Whether you work outdoors or in cold storage, you need to be prepared for the elements. Working in the cold comes with a unique set of health and safety risks, which you can prepare for with the right work clothes and equipment.
When you work in cold conditions, these are some of the health factors you should monitor for:
1. Repetitive Stress Injuries – Anyone who has to perform repetitive motions as part of their every day job is prone to repetitive stress injuries (RSI). RSI can affect just about any movable part of the human body, but wrists and arms are particularly vulnerable, especially for people who work in distribution and warehousing. Packing, picking, and carrying heavy objects repeatedly can make you prone to RSI. If part of your job includes working outdoors or working in cold storage, working in cold temperatures can also aggravate RSI. Watch out for symptoms including stiffness or tenderness, throbbing or pulsating sensations, loss of strength, and loss of sensation.
2. Chilblains – If you’ve experienced inflamed skin after work, they could be chilblains. This happens when blood vessels become inflamed due to the cold, typically low but not freezing temperatures. Blood vessels in clusters will become itchy, red, and even swollen, or even result in blisters. Protect yourself from chilblains by not exposing any skin.
3. Frostbite – You can’t feel frostbite when it happens, which is what makes it so dangerous. Your skin and tissue go numb from exposure to the extreme temperatures. The most likely places you will experience frostbite are on your face are your ears, nose, cheeks, and chin, while fingers and toes are likewise more susceptible. Protect these extremities when you work in severely cold environments, such as outdoors in the winter, or if you’re spending extended periods of times in mild cold. White skin or yellow-grey skin forming are important signs of frostbite to look for. The best protection against frostbite is dressing for the cold and using thermal socks and other clothes.
Thermal socks are a must-have when you work outdoors or in the cold. Among others, one of the benefits of thermal socks is that they can make working in cold conditions considerably more comfortable. Thermal socks work by retaining heat, using a unique, Japanese-made acrylic yarn. One of the most effective thermal sock brands on the market is Heat Holders. In fact, their thermal socks are proven to be the warmest thermal socks available, seven times warmer than ordinary cotton socks. The company uses a patented technique with advanced insulating yarn and extra long looped pile to better retain heat around your feet. You can also find Heat Holders gloves, hats, and jackets that are durable and warm. These will keep you warm at work and help reduce your risks of cold-related injuries and health problems. Stay warm and stay safe when you’re on the job!