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Working in the cold

People in Kentucky who routinely work outside should be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves when the temperatures fall during the winter. Not only should they have the proper personal protective equipment, but they should also be sure to take regular reprieves from the weather. The occurrence of cold stress injuries and the threat of hypothermia, trench foot, frostbite and chilblains can be reduced if one limits exposure to the cold.

Wind, air temperature and moisture are three important factors to consider when working outside. According to a graphic released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, skin that is exposed can freeze within a minute if the temperature ranges from -20 degrees Fahrenheit to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. If the winds are moving at about 20 miles per hour, the skin can begin freezing at 10 degrees Fahrenheit due to the air blowing away some of the heat that is created by the body.

According to a health scientist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the body will begin to lose heat if the skin is moist and there is wind. This is why it is important that outside workers dress properly.

The workers should wear breathable layers of clothes that are loose enough so that they do not cut off circulation or hinder movement. Layering also gives workers the option of removing some clothing if there is a change in weather or if they get too warm from working.

An attorney who practices workers' compensation law can assist clients who are injured while performing their job duties. The attorney may assist with submitting the initial application for workers' compensation benefits and help with appealing denied claims or insufficient benefit amounts.

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