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What are cold-weather injuries?

On Behalf of | Nov 10, 2021 | Personal Injury

When working in the cold, you need even more aware of your surroundings than usual. If you do not pay attention, you could easily end up suffering from cold weather injuries which could land you in the hospital or even threaten your life.

Before you start working during winter, take a look at more information about cold weather injuries and how to identify them and prevent them.

Hypothermia

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration takes a look at some injuries specific to cold weather. This includes hypothermia, the most well-known cold weather injury. Hypothermia occurs when your body cannot generate heat fast enough to make up for a lost head and your temperature drops to 95 degrees or below. In this state, you will suffer from disorientation, confusion, slurred speech and even unconsciousness.

Soft tissue injuries

Other, lesser-known injuries can include things like trench foot or frostbite, which involve direct damage of the flesh due to cold and/or wetness. Trench foot involves cold, wet feet and can result in redness, swelling, blisters, leg pain and cell death. Frostbite happens when exposed skin freezes and it can result in necrosis and cell death, potentially leading to amputation.

When dealing with cold-weather work, it is important for workers to have sufficient time to break and warm up throughout the shift. Inadequate break times for warming up can easily result in any worker falling prey to these or other cold-weather injuries. Thus, if you suffered from a cold-weather injury due to a lack of sufficient breaks at work, you may wish to contact legal aid to learn about your compensation options.