We Offer Free Consultations    CONTACT US

Tips on Recognizing and Preventing Cold Hazard Work Injuries

Denver-based attorney R. Mack Babcock explains why workers in Colorado must take special precaution during the winter months

In the harsh winter months in Colorado, outdoor workers must take serious precautions to prevent cold stress injuries. Employers should have cold weather guidelines in place for their workers but that is not always the case. You as the worker should make sure you understand when you have been in the cold too long and also steps to prevent these types of injuries.

What are the most common occupations for cold hazard injuries?

Sanitation workers, construction workers, police and emergency worker personnel, snow removal workers, loggers, utility workers, postal workers, dairy farmers, athletes, meat packers, road repair workers and a variety of other types of positions that require hours of outdoor work or work in non -heated areas.

What type of cold hazard injuries can occur from extreme temperatures?

  • Frostbite – this is when ice crystals can form on your skin, muscles, nerves and /or blood vessels. Many times frost bite damages so badly that amputation is required.  If the limb is saved, you can still suffer from severe nerve damage where there is numbness or pain.
  • HypothermiaOSHA describes that hypothermia occurs when "body heat is lost faster than it can be replaced and the normal body temperature (98.6°F) drops to less than 95°F.  Hypothermia is most likely to occur in very cold temperatures, but it can happen in cool temperatures (above 40°F) or even warmer, especially if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water."
  • Trench Foot (or immersion foot) - This is when the foot is constantly wet and can actually occur in temperatures as high as 60 degrees.  Wet feet lose heat 25 times faster than dry feet and when this happens, the skin tissue can begin to die.
  • Conditions like arthritis, asthma or chronic lung disease can be aggravated in cold weather conditions.  Working in cold weather can also increase the risk of sprains and other injuries.

What are signs that you are beginning to suffer from one of these cold hazard injuries?

  • Reddened skin where there are white or gray patches developing.
  • Limbs going numb.
  • Limbs are too firm or hard.
  • In severe cases, blisters may occur.
  • Dizziness and confusion.

What are ways to prevent these injuries from happening?

  • Dress properly and in layers.
  • Stay dry.
  • Have extra clothing if you do get wet!
  • Drink warm sweetened liquid.
  • Wear insulated and waterproof boots and gloves.
  • Wear proper hat or knit mask to protect face and neck.
  • Take breaks to where you can warm up!

How do I know if I need to seek medical attention?

  • If you have frostbite or hypothermia, seek medical attention immediately.  If this has occurred on the job, you will most likely need to see one of your employer's work injury doctors.
  • Trench foot can often times be treated at home but needs to be watched closely. If it worsens, seek medical attention.

What is the recovery time for cold injuries?

  • This truly depends on how severe the injury is.  For example, with a frostbite injury, it depends on how much the tissue was damaged and if an infection has set in.  It can sometimes take anywhere from one to three months to truly be able to decipher how much of the tissue was actually damaged.
  • If your injury was less severe, you can heal very quickly and be able to return to work ASAP.

If you are a Colorado worker that has suffered from some of these injuries and would like a free consultation with a professional work injury attorney, please contact associates at the Babcock Law Firm to discuss your case and ensure you receive proper treatment and compensation for your injuries.

Take these precautions seriously and bundle up properly while you work!

Continue reading these related articles for more information…

Disclaimer

While the Babcock Law Firm tirelessly works to obtain successful outcomes for its clients, prior positive outcomes are no guarantee of future success. Indicating prior positive results is in no way intended to guarantee future results.

Related Articles From our blog
How and when Colorado workers are injured on the job
How Do Colorado Workers Get Hurt?

A recent study by Pinnacol Assurance, a workers’ compensation insurance […]

PTSD workers’ compensation
Is PTSD Covered by Colorado Workers’ Comp?

PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) is probably not the sort of […]

what happens when no one witnesses your work injury
What If No One Witnessed Your Workplace Injury?

More often than not, when employees are injured on the […]


Client Testimonials


5-star review image
Work Comp Case
Workers Compensation  |  Thornton
Retained following injuries in a motor vehicle accident while working. Verified benefits were paid appropriately and negotiated settlement.
2017-01-21
Would you recommend this to a friend? No
Overall Rating: 5.0 / 5

"I am very pleased with The Babcock Law Firm and how they helped my case . They worked very diligently, showed great professionalism and were available to answer any questions I may have had throughout my case. I started with a high profile law firm and had all kinds of troubles with any type of communication and felt I was left in the dark . This is when I sought out to hire a smaller firm (Babcock) and things became so much easier going and less stressful as I was already going through enough being out of work and dealing with pain every day. My experience was great and I would definitely recommend The Babcock Law Firm to anyone that needs a great team to help with their Work Comp case Thanks again Babcock Law Firm Sincerely, DC"

5-star review image
Babcock Law provided an excellent service
Workers Compensation  |  Denver
Represented for two dates of injury; filing for hearing after Notice of Contest filed; settle both cases pre-hearing.
2018-09-07
Would you recommend this to a friend? No
Overall Rating: 5.0 / 5

"I was fortunate to be recommended this firm and to meet with David Ong. David provided an excellent service and helped me through the complexities of workers comp. It took away so much of the additional stress associated with my injuries and enabled me to get a fair settlement for the case. My only regret is that I did not know of The Babcock Law Firm earlier on in the process. I highly recommend this firm and appreciate the friendly and empathic attitude shown by all of the staff I came across."

5-star review image
Very Happy Client
Workers Compensation  |  Colorado Springs
Assisted injured worker through workers' compensation case obtaining necessary treatment and negotiating settlement.
2017-07-04
Would you recommend this to a friend? No
Overall Rating: 5.0 / 5

"Stephanie was my attorney and she was very pleasant to work with. She made sure to explain what I should be expecting throughout the process and I always understood what was going on with my case. She made sure that I got the treatment I needed, which was my ultimate goal. While I sincerely hope I never need her services again, if I do, I would go back to the Babcock Law Firm. Thanks for everything Stephanie and Jan!"

Read All Reviews

Schedule your free consultation with our attorney. No cost - No commitment.