For Workers in Cold Environments
Dear Campus Community, Colleagues
In light of the recent cold exposure incident
that caused the hospitalization of a UMD student
this past weekend, the UMD Environmental Health
and Safety Office would like to remind the
campus community of the hazards associated with
cold stress, especially those of
you who work or spend prolonged amount of time
in cold environments.
Prolonged exposure to freezing or cold
temperatures may cause serious health problems
such as trench
In extreme cases, including cold water
immersion, exposure can lead to death. Danger
signs include uncontrolled shivering, slurred
speech, clumsy movements, fatigue
and confused behavior. If these
signs are observed, call 911 immediately.
The Occupational Safety and
Health Administration(OSHA) has
developped a Cold
Stress Card that serves as a reference
guide for recommendations to combat and prevent
cold related illnesses and injuries.
How to protect yourself and your
- Recognize the environmental
and workplace conditions that may be
- Learn the signs and symptoms
of cold-induced illnesses and injuries and
what to do to help workers.
- Train workers about
cold-induced illnesses and injuries.
- Encourage workers to wear
proper clothing for cold, wet and windy
conditions, including layers that can be
adjusted to changing conditions.
- Be sure employees who work
in extreme conditions take frequent short
breaks in warm dry shelters to allow their
bodies to warm up.
- Try to schedule work outside
during the warmest part of the day.
- Advise employees to avoid
exhaustion or fatigue because energy is
needed to keep muscles warm.
- encourage employees to use the buddy system -
work in pairs so that workers can watch for
each other, one
worker can recognize danger signs and call
- Drink or encourage workers
to drink warm, sweet beverages (sugar water,
sports-type drinks) but avoid drinks with
caffeine (coffee, tea, sodas or hot
chocolate) or alcohol.
- Eat warm, high-calorie foods
such as hot pasta dishes.
- Remember, workers face
increased risks when they take certain
medications, are in poor physical condition
or suffer from illnesses such as diabetes,
hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
training on cold stress you may contact us at: http://www.d.umn.edu/ehso/staff.html