The coldest time of the year is upon us. 2018 started with a massive winter storm on the East Coast followed by brutally cold conditions. Wind chill warnings were issued in most of the East Coast states. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from the exposed skin caused by wind and cold. As wind increases, it draws heat from the body and drives down internal body temperature. For example, at -19 degrees Fahrenheit, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minutes. A massive winter storm, referred to as a "bomb cyclone", traveled up the East Coast, dumped a foot of snow, and created blizzard-like conditions.
Several locations experienced record-breaking temperatures. Summit conditions at Mount Washington were so cold that the temperature was the second coldest on Earth. According to Mount Washington Observatory, the temperature hit minus 36 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of minus 90 degrees. Additionally, the strong winds brought coastal flooding that reached historically high levels in some New England communities. Cars were stranded and pedestrians had to be rescued from cold water and ice overflowing into the streets.
CBS News confirmed that at least 22 people nationwide have died from the recent blast of the Arctic air that stretched from Maine to Texas.
Cold weather safety is a vitally important topic that should be discussed with workers prior to performing any outdoor projects. Cold stress can be a fatal threat: workers exposed to freezing temperatures risk losing body heat, which may lead to frostbite, hypothermia, or death. The signs of cold-related illnesses include paleness of skin, sensation of cold, or pain. When you notice these symptoms, you should quickly go indoors, out of cold, replace cold, damp clothing, with warm, dry clothing, and have some warm food or beverages. Depending on the severity of the situation, heat packs may be needed at the neck and the armpit areas. To prevent serious cold-related injuries, always dress in layers, take frequent breaks, stay hydrated by drinking warm liquids, and consume warm foods, like soup, that will keep you warm during extremely cold temperatures.
Top 4 Picks: Cold Weather Protection Gear
- Heat Packs
The disposable, air-activated heat packs from PIP are mini hand warmers for those extra cold days. They are the ideal size to even use in your headwear and gloves. These “mini furnaces” are perfect not only for those working at construction sites or in manufacturing but also for recreational outdoor activities and winter sports.
Using goggles with a Thermo Lens System is a perfect solution to prevent eye damage in extreme temperatures. The high-rated Pyramex V2G-XP Heat/Cold Resistant Goggles combine two lenses to insulate against extreme cold and extreme heat, dust, flying particles, the wind, the sun glare, and the harmful UV rays. The interior acetate lens includes a protective layer of the air between the two lenses. This Thermo Lens System keeps the heat and the cold from getting to the face and eliminates fogging.
- Cold Grip Gloves
The NorthFlex Cold Grip Plus 5™ gloves feature the double-duty protection with a high-level of cut/slash resistance, paired with the superior cold weather protection capabilities. These gloves offer a 15-gauge seamless knit hi-vis orange outer shell made of a cut-resistant fiber blend that enhances worker safety and the soft brushed acrylic thermal inner layer. They are an ideal solution for the following applications: construction, mining, masonry work, oil and gas, sheet metal and glass handling, trash collection, recycling, transportation, refrigeration industry, snow cleaning, and forestry.
- Bomber Jacket
The PIP Waterproof Reflective Bomber Jacket provides excellent protection from the elements and can be used by utility and construction workers, survey crews, railway and metro workers, as well as emergency response personnel.
Call us at 800-829-9580 to get a full list of cold weather protection products that we offer, or visit us online: pksafety.com
- Brutal cold follows massive East Coast winter storm
- Wind chill at Mount Washington drops to minus 90 degrees
- Wind Chill Questions and Answers