Cold environments become a hazard when people are exposed to them for a long time without proper safety precautions. For cold storage workers, it is common for them to be exposed to these risks every day while they are doing their work.
To keep those workers safe from the hazards of cold temperatures, they should follow safety protocols and use the right protective gear for their line of work. Learn more about the different risks of working in a cold environment and how to protect your workers from it.
Dangers of Cold Environment
It’s fine to be exposed to the cold from time to time. However, being in the cold for too long poses so many dangers to the body. Cold storage workers are more prone to these since their work environment is really in the cold, no matter what the weather is outside. They are prone to:
- Frostbite – This is when the body fluids freeze because of too much cold and causes severe damage to the skin and tissues.
- Hypothermia – This is a condition when the body temperature drops below 35 degrees Celsius and could lead to death.
- Long-term problems – After a long time of working in cold environments, some conditions can arise such as arthritis and rheumatism. It is also commonly triggered by cold temperatures.
Safety Gear When Working in Cold Storage
To protect your workers from those dangers mentioned above, they should wear complete safety gear when working in the cold. These are the essential protective equipment to be worn when working in cold environments.
- Thermal Clothing – Wearing thermal clothing helps the body in maintaining its warmth even when the outside temperature is freezing. It is important to prevent too much heat loss while working in cold storage. These are usually worn with regular warm clothing to protect the body from extreme cold.
- Gloves – Freezer gloves are essential to protect the hands from the cold especially since it is the body part that is used to carry all those frozen goods. Aside from protection, it also improves the grip of the worker’s hands when handling cold and moist objects.
- Boots –Another part of the body that is most exposed to the cold is the feet. Safety boots are essential to keep the feet warm while still allowing perspiration to evaporate through the leather. It should fit perfectly so the cold air can’t get into the boots. It should be worn with a pair of thick socks for extra insulation and warmth.
- Headwear – The head is the part of the body that loses warmth a lot easily. Thus, it needs to be protected to preserve the warm temperature. Wearing warm headwear such as a knitted beanie helps a lot in keeping the body temperature warm as the workers do their job in cold storage.
Although there are dangers being posed by cold environments, you can keep your workers safe and protected by providing and encouraging the use of protective clothing and gear.