Thanks to the El Nino effect, this winter is supposed to be interestingly unusual, as the record blizzard and snowfall can attest. Working outside in the winter always comes with its additional dangers, not to mention the unpredictable weather that may result this year. There is always a lot of risk of injury and illness for workers who are constantly outside, like construction. You are more exposed to the environment, so you are more vulnerable.
This is especially heightened in the winter. The CDC released some guidelines on the most common injuries and illnesses and how to combat them. This article will go over some of the highlights of this study to emphasize the most common and dangerous conditions.
Hypothermia results because heat leaves your body faster than it can be produced. Eventually, your body begins to run out of energy to maintain its internal temperature, and it begins to breakdown. This is very common for construction workers, city workers and other jobs that keep you constantly outside. The common symptoms are: fatigue, loss of coordination, confusion, disorientation, dilated pupils and loss of consciousness. Hypothermia is especially dangerous because the person begins to lose brain function ? so this is very dangerous in jobs that require concentration, like construction.
If you notice one of your co-workers exhibiting these symptoms, then you need to immediately alert a supervisor and call for medical assistance. If he or she is covered in wet clothing, remove it and begin to warm their body. Warm beverages can also help raise the body's temperature, however, avoid alcohol.
If you suffered hypothermia while on the job, then you may want to speak to a lawyer. You may be entitled to file for a workers' compensation claim if it permanently affects your ability to work. Hypothermia is a serious injury that can cause long-term harm throughout the body. Take the proper precautions and stay safe this winter.