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Oct. 2018 Update

5 Tips for Working Outside in the Cold

(Logical Position) Winter is showing up early this year. Temperatures are dropping fast, and snow and ice will be here before you know it. If you work outside for a living, you have already felt the effects. Working in cold temperatures and having to deal with the effect it has on everything makes the job that much more difficult. Cold makes machines take longer to start and warm up, causes visibility issues, and just makes life miserable. The extra layers of clothing make it difficult to walk onto the job, let alone pick up a tool and use it correctly. If you have to work outside every day or are doing some projects on your property, follow these tips for working outside in the cold to stay warm.

Layer Your Clothes

Put on layer after layer of clothes to keep warm. Put down a base of long underwear and keep layering until you think you have enough. Keeping the heart warm is most important. Your heart distributes warm blood throughout your entire body, so if it’s protected and warm, it will keep your fingers and toes warm too. Wear several long sleeve shirts under a heavy coat to protect yourself against windchill and biting cold.

 

Watch Out for Ice

Ice is a major hazard for those working outside. It covers everything and makes the job harder to do. If your job is moving parts around the job site with a forklift, ice will make the terrain slick and dangerous. Some tools and equipment must remain outdoors, and because of that they get covered in ice and snow—this causes them to not perform well. Keep de-icing equipment with you, so you can clear any ice when necessary.

 

Protect Your Head

A hat may not be as essential as a jacket, but it still provides invaluable warmth. Your body heat primarily escapes through the top of your head, which is why it’s especially important to keep your head warm. Wearing a knit cap or hood under a hard hat will keep you very warm. In extremely cold climates, wear a face mask as well.

 

Stay Dry

If you start to sweat or happen to get wet while working in the cold, dry yourself off immediately. If you’re working on a job site, bring extra clothes to change into just in case. Wet clothes will hamper your body’s ability to regulate its temperature, and you will get colder as time moves on. As your body temperature drops, the chances of you getting hypothermia increase.

 

Avoid Alcohol

Everyone feels all warm and toasty inside after sipping on some wine or whiskey, but it doesn’t actually warm you up. Drinking alcohol and working in the cold has the opposite effect; it’s detrimental to your body. Alcohol widens the blood vessels and they fill with warm blood, making you feel flushed and warm. The best thing to drink to stay hydrated and warm are drinks like water, hot cocoa, and sports drinks.

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