A good number of industrial workers do their job outside no matter what the weather is like. Not only does that mean they have to deal with the occasional rain, but if they live up north, they must be prepared to handle cold weather as well. That leads to many newer employees in the industry wondering, “What can happen if you don’t stay warm while working?”
This is a valid question that we will be exploring, but before we begin, we wanted to remind everyone to stay as protected as possible. We don’t just mean from the cold, but from dangers like fire as well. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our selection of warm FR clothing. We even have fire-resistant headgear that will keep your head warm in those brisk winter winds.
Let’s start with one of the worst outcomes of being in the cold for too long: hypothermia. This is when your body fails to produce heat faster than it’s losing it. Because of that, people can get this illness at varying temperatures, depending on how efficiently they generate heat. However, for most people, standing outside in a wind chill that’s below zero degrees Fahrenheit for more than 30 minutes can start the process.
When hypothermia begins to set in, it will make your body’s vital functions, like your heart and nervous system, slow down or even stop. That’s why this is known to kill people. It’s a very serious thing to watch out for, which is why bundling up and keeping yourself warm is so vital when you’re outside.
While frostbite isn’t deadly like hypothermia, it can kill your skin cells as it progresses. This will lead to your needing to have large patches of dead tissue removed by a doctor. In extreme cases, the limb might require amputation. Fortunately, you will notice the signs of frostbite way before it gets to that level.
In most cases, frostbite isn’t that bad. The vast majority of outdoor workers only ever deal with frostnip, which isn’t permanent and will go away after some time or after a bit of first aid treatment. Frostbite will start to set in around the same temperature as hypothermia, so you’ll be able to protect against both at the same time.
Lowered Immune System
The final point in our list of what can happen if you don’t stay warm while working is that your immune system will become weaker the colder it is. Contrary to popular belief, cold weather doesn’t get you sick—it just makes you more prone to coming down with something. Whether it’s the common cold or the flu, your immune system will have trouble fighting back against illnesses that it normally beats without much of an effort.
This could also lead to your being more susceptible to COVID-19 since your immune system will struggle even more while attempting to fight it, which is why you need to stay warm and protected during these times. You never know what kind of disease you could have inside of you that your immune system will no longer easily fight off.