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Head Office in Mobile, AL

2200 Perimeter Road Mobile, AL 36615

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Our offices are open for normal business hours listed below. (All Times are Central Standard Time) Operations is available 24/7 - if you call and they miss it they will return your call shortly.

  • Monday - Friday8:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Saturday-SundayOffice is Closed
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Head Office in Mobile, AL

2200 Perimeter Road Mobile, AL 36615

Request a Quote

Our sales team is here to help your company succeed. Our proven process has helped save time and money with our current client base, ask us for a quote to see the difference!

* Please Fill Required Fields *
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Toll Free

1-833.80.ATLAS

Working Hours

Our offices are open for normal business hours listed below. (All Times are Central Standard Time) Operations is available 24/7 - if you call and they miss it they will return your call shortly.

  • Monday - Friday8:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Saturday-SundayOffice is Closed

Cold Stress in the Workplace

 

This month’s featured article comes straight from the desk of the Director of Health, Safety and Environment, Dr. Tray Hood and addresses the importance of awareness of Cold Stress in the work place.

Released: November 8, 2019

Author: Dr. Tray Hood, Director of Health, Safety and Training, Atlas Industrial Outsourcing, LLC

Featured: November 2019 Monthly Article (view here)

Hell Team Atlas, Doc here, I want to start off by thanking you for taking the time to read this article. As we get into the slow season which normally occurs around November to December time frame, we also become exposed to the changing elements of mother nature. In comes a cold front, season begins to change and those who have allergies can relate, our bodies can react negatively to these changes! In our industry, we are exposed to drastic changes in working conditions from extreme hot, to extreme cold and everywhere in between. Throughout this transition, we have to be mindful of our exposure to these elements and with the addition of water to this equation can make matters more hazardous. It could make it a messy situation for everyone if you do not know the signs and symptoms of certain cold-related injuries or illnesses. The best way for us to combat exposure is to limit it and monitor it. Like we always say in the safety world, if we cannot fully eliminate a hazard, we must mitigate it (control and lessen it). I want to start off by thanking you for taking the time to read the below article and I also advise all readers to take this information and apply it to your daily JSA meetings and ensure that all employees are adequately engaged in discussion. You never know when this information might save your life!

Topics covered in this article will revolve around the following:

  • How to Protect Workers – the signs and symptoms of cold -induced illnesses/injuries
  • Frost Bite – the signs and symptoms. What should be done.
  • Hypothermia – the signs and symptoms. What should be done.

When working outdoors in the winter, you need to be especially mindful of the weather, its effects on the body, proper prevention techniques, and treatment of cold related disorders.

When the body is unable to warm itself, serious cold related illnesses and injuries may occur, and permanent tissue damage and death may result.

Cold related illnesses can slowly overcome a person who has been chilled by low temperature, brisk winds or wet clothing.

Prevention Measures to Avoid Cold-related illness/injury

 

  • Learn the signs and symptoms of cold-induced illnesses/injuries, and what to do to help the worker
  • Select proper clothing for cold, wet and windy conditions. Layer clothing to adjust to changing environmental temperatures. Layering provides better insulation. Do Not wear tight fitting clothing.
    • An inner layer of wool, silk or synthetic to keep moisture away from the body. Synthetic material cannot be worn during electrical work.
    • 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.
  • Take frequent short breaks in warm dry shelters to allow the body to warm up.
  • Perform work during the warmest part of the day when possible.
  • Avoid exhaustion of fatigue because energy is needed to keep muscles warm.
  • Use the buddy system (work in pairs)
  • Drink warm, sweet beverages (sugar water, sports-type drinks). Avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea or hot chocolate) or alcohol.
  • Eat warm, high caloric foods like hot pasta dishes.

Typical Cold-Related Injuries

Frost Bite

What is Frost Bite? Frost bite is an injury that occurs when the area of the skin and underlying tissues freeze. Your skin becomes very cold and red, later your skin may reflect a pale, waxy-white skin color; skin becomes hard and numb; usually affects fingers, hands, toes, feet, ears and nose. Even while wearing gloves and other clothing, you can still be a victim of Frost Bite.

Treating Frost Bite: If you or a fellow worker start to show signs of Frost Bite, see below on how to treat:

  • Move the person to a warm dry area. Don’t leave the person alone.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Remove any wet or tight clothing that may cut off blood flow to the affected area.
  • Do Not rub the affected area, because rubbing causes damage to the skin and tissue.
  • Gently place the affected area in a warm (105 degrees F) water bath and monitor the water temperature to slowly warm the tissue. Don’t pour warm water directly on the affected area because it will warm the tissue too fast causing tissue damage. Warming takes about 25-40 minutes.
    • After the affected area has been warmed, it may become puffy and blister. The affected area may have a burning feeling or numbness. When normal feeling, movement and skin color have returned, the affected area should be dried and wrapped to keep it warm.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia can set in when a person’s normal body temperature drops to or below 95° degrees F (35° C). Symptoms of Hypothermia include a feeling of fatigue or drowsiness, uncontrolled shivering, cool bluish skin, slurred speech, clumsy movements, irritable, irrational or confused behavior. Hypothermia is a medical emergency. Hypothermia occurs at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40 degrees F), if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat or submersion in cold water.

Treating Hypothermia: If you or a fellow worker start to show signs of Hypothermia, see below on how to treat:

  • Contact your supervisor immediately!
  • Move the person to a warm, dry area. Don’t leave the person alone. Remove any wet clothing and replace with warm, dry clothing or wrap the person in blankets.
  • Have the person drink warm, sweet drinks (sugar water or sports-type drinks) if they are alert. Avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea or hot chocolate) or alcohol.
  • Have the person move their arms and legs to create muscle heat. If they are unable to do this, place warm bottles or hot packs in the arm pits, groin, neck and head areas. DO NOT rub the person’s body of place them in warm water bath.

Further resources available are located on OSHA’s website below: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/emergencypreparedness/guides/cold.html

As always, if you have any questions regarding cold stress illnesses/injuries, you can email me at thood@atlas-outosurcing.com. I wish all of you a safe and prosperous holiday season and looking forward to providing further safety tips in the very near future!

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