Cold Weather Preparations

Being in freezing or cold temperatures for a long time can result in health problems such as trench foot, frostbite, and hypothermia. Danger signs include uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsiness, fatigue, and confusion. 

Ron’s Story 

Ron works in construction at a local site during the winter. One day he left his gloves and hat at home. As the day went on, he became so cold that he began to shiver. Soon he was having trouble holding his tools and doing his work. 

  • What clothing should Ron have worn for working outside? 
  • What should you do to stay warm when working in cold weather? 

 Remember This 

  • Wear clothes meant for cold, wet, andwindy conditions. Dress in loose-fittinglayers to adapt to changing temperatures.Wear a hat, socks, shoes, gloves, andouterwear that will keep you dry.
  • Work in pairs so that you and yourcoworker can spot danger signs in eachother.
  • Drink plenty of warm, sweet beverages(sugar water, sports drinks) but avoidcaffeine (in coffee, tea, sodas, or hotchocolate) and alcohol.
  • Take breaks often, in a heated area, to warm up.
  • Get medical help right away if you oranother worker has symptoms ofhypothermia:
    • Shivering
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of coordination
    • Confusion or disorientation.
  • You are at higher risk if you take certainmedications, are in poor physical condition,or suffer from illnesses such as diabetes,hypertension, or cardiovascular disease.
  • Dress in layers. Wear a hat, gloves, and other clothing to keep you warm and dry. 
  • Use the buddy system so you can spot danger signs in each other. 
  • Drink warm, sweet beverages.

Additional Tips:

Stay Up-to-Date 

  • Be aware of current weather conditions 
  • Stay informed of potentially hazardous weather 
  • Monitor weather forecasts 

Dress Appropriately 

  • Wear layers of loose fitting clothing 
  • Stay dry with water resistant clothing 
  • Wear windproof material as an outer shell 
  • Wear clothing with proper ventilation 
  • Keep a spare set of clothes on hand 

Protect Head, Feet and Hands 

  • Keep head covered whenever possible 
  • When head protection is necessary, make sure it is equipped with an insulated liner 
  • Protect feet with insulated socks, wear two pairs if feasible 
  • Protect hands with insulated gloves 

Exposure Guidelines 

  • Restrict exposure time if temperatures reach -17° C (0° F) 
  • Restrict exposure time if wind chills reach –30° C (-22° F)