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Can Working in the Cold Hurt You?

Attorney Mark Rufo PC

Extreme weather conditions carry known risks, but did you know that even working in 40 to 60-degree weather can result in cold injuries? Cold climates do not have to skew extreme in order to do some serious damage.

In fact, cold stress and other related cold weather injuries can set in at temperatures you may not even feel you need to bundle up for. But these injuries can cause lasting damage that will be medically expensive to treat.

Cold weather injuries

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration discusses injuries specific to cold weather. Three of the most common include hypothermia, trench foot and frostbite. Trench foot occurs when the feet stay cold and wet for an extended period of time, at which point you may suffer from blistering, redness, swelling, leg pain and tissue death. Frostbite is the result of exposed skin freezing, which can cause cell trauma and death leading to amputation.

Hypothermia sets in once your core body temperature reaches 95 degrees and occurs when in a situation where you cannot retain or create body heat faster than you lose it. You may experience confusion, disorientation, slurring of speech, dizziness, paradoxical undressing and unconsciousness. Death may occur if you pass out while still in the cold environment and you do not get rescued in time.

The importance of quick action

It is important to treat cold injuries quickly and efficiently to minimize the amount of short and long-term damage done. However, the hospital bill for many of these injuries can rise quite high, resulting in debt as you also have to sit out of work. Thus, you may wish to see what financial compensation options you have.