November 2010 Safety Tip

The Hazards of Cold

Hypothermia occurs when your body temperature drops below normal. Watch out for these symptoms:

  • Uncontrollable shivering
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Disorientation
  • Unconsciousness

Protect yourself from hypothermia

  • Dress in layers, so you can adjust what you’re wearing to the temperature.
  • In cold weather, wear silk, polypropylene or lightweight wool next to your skin and wool layers over your undergarments
  • Four outdoor activities, wear outer garments of wind and water-resistant fabrics, such as nylon
  • Always wear a hat, gloves and a scarf in cold weather

Hypothermia can happen even in warm weather if you are cold and wet too long

  • Always take along a dry set of clothing when you’re working (or playing) outdoors.
  • Always pack rain gear, no matter what the forecast
  • Wear waterproof boots in damp or snowy weather

Hypothermia can sneak up on you

  • Use the buddy system when working outdoors in cold weather
  • Check each other for signs of hypothermia
  • If that’s not possible, let someone know where you’ll be and when you expect to return

When hypothermia strikes, get indoors as soon as possible. Change into warm, dry clothes and sip warm drinks (not alcohol). Be sure to seek medical attention.