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Protecting Workers from Cold Stress

Winter has officially arrived and with it extreme cold, high winds and snow. So workers who work outside are likely to be exposed to cold stress, which can cause illnesses and injuries such as frostbite and hypothermia.

If workers aren’t adequately prepared to work in the cold, they may improvise in an effort to get warm—and possibly expose themselves to other hazards.

That’s what happened to a 21-year-old worker in New York, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning after starting a lawn mower in the back of a truck for warmth.

Jorge Perez and his younger cousin were cold after spending several hours doing landscape work outside a church in the Bronx. They were found unresponsive when the truck reached Queens. The lawnmower was still running in the confined space.