02/1/21

WINTER TEMPERATURE INJURIES – HYPOTHERMIA

It is important to recognize how winter weather can affect working conditions and produce cold weather-related hazards resulting in an injury.

HYPOTHERMIA

Hypothermia is brought on by extended exposure to very cold temperatures. When your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, your temperature can drop to abnormally low levels. This lowered body temperature can affect your brain and your ability to think clearly or move well.

What makes hypothermia especially dangerous is that a person may not know it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.

Severe hypothermia can cause an irregular heartbeat leading to heart failure and death.

WARNINGS SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA

  • Shivering.
  • Exhaustion.
  • Confusion.
  • Fumbling hands.
  • Memory loss.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Drowsiness.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

  • Move the person into a warm room or shelter.
  • Remove wet clothing.
  • Warm the center of the person’s body (chest, neck, head and groin).
  • Encourage the person to drink something warm.
  • Find medical help as soon as possible.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Members can download the audio version of this toolbox talk soon.