If you work in the construction industry, winter can be more than just uncomfortable — it can be deadly. In order to ensure your employees are properly prepared for the onslaught of blisteringly cold winds and subzero temperatures, we’re going to discuss the telltale signs of frostbite and hypothermia, and teach you how to react if things have progressed too far.
Hypothermia occurs when the body’s internal temperature (usually stable at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) drops below 95 degrees. Constant exposure to extreme cold — which may be worsened by windchill — is most commonly associated with hypothermia, but it can also occur at higher temperatures if the person becomes chilled from being soaked with rain. One of the first signs is severe shivering, followed by drowsiness, confusion, shallow breathing, loss of coordination, and eventually unconsciousness and death. If you encounter someone suffering from hypothermia:
- Check responsiveness and breathing, and call 911; except in mild cases, the victim needs immediate medical care
- Provide CPR if unresponsive and not breathing normally
- Quickly move the victim out of the cold
- Warm the victim with blankets or warm clothing
Frostbite is a nasty condition that can destroy your extremities by freezing the capillaries, thereby preventing blood and oxygen from circulating. It’s the most common injury resulting from exposure to severe cold, and generally occurs on the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks, and chin. If not taken care of immediately, frostbite can cause tissue death and require amputation. Early signs include a white, waxy, or grayish-yellow skin color and numbness. If you suspect frostbite:
- Move to a warm place
- Remove wet clothing and constricting items
- Protect between ﬁngers and toes with dry gauze
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible
The best way to avoid both of these scenarios is to provide a safe and warm place for your workers to recuperate. There are a variety of rental heaters and temporary heating options available for construction sites, from propane heater rentals to electrical and even entire HVAC rentals. If you’re a construction worker yourself, don’t take the risk; situate yourself near the rental heaters until you feel yourself warm up. If you ignore your pain and discomfort, you may end up losing a limb — or your life.
If you’re looking for temporary heating for construction, contact Total Construction Rentals at 1-877-HEAT-451 today!