Staying healthy and safe when working outdoors becomes more of a challenge when the temperatures drop. Working in cold conditions is not only uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous. Frostbite, numbness, dehydration, and hypothermia are all real concerns when working outside in the Winter months. The best way to stay healthy and safe is to be aware of the dangers and prepare accordingly. As an equipment rental company in the Mid-West, we know many of our clients are working outdoors, so here are a few tips to stay healthy and safe in the cold.
Eating and Drinking Enough
Keeping hydrated is even more important in the Winter because the body dehydrates faster. Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Working outdoors with heavy equipment requires mental and physical alertness. Make sure you keep your body's tank full of good energy-producing foods. Having enough food in your system keeps your body warm and gives you the nutrients needed to stay focused.
Get Enough Sleep
When you don't get enough sleep, your mind and body underperform. Sleep is just as important to your health as diet. Make sure you have a sleeping schedule that allows 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Ideally, you'll go to bed and rise at the same time every day.
Just as you need to take breaks from working throughout the day, your body needs breaks from the cold. Force yourself to get out of the cold every couple of hours and warm up to avoid numbness and shivers. This keeps your blood flowing and allows your body to stay turned on and perform better throughout the long workday.
Damp or wet clothing will quickly drop your body temperature. Staying dry in cold weather is always your number one concern. Wear moisture-wicking base layers to draw away sweat as your work. Wear waterproof outer gear to keep your under layers from getting wet. If any clothing does get wet, remove it immediately.
Dress for the Cold
Dressing in layers is critical. Layers keep you warm and allow you to adjust to changing temperatures throughout the day. Wearing the right gloves, socks, and footwear is essential. Wear headwear that keeps your head and ears warm. Some kind of breathable face protection will keep your face from getting too cold.
Cold Weather Safety Kit
If you’re on a construction site that requires driving to and from make sure to bring a Winter safety kit. Your kit should include an emergency blanket, candles, matches, food, and water. Keep your work vehicle filled at least halfway with fuel in case you’re stranded on the side of the road for multiple hours during a storm.
Winter Equipment Rental
Do you have a Winter project that requires equipment rental? Machines don’t like cold weather, but they will work with the proper maintenance. Winter can be a great time to get work done despite the cold weather. Give us a call if you need equipment rental for your outdoor or construction project this Winter. Stay safe out there!