How Can The Risk of Cold Stress Be Managed?

Employers can help protect workers from cold stress by practicing basic management principles:

  • Provide worker training on the effects of cold exposure
  • Control the work environment with heaters and windbreaks
  • Establish worker rotations
  • Recognize that cold affects worker performance and dexterity
  • Schedule work during the warmer hours
  • Provide workers with hot or warm foods and liquids
  • Warn workers against skin contact with metal at low temperature
  • Train workers on protection against vibration in cold weather

Equally important, workers in cold conditions should take necessary precautions to protect themselves from the cold, including wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and being aware of cold stress warning signs.

  • Maintain hydration
  • Recognize early signs of cold injury
  • Use layers of breathable clothing to maintain core body temperature
  • Protect extremities by wearing the proper gloves, face and head protection
  • Be prepare for changing weather patterns which increase risk
  • Create a buddy system to look for early signs of cold related stress
  • Wear proper PPE