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Naval Safety Center

Working outside in cold weather all day can take it out of a person—it can even be fatal. Here are a few things to keep in mind when working outside in cold weather:

  • Check out OSHA's cold stress guidelines.

  • Learn to recognize the signs of cold stress.

  • Make sure workers are dressed properly—OSHA recommends three layers: a windbreak layer, an insulation layer, and a next-to-the-skin layer.

  • Make sure workers are eating and drinking warm, high calorie things that will help them stave off the cold—alcohol and coffee are not among those things.

  • Learn to recognize frostbite and know what to do. White waxy skin probably indicates frostbite and requires getting the affected area gently warmed (NOT rubbed) as soon as possible.

OSHA's cold stress guidelines


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