Most companies have plans in place for managing summer heat – OSHA even has a Campaign to
Prevent Heat Illness – but most organizations do not have programs for managing the cold. Employers
are required to perform a job hazard analysis, including identifying cold weather-related hazards.
Companies should also train employees to identify symptoms related to cold weather exposure.
Frostbite occurs when skin tissue or a body part freezes. It frequently affects ears, noses, fingers and
toes. Warning signs include:
• Pale or waxy white or gray skin
• Numbness, tingling or a stinging sensation
Snow blindness occurs when eyes are sunburned as a result of reflected sunlight off snow or ice. It
can be prevented by wearing high quality sunglasses with side shields or goggles. Symptoms typically
occur within 8 to 12 hours of exposure and include:
• Pain when blinking and when exposed to light
• Dry, swollen eyes that feel like they are full of sand
• Excessive tearing and redness
Trench foot is also known as Immersion Foot and can occur at temperatures as high as 60°. Trench
foot occurs when feet are wet for a prolonged period. Symptoms include:
• Reddening of the skin, numbness, leg cramps, swelling, tingling pain
• Blisters or ulcers
• Bleeding under the skin and gangrene
If you experience any of the symptoms above, seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
*blog courtesy of NSWMA Safety Monday – http://www.environmentalistseveryday.org/