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Don't let the cold stress you out

November 15, 2023

Employers should offer workers training that includes:
  • How to recognize the environmental and workplace conditions that can lead to cold stress.
  • The symptoms of cold stress, how to prevent cold stress and what to do to help those who are affected.
  • How to select proper clothing for cold, wet and windy conditions.
In addition, employers should:
  • Monitor the physical condition of workers.
  • Schedule frequent short breaks in warm dry areas, to allow the body to warm up.
  • Schedule work during the warmest part of the day.
  • Use the buddy system by having employees work in pairs.
  • Provide warm, sweet beverages. Avoid drinks with alcohol.
  • Provide engineering controls such as radiant heaters.

What is “cold stress?”

This can vary across different regions. Cold stress occurs by driving down the temperature of your skin and your internal body temperature. Increased wind speed, below or near freezing temperatures, even wetness or dampness from body sweat can facilitate heat loss from the body. When the body is unable to warm itself, serious cold-related illness and injuries may occur.

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