Work doesn’t stop just because winter is coming. The risk of getting hypothermia is increasing, but that doesn’t mean you need to fall victim to it.

What is Hypothermia?

Hypothermia is what happens when your body becomes so cold it is no longer producing more heat than it is loosing. Hypothermia affects body systems and vital organs, slowly causing them to lose their ability to function.

What causes Hypothermia?

Though hypothermia is mainly caused by the cold, the situation can be made worse by wind, wet or poorly insulated clothing and fatigue

Who is at Risk?

Anyone who works in a naturally or artificially cold environment, such as outdoors in the winter, cold storage lockers, and refrigerated trailers.

What are the Signs of Mild Hypothermia?

  • Bouts of shivering
  • Grogginess
  • Muddled thinking
  • Poor judgement
  • Abnormal behaviour

What are the signs of Moderate Hypothermia?

  • Violent shivering or no longer shivering
  • Inability to pay attention or think (for example, they can’t understand what is being said to them)
  • Shallow, slow breathing, slurred speech and/or poor body coordination
  • Slow, weak pulse

What are the Signs of Severe Hypothermia?

  • No longer shivering
  • Unconsciousness
  • Little or no breathing
  • Weak, irregular or non-existent pulse
  • Dilated pupils (black portion of the eye is very large)

How can I prevent Hypothermia?

Proper clothing and adequate insulation work together to keep you warm. Be sure you have warm clothing including a toque, gloves, warm socks and a warm coat. Keep all of your clothing dry, or change into spare dry clothing if your clothing becomes damp or wet. Wet clothing freezes, drawing heat out of your body and reducing your body temperature. You should also stay hydrated and pace yourself during vigorous activities such as heavy lifting.

What should I do if I suspect someone is Hypothermic?

Seek emergency medical help immediately by calling 911, and alert your supervisor. Remove the victim gently from the cold environment and wrap them in warm blankets, removing any wet clothing. Do not get the victim to exercise to warm up, and do not place them in a hot bath or shower. Do not rub their limbs or extremities.

For other important safety tips from Matrix Labour Leasing visit matrixlabourleasing.com and call 403.201.9520 today.

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