Nearly 1,000 people pass away from hypothermia each year. People who work or just need to move around in cold climates need to be aware of the dangers of low windchills and recognise the risks of hypothermia and frostbite. It is essential to comprehend how to shield the body from prolonged exposure to cold. The level of risk from exposure is mostly dependent on the ambient temperature and length of exposure to cold. By observing the advice provided below, this risk can be minimised:
The right layering technique involves wearing soft, lightweight materials that trap body heat while enabling sweat vapour to escape from the skin.
Your first layer should keep you warm and dry when exposed to chilly weather. The best long underwear materials “wick” moisture away from the skin fast and efficiently. Fast-drying synthetic fibres draw sweat vapour away from the skin and into the insulating layer, where it can evaporatively condense.
The key elements are warmth and dryness. If the activity level drops, it could be necessary to add more insulating layers. Wool and goose down are the best insulators because they trap heat while allowing for ventilation. Windproof, breathable, lightweight, and comfortable clothing is ideal.
Suitable attire for the activity should be worn. While preventing wind and rain, jackets and pants must allow perspiration vapour to escape. The material must help prevent heat loss and work with the other layers to maintain comfort and dryness.
COVERING YOUR HEAD, HANDS, AND FEET
It is crucial to protect the head, hands, and feet from the cold and wet in addition to layers.
- Head. More quickly than any other area of the body, the head and neck lose heat. The head must be covered because, unlike the hands and feet, the blood supply is not restricted by the cold. Because of this, body heat escapes from the head more quickly than it does from the hands or feet.
- Hands. The body restricts the flow of blood to the extremities in order to maintain heat to important organs. Because they are “sacrificed” for the more vital body parts, hands and feet are the first body parts to become chilly. Wear waterproof and breathable gloves.
- Feet. Feet can easily become cold and let heat escape. Over the course of an active day, the feet can often produce a full cup of perspiration. Shoes should have a thick pair of wicking socks and be made of synthetic fibres to be durable, waterproof, and breathable.
- Put on footwear with traction that is made to hold onto snow or ice, such as boots or shoes.
- Hard, smooth-soled footwear is not meant to be worn while navigating such slick terrain.
Once inside your building, you can change into your work shoes.
- For greater stability, put on flat-soled shoes; stay away from high heels.
- If you don’t already have shoes with slip-resistant bottoms, you should buy a set of detachable traction aids, like Yaktrax, that offer extra traction when walking on snow and ice. [Keep in mind to take off before entering buildings.]