Working outside in cold winter weather can be uncomfortable, and dangerous.
Dr. Anita Toussi, Medical Director of Union Hospital’s ER, says frostbite is divided up into two categories, minor and extreme.
And neither should be taken lightly, “There is the non-severe category which is called a frost-nip which we all have encountered,” said Dr. Toussi. “It’s when our nose, ears fingers and toes get a little cold.”
If extreme frostbite is left untreated it could cause cell damage or even amputation,”The way also to treat frostbite, advanced frostbite is to put the hands or the feet or the parts that are affected into warm water.”
Dr. Toussi encourages people to head straight to the ER in cases of extreme frostbite, and to make sure to find someplace warm in minor cases.
Team members at Crew Carwash have a system in place to keep employees warm and healthy during winter shifts.
“Rotating and keeping people out of the cold and having multiple people ready to service advise to a lot of the customers that come through,” said manager Brodey McCalister. “So basically rotating, layering up, hot chocolate and things like that we provide to keep the employees warm.”
Employees aren’t allowed to be outside any longer than fifteen minutes, and even the outside spray station has a heater.
“The biggest thing that we always encourage is communication. So as long as they’re communicating when they are cold we get people out there as soon as possible,” said McCalister.
Terry Hayhurst knows farmers don’t take days off, and they don’t get snow days.
“The livestock have still gotta be taken care of,” said Hayhurst. “So even in these cold days we’ve gotta go out everyday and start up some equipment and feed animals.”
Hayhurst doesn’t think too much of the cold anymore, but he always bundles up and takes precautions.
“I’m kinda layerd up to make sure the wind doesn’t eat through the clothes real bad. I try to make sure I get the jobs done I need to during the daylight hours when it’s a little warmer.”
Anyone working or spending time outside should monitor their activity, bundle up around the face and hands, and warm up gradually.