, face, and head in the cold.
    • An uncovered head can make the body lose up to 40 percent of its heat.
    • Change or get dry immediately if clothes get wet.
    • Keep moving while working in the cold. Take regular breaks in warm areas.
    • Move to a warm area when you start to feel very cold or numb.
    • Have a warm alcohol-free, caffeine-free drink.

  3. Recognize Frostbite and Hypothermia Symptoms
    Frostbite symptoms include:
    • Feeling extremely cold, then numb-with possible tingling, aching, or brief pain.
    • White or grayish yellow glossy skin, which may blister.
      • Confusion, failing eyesight, and shock as condition progresses.
    • Hypothermia symptoms include:
      • Chills, shivering, numbness and sometimes pain in the extremities.
      • Slurred speech, poor coordination, confusion, drowsiness.

  4. Respond Quickly and Correctly to Frostbite and Hypothermia Symptoms
    Act immediately when symptoms develop to prevent serious problems.
    • Move to a warm place.
    • Replace frozen, wet, or tight clothes with warm clothes or blankets.
    • Drink a warm beverage-without alcohol or caffeine.
    • Get medical help after first aid treatment.
    • Take first aid actions for frostbite:
      • Warm the frozen part immediately with blankets or warm (not hot) water.
      • Avoid touching the frozen part; don't rub or hit it.
      • Keep the frozen part away from hot stoves, heat lamps or hot water bottles.
      • Don't break blisters or drink anything with caffeine.
      • Exercise the body part once it's warm-but don't walk on frostbitten feet.
    • Take first aid actions for hypothermia:
      • Cover victim with blankets-and/or lie next to person to give body heat.
      • DON'T use hot baths, electric blankets, or hot water bottles.
      • Keep the person awake and give artificial respiration if needed.
      • Get emergency help immediately if the person loses consciousness.

Conclusion: When It's Cold, Be Constantly Alert to Health Hazards
Dress and move to prevent frostbite and hypothermia. Act immediately if you or someone around you experiences any symptoms.

2023 © Cleveland Integrity Services
Privacy Policy

Headquarter Address

370690 E Old Hwy 64
Cleveland, OK 74020

Stay Updated with CIS

Eagle Infrastructure Services Compliance Website is available for all employees and contractors of its subsidiary companies. The company provides this compliance website and hotline to allow employees and contractors to report concerns regarding: workplace safety; compliance with laws, rules and regulations; the workplace environment; and compliance with policies and procedures. The compliance website and hotline are managed by a third-party who does not have information regarding payroll, benefits, job assignments or other similar job-specific information. You may choose to remain anonymous in any report to the third-party administrator. For additional information, you may also visit the FAQ section.