In a cold environment, most of the body’s energy is used to keep the internal core temperature warm. Over time, the body will begin to shift blood flow from the extremities (hands, feet, arms, and legs) and outer skin to the core (chest and abdomen). This shift allows the exposed skin and the extremities to cool rapidly and increases the risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Combine this scenario with exposure to a wet environment, and trench foot may also be a problem.
Knowing how to respond to cold-related illnesses and injuries and doing so quickly can save more than just someone’s fingers or toes – it can save their life.
KNOW the symptoms
MONITOR your team for symptoms
ENCOURAGE your team to monitor each other for symptoms
RESPOND quickly and appropriately in the event an employee is exhibiting symptoms of cold stress