For workers in Kentucky, avoiding stress and injury due to the cold can be important, especially in the winter months. Cold stress is a particular concern for outdoor workers, and involves a danger related to a person’s skin temperature. It is preventable, but when unchecked can lead to a person’s internal and external body temperature dropping below a point from which it cannot successfuly warm itself. This kind of danger can lead to a number of serious injuries, up to and including death.
Cold stress can also lead to permanent severe workplace injuries; well-known types of cold stress include trench foot, frostbite and hypothermia. Trench foot occurs after workers’ feet are exposed to the cold, especially in damp conditions, while frostbite happens when a worker’s skin becomes frozen. Frostbite can be so severe that it leads to amputation. Hypothermia, on the other hand, means that the body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit and is unable to counteract the cold.
For outdoor workers in cold conditions, these concerns can be a serious threat. Whether people are working on a field, an oil rig or on outdoor machinery, cold stress injuries and damage can have long-lasting, dangerous effects. There are steps that employers can take in order to protect workers from injuries on the job due to cold stress. It is important to ensure proper dress in cold and wet conditions. When signs of cold stress occur, such as pain, numbness or redness, it can be important for the worker to exit the cold and seek medical assistance.
Workers who are injured on the job through cold stress or other factors often have a right to compensation for their medical bills and other damages. A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help injured employees to protect their rights and seek proper recompense for damages incurred due to on-the-job accidents.