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5/25/2024
Published
Every Monday by
Grain Journal
Editor Kendall Trump
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Cold Stress


Cold Stress Can be Prevented.
 

It is important for employers to know the wind chill temperature so that they can gauge workers' exposure risk better and plan how to safely do the work. 

It is also important to monitor workers' physical condition during tasks, especially new workers who may not be used to working in the cold, or workers returning after spending some time away from work.

Environmental Cold

Environmental cold can affect any worker exposed to cold air temperatures and puts workers at risk of cold stress. As wind speed increases, it causes the cold air temperature to feel even colder, increasing the risk of cold stress to exposed workers, especially those working outdoors.

  • Risk factors for cold stress include:
  • Wetness/dampness, dressing improperly, and exhaustion.
  • Predisposing health conditions such as hypertension, hypothyroidism, and diabetes.
  • Poor physical conditioning.

What is Cold Stress?

What constitutes cold stress and its effects can vary across different areas of the country. In regions that are not used to winter weather, near freezing temperatures are considered factors for cold stress.

Increased wind speed also causes heat to leave the body more rapidly (wind chill effect). Wetness or dampness, even from body sweat, also facilitates heat loss from the body.

Cold stress occurs by driving down the skin temperatures, and eventually the internal body temperature. When the body is unable to warm itself, serious cold-related illnesses and injuries may occur, and permanent tissue damage and death may result.

Some types of cold stress include trench foot, frostbite, and hypothermia.

Source: 

OSHA Winter Weather Resources

 

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 Grain Journal is a bi-monthly magazine for the grain and feed industries 
published in Decatur, IL - 800-728-7511 | website: www.grainnet.com
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