In the state of Wisconsin, working outdoors during the fall and winter months typically means dealing with cold temperatures.

If it’s part of your job to work outdoors in cold weather, here are some tips you can follow to remain safe:

  • Dress appropriately: Don’t skimp on your clothing, as doing so invites cold air to come into contact with your body. It’s best to wear layers of loose-fitting clothing, as it protects you from the cold air while allowing your blood to freely circulate.
  • Protect exposed skin: This includes but is not limited to your hands, face and ears. These areas are often the first to become frostbitten, so protect them accordingly.
  • Take breaks: You want nothing more than to get the job done, but pushing yourself in extremely cold weather can result in serious illness or even death. Take regular breaks in a warm place, even if only for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
  • Drink warm beverages: While working, drink warm beverages, such as coffee or tea, to maintain your warmth and energy level.

Along with the above, keep an eye out for the common signs and symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. For example, if you’re shivering, fatigued and confused, there’s a chance that you’re facing the early signs of hypothermia.

If a cold-related illness or injury keeps you from returning to work, report your health status to your employer and file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You’ll want to receive financial compensation for your illness or injury and all of your losses from seeking medical care or being off work.