Safety Tips for Working Outside in the Cold

Winter is coming, and that means job sites across the U.S. will be getting colder, windier, and wetter. Anyone working in the cold—even the hardiest concrete construction warriors—could be at risk of hypothermia, frostbite, or worse.


Safety comes first. When working outdoors this winter, be aware of these common types of cold stress:




Trench Foot


Risk and prevention

You could be at increased risk of cold stress if you:


Ready to protect yourself and your co-workers from cold stress? You’re already taking the first step by reading this article. You know the symptoms, so you can monitor yourself and others.


Other preventative measures you can take:



What to do when a co-worker suffers from cold stress

If a co-worker appears to be suffering from hypothermia, call 911 immediately in an emergency. To prevent further heat loss, move the person to a warm place. Get a change of dry clothes, and cover their body (including head and neck, but not their face) with blankets and something to block the cold, such as a tarp or garbage bag.


For frostbite, follow the same recommendations as hypothermia. In addition, do not rub the frostbitten area. The person should avoid walking on frostbitten feet. Do not apply snow or water, and do not break blisters. Loosely cover and protect the area from contact. Don’t try to rewarm the area unless directed by medical personnel.


In the case of trench foot, remove wet shoes/socks; air dry (in warm area); keep affected feet elevated and avoid walking. Seek medical attention.