Make sure to drink enough fluids, as you dehydrate faster in cold weather conditions. Dehydration causes headaches, dizziness and fatigue, and it’s important to stay alert outdoors. Eating enough food during the day, especially fats and carbohydrates, is also important. Your body uses those nutrients as energy to stay warm in cold temperatures.
Working outdoors can be challenging, and increases risks to your safety. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep to stay alert on the job when conditions are more dangerous.
Just like you need to take breaks from your work throughout the day, your body needs to take breaks from the cold. Plan warm-up times throughout your day to avoid numbness and shivers.
Damp clothing can quickly drop your body temperature. It’s more important than ever to stay dry in the cold. Wear a moisture-wicking base layer to draw away sweat as you work. Wear waterproof gear as an outer shell to prevent your under layers from getting wet. Remove any wet clothing immediately.
Dressing in layers is key, as it not only keeps you warm but allows you to adjust to changing temperatures. Proper gloves, socks and footwear are essential. Choose headwear that keeps your head and ears warm. Balaclavas can also help to warm your neck and warm the air you’re breathing.
If you’re on the road, make sure to take a cold weather safety kit. A cold weather kit should include emergency blankets, candles, and matches. A candle burning in a vehicle could provide enough warmth to ward off hypothermia for a period of time. For more ways to get your vehicle ready for winter, see “How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter.”
Before you work outdoors in cold weather conditions, make sure that you’re well prepared. Be aware of the dangers of exposure, and follow these tips to make safe choices.