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A joint NIOSH/Division of Safety and Hygiene study identified workers at greatest risk of frostbite and hypothermia.
Ohio Monitor 1987 Jan; :12-15
Cold related injuries in the workplace were reviewed with regard to occurrence and the susceptibilities of different workers. Work related cold injuries in the state of Ohio were assessed based upon information obtained from compensation claims provided by the Division of Safety and Hygiene of the Industrial Commission of Ohio between January 1984 and June 1985. All claims involving loss of one or more workdays were included in the study. Hypothermic injuries were classified according to physician's diagnosis, injury description, and the description of the events leading to the injury. Local weather data was used to calculate the rate of cold injury as a function of temperature and wind speed conditions. A total of 147 claims for cold injury were assessed. The majority of the injured were men under the age of 35 years. Most of the injuries occurred between November and March. The industries with the highest injury rate were transportation, oil and gas extraction, protective services, electric, gas, sanitation, construction, automotive dealers and service stations, trucking and warehousing, real estate, wholesale trade, and food products. Approximately 92 percent of the claims were for frostbite resulting from routine outdoor work. The injuries were significantly correlated with periods of extreme cold weather, and the daily rate of injury increased with increasing wind speed. Discussion also included the physics of heat loss and effects of cold exposure, evaluation of the number and cost of lost work days, and preventive measures to avoid cold related injuries on the job.
Temperature-effects; Cold-stress; Physical-stress; Environmental-exposure; Medical-treatment; Epidemiology; Workplace-studies; Industrial-hygiene; Occupational-hazards; Worker-health;
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division