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Hypothermia is a risk for outdoor workers in Pennsylvania winter

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2023 | Workplace Accidents |

The winters in Pennsylvania are often frigid, which is difficult for people who have to work outdoors in the colder months. Workers must have safety protocols in place to help them avoid medical conditions that stem from a lower body temperature.

One of the primary issues that can come from working in cold temperatures is hypothermia. This occurs when your body temperature drops too low

Symptoms of hypothermia

Common symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Weak pulse
  • Shallow breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Mumbling
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lack of coordination 

One of the most challenging aspects of hypothermia is that the victim may not realize that something is amiss. They need to have immediate medical care because serious issues can manifest if hypothermia goes untreated.

Frostbite and gangrene are two issues that can come from hypothermia. Both of these conditions can lead to the victim losing affected body parts. Warming up the body in a safe manner is a primary defense against these conditions, but more intensive medical treatments may be required. 

Combatting hypothermia

The most important way to combat hypothermia is to remain warm. People who work in the cold weather should wear layers so they can remain warm. Employers should provide them with a warming area so they can get out of the cold and warm up some. 

Workers who suffer from hypothermia because of their work conditions will need immediate medical care. They should be able to count on workers’ compensation to cover the medical costs. Other benefits might also be possible for these hard-working individuals.