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Cold stress is very common on cold environments. Just as much as heat stress pose danger, so is cold stress. The best defense to prevent this from happening is to plan when going to cold places especially when working. There are appropriate measures to consider in avoiding untoward incidents from happening. It is best to be cautious with how our body reacts to the cold environment. It is also advisable to avoid drinking alcoholic drinks and avoid medications that may induce drowsiness. This will help you avoid incidents on cold environments.
There is no excuse when it comes to cold stress, anyone who works on a cold environment is at risk. Some people work outdoors and is required to face cold for longer time, especially those crews for snow cleanup, the workers in charge of sanitation, response team, and even police officers who respond on incidents even with cold weather. It is not impossible for them to encounter such temperature because it is part of their work. This is the reason why they are the most affected people when it comes to health and safety.
Cold stress is the occurrence when the skin temperature is driven down and affects the internal body temperature known as the core temperature. It affects the entire system and the flow of blood. Cold stress is associated to serious problems with health that may cause damage to tissues and may cause death.
Different places experience different extremities of coldness. In places where they do not experience winter weather, environmental temperature near freezing is too much for them to handle. This is considered to them as extreme. For places who are used to winter, the people leaving can handle colder temperature than those who do not.
The body works harder in maintaining the temperature once exposed to cold environment. However, if temperature drops too much and wind is present, it will be harder for the body to maintain its temperature. Thus, this may leave you feeling cold.
It is normal to be chilling when wind speed is fast and air temperature drops, this is called wind chill. It will feel colder as the wind speed increases.
Prevention is always the best tip when we talk about cold stress safety.
The right clothing is very important. In addition, do not overlook with fabric. When wet, cotton can feel cold as it loses the insulation properties. On the other hand, wool works with insulative properties even wet. A three-layer clothing is best worn on cold environments. Nylon is best for outer layer to break the wind and for ventilation. Wool is best for the second layer to work as sweat absorbent and insulates the body even if it becomes wet. Synthetic fiber is best for the inner part to make room for ventilation.
If the head is exposed to cold, the entire body may lose heat making it hard to maintain the body’s temperature. Wearing hats or head gears are best done not only on sunny days but on cold weather as well.
For the feet, boots are best worn to keep it warm all throughout the time when exposed under cold. For the hands, gloves that function as insulation is the best.
With all the layers of fabric, you may feel hot especially when at work. It is advised to open the buttons or zippers of the jacket but never remove gloves, boots and hat.
Lastly, as preventive measure and preparation always bring your changing clothes with you.
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