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Dangers of working in cold weather

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2021 | Blog, Workers' Compensation |

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries and illness have spiked due to what is called “environmental cold.” Environmental cold, also known as cold stress, tends to affect those working either outside or within spaces that are not properly heated. This, of course, can make employees in Kansas not only perform poorly at their job but risk being involved in a workplace accident. Read on to learn further about cold stress and the dangers of working within cold conditions.

Dangers associated with cold weather

When it comes to working in cold weather, it is not only the weather conditions that employees need to worry about but the danger those conditions tend to create. For example, the body will produce sweat no matter how cold it is. As a result, that sweat can quickly begin to bring down a person’s internal body heat 25X faster than in normal conditions. Employers must make it a point to ensure that their employees are taking the proper breaks within a well-heated enclosed space. Failure to do so can lead to multiple workers’ compensation claims and even lawsuits.

Thresholds of cold stress hazards

Much like other consequences of being exposed to the elements for too long, cold stress also has a number of thresholds that a person would experience. According to the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, there are three thresholds that would likely happen once a person begins going through cold stress. Here are those three levels:

  • Small danger: Skin freezes in an hour
  • Medium danger: Skin freezes within one minute
  • Extreme danger: Skin freezes in 30 seconds

As you can see from the information above, cold stress is a very real and dangerous thing that many employees, unfortunately, go through. If you believe that you have been placed in such danger and, as a result, have accumulated injuries, seeking legal advice from an attorney is highly recommended.