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Tips to Stay Safe When Working in Extreme Cold

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MONTPELIER – The Vermont Department of Labor reminds employers and those working outside, to make sure they’re prepared for frigid temperatures in the region.

“It’s important for all of us to recognize the warning signs of things like frostbite and make sure we’re doing all we can to stay safe while on the job this winter,” Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington said. “We know there’s important work that needs to be done, regardless of the weather, and we need to make sure we’re doing it safely.”

Winter weather can expose outdoor workers to frostbite, hypothermia, and cold stress, all of which can be fatal. It is important to monitor the wind chill temperature to better prepare and perform the work safely.

To stay safe in cold weather: know the symptoms of cold stress: reddening skin, tingling, pain, swelling, leg cramps, numbness, and blisters; dress properly; wear at least three layers of loose-fitting clothing, insulated gloves and boots, and cover the head; monitor physical condition and that of coworkers; stay dry and pack extra clothes; moisture can increase heat loss from the body; take frequent breaks in warm, dry areas and drink warm liquids.

For more safety tips, visit USDOL’s Winter Weather page at osha.gov/winter-weather or Labor.Vermont.gov.

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