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Working Safely in Cold Weather

Region 2 Safety Partners & Stakeholders

Winter is Here!

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Working Safely in Cold Weather

Anyone working in a cold environment may be at risk of cold stress. Some workers may be required to work outdoors in cold environments and for extended periods.  

Cold stress occurs by driving down the skin temperature and eventually the internal body temperature (core temperature). This may lead to serious health problems, and may cause tissue damage, and possibly death.

It is important to know the wind chill temperature to better prepare and perform the work safely.

Follow these work practices to stay safe in cold weather:

  • Know the symptoms of cold stress; reddening skin, tingling, pain, swelling, leg cramps, numbness, and blisters.
  • Dress properly; wear at least three layers of loose-fitting clothing, insulated gloves and boots, and cover your head.
  • Monitor your physical condition and that of your coworkers.
  • Stay dry and pack extra clothes; moisture can increase heat loss from the body.
  • Take frequent breaks in warm, dry areas.
  • Drink warm liquids.

For more safety tips, visit OSHA’s Winter Weather page - https://www.osha.gov/winter-weather,

as well as OSHA’s emergency preparedness page on cold stress - https://www.osha.gov/emergency-preparedness/guides/cold-stress.

Brian Crain
Compliance Assistance Specialist
US DOL OSHA / Region II
Marlton Area Office
Office - 856-596-5200
Desk - 856-596-5229
Mobile - 856-362-3079
crain.brian@dol.gov
OSHA Region 2 Outreach  R2OSHA.OUTREACH@dol.gov