If you’re working outside in Alberta winters, your priority is always to stay safe… and warm! Extreme cold weather can lead to issues such as frostbite hypothermia. It is possible to stay toasty, even on the chilliest of days if you plan ahead. Before stepping outside, make sure you check the temperature and factor in the wind-chill so you can ensure maximum warmth.
- Wear dry, thick layers of good quality clothing. Your base layer should be a synthetic fabric as cotton retains moisture which will make you feel wet and chilled.
- Protect sensitive areas and extremities well. These areas are more likely to get frostbitten first: cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, fingers and toes. If the weather is very extreme, ski goggles or protective eye-wear may be a good idea as well.
- Take frequent breaks to warm up. Make sure you are regularly resting in a sheltered, heated area.
- Forget about the calories and eat. Ingest the suggested amount of healthy calories for your frame. If you eat small frequent meals throughout the day, your metabolism will be working at peak efficiency which will make your body warmer.
- Whenever possible, wear wool socks and wool-lined gloves. Wool holds heat in well against your skin and wicks away moisture – it’s a perfect insulator.
Stay warm this winter! For more information on cold-weather work, visit CCOHS.ca.