There are many threats to our health and safety at work. From falling objects, industrial spillages, and construction site accidents, to banged knees and tumbling down stairs, accidents at work can appear in any and every location.
Other causes of illnesses and injury at work, however, can come from different places and have altogether more complicated consequences.
Cold stress is one such industrial illness that can have far reaching problems for those who fall victim of it. Cold stress is a reference to a process by which excessive heat loss leads to a decrease in body temperature, taking it way below the regular norm.
Workers who are frequently left vulnerable to extremely cold temperatures may well be at risk of cold stress. Weather conditions that constitute a threat and potential cause of cold stress vary throughout the world.
Countries and areas that are relatively unaccustomed to cold and wintery conditions, temperatures that near zero degrees are usually considered to be factors for cold stress. High wind speeds can also greatly increase the rapidity with which temperature can leave your body.
Cold stress from work can result in any number of ailments. These include:
Hypothermia: when your body is exposed to very cold conditions it will lose heat at a rate quicker then it can be replaced. When you are in the cold for prolonged periods of time, eventually the stored energy within your body will be used up. This then causes hypothermia, the symptoms of which include:
Later on the shivering stops and is replaced by blue skin, dilated pupils and a loss of consciousness.
Frostbite: this is when your body is injured as a result of freezing. It causes a loss of both feeling and colour in the affected area, and can permanently damage body tissues. Severe cases can even lead to amputation.
Chilblains: caused by repeated exposure of the skin to temperatures that are just above freezing, and can lead to damaged capillary beds. The injuries caused are permanent and both the redness and itching will return with additional exposure.
If you suffer an accident at work, Accident Advice Helpline can assist with any work illness claim you may wish to make.
They have over 13 years’ experience in dealing with personal injury claims, such as road traffic accidents and injuries at work.
Championed by Esther Rantzen, they work on a no win, no fee* basis.
To discuss your claim with a member of our expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
Date Published: December 9, 2013
Author: David Brown