Even in a southern state like Mississippi, the winter months can bring frigid weather and temperatures that can be dangerously low for the men and women who work outdoors. It is important for employers to recognize the dangers that cold weather can bring and the potential threat to a person's health. Cold stress is a real issue, and it is important for outdoor workers to know how to stay safe when it is extremely cold.
Cold stress is a term used to describe what can happen when a person works out in the cold for an extended period of time. The effects of this condition can range from the uncomfortable to the dangerous, and in some cases, a worker's health may be in serious jeopardy. If your job requires you to be outside, it is smart to know how to protect yourself and what to do if your job causes you physical harm.
Staying safe in the winter
It is not always easy to know when cold is too cold. In many cases, the way that extreme temperatures affect a person depends on his or her health and various other factors. Cold stress drives down a person's body temperature, which can lead to various complications. Certain factors can make a person more likely to suffer harm because of cold temperatures, including the following:
- Clothes not designed to protect against the cold
- Health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes
- Lack of physical conditioning
Some of the most common results of cold stress include hypothermia, frostbite and more. Employers can keep workers safe by training them to recognize the signs of cold stress, providing necessary equipment and clothing, and allowing them breaks while working outside. It can also help to provide heaters and to take steps to keep workers as safe as possible.
When a worker suffers harm
If you become ill or injured due to cold stress or other environmental factors because of your job, it is in your interests to pursue benefits through a workers' compensation claim. This step can help you recover what you have lost as a result of medical bills and lost wages.
Working outside can come with various risks, but employers and workers can take steps to stay safe and avoid injuries caused by extreme temperatures in the winter months. No matter what job you have, you have certain rights, including the right to recovery after an accident or injury at work.