7 Cold Weather Stress and Safety Tips from OSHA

I hope everyone enjoyed a joyful Holiday Season and New Year Celebration! Best Wishes for a grand 2014!

The New Year in much of the United States has experience frigid temperatures. The below zero weather and snow in the Chicagoland area has closed schools, strangled traffic, and curtailed hours of operation for businesses.  To my husband and I, it was a reminder of our childhood winters.

On Monday, I was spoke with my Green Brain friend,  Isabel DeOliveira who is Regional Compliance Assistance Specialist Philadelphia Regional Office of the United States Department of Labor (USDOL)Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We were discussed some safety issues for a chapter in my new book and then our conversation turned to the frigid weather we were having in Chicago, which was headed toward Philadelphia and the East Coast.

Later in the day, Isabel sent me the following information about cold weather stress and safety tips from OSHA. Whether you or your loved ones live in a cold weather climate or you plan on traveling to an area that could experience such extreme cold weather, I think you will find this information helpful and informative.

“With the extreme cold temperatures expected today and tomorrow in the minus 20 degree range, it is critical to protect yourself!

According to the National Weather Service, frostbite can occur within 5 minutes in temperatures between 0 degrees and -19 degrees Fahrenheit.
Protective Clothing is the most important way to avoid cold stress. The type of fabric also makes a difference. Cotton loses its insulation value when it becomes wet. Wool, silk and most synthetics, on the other hand, retain their insulation even when wet. The following are recommendations for working in cold environments:
1. Wear at least three layers of clothing. An inner layer of wool, silk or synthetic to wick moisture away from the body. A middle layer of wool or synthetic to provide insulation even when wet. An outer wind and rain protection layer that allows some ventilation to prevent overheating.
2. Wear a hat or hood. Up to 40% of body heat can be lost when the head is left exposed.
3. Wear insulated boots or other footwear.
5. Keep a change of dry clothing available in case work clothes become wet.
6. With the exception of the wicking layer do not wear tight clothing. Loose clothing allows better ventilation of heat away from the body.
7. Do not underestimate the wetting effects of perspiration. Oftentimes wicking and venting of the body’s sweat and heat are more important than protecting from rain or snow.”

You can find more information about emergency preparedness guide lines for cold weather on the OSHA website.

Below are examples of each Brain Color and how they would respond to this cold weather information:
Yellow Brainers will follow all the directions.
Blue Brainers will be sure to share the information with family and friends.
Green Brainers will appreciate the knowledge and click on the link for more information.
Orange Brainers will follow some of the directions if they have time, because they are usually running late for appointments.

My Blue Brain encourages you to share this helpful information on cold stress safety with your family, friends, and co-workers.

Stay Warm and Be Safe!

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