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Stay safe while working in cold weather

| Dec 30, 2020 | Blog |

People who live in Alaska are used to dealing with the cold. In fact, many people here prefer the cold months for the winter sporting opportunities they provide. However, people that feel at home in snowy conditions can still succumb to hypothermia and frostbite just like everyone else. If you work outside during the winter, you need to be especially careful in extreme cold.

Layer up and bring changes of clothing

Wearing many layers in the cold can allow you to stay as warm as you need to be and adjust when the weather heats up. The most important layers that you wear in the cold are your base layer and your top layer. You should also bring extra layers of clothing just in case the layers you have on get wet. In the cold, there’s nothing worse than getting wet.

Your base layer should be made of a moisture wicking fabric like Merino wool instead of a fabric that gets heavy with sweat like cotton. If you’re working hard in the cold, you will sweat, and you need a fabric that soaks that moisture up and keeps your skin dry.

Your top layer of clothing has to be waterproof, and it should fit snugly enough over your other layers. If your top layer repels water effectively, it will be a shield for the rest of your clothing.

Care for your extremities

The parts of your body that are most susceptible to frostbite are your fingers, toes, ears and nose. You’ll need to take extra care to make sure that your extremities stay dry because they will not receive the extra blood flow that your core will. The human body has a natural survival mechanism in cold temperatures that protects the vital organs. The extremities do not get this benefit.

Take breaks to warm up

Breaks are crucial during extreme cold, just like they are during extreme heat. It’s also important that if you get sick or injured at work, you file for workers’ compensation benefits so that you can afford time off to recover.