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Fax: (713) 684-1600

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STORM SEASON
Important Note:

June through November our agency may become prohibited from binding coverage should a “Tropical Disturbance” enter the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

In these cases we may be unable to bind new coverage quoted in open proposals until the storm leaves our area and our binding authority has been restored.

Please arrange your coverage protection early to avoid this type of delay. While we regret any inconvenience, the carriers impose these restrictions on all agencies.

First Aid for Common Cold Weather Injuries

We may be well into the new year, but dangerously cold temperatures are still possible in many parts of the country—even with spring a mere few weeks away. Whether your employees are required to work outside regularly or only occasionally, make sure they’re well versed in first aid for these common cold weather injuries.

Frostbite

When temperatures are below freezing, prolonged exposure of skin to the cold can result in frostbite. Couple frigid temperatures with wind and skin will freeze even faster. Fortunately, the damage is usually reversible if a worker receives prompt—and correct—treatment. Make sure your employees recognize the symptoms of frostbite (numbness, tingling, aching or pain in exposed parts of the body in conjunction with pale, waxy skin) and know how to treat it.

Basic first aid for frostbite includes:

  • Don’t apply heat (radiator, stove, fire, heating pad, hot water bottle)
  • Don’t rub the skin
  • Warm the affected limb quickly with warm (not hot) water or blankets
  • Gently exercise the warmed limb
  • Don’t walk on frostbitten feet
  • Get medical attention ASAP

Hypothermia

When a body loses heat faster than it can regenerate it, hypothermia can occur. The first symptoms generally appear when a worker’s core body temperate drops to 95°F and begin with shivering, loss of coordination and slurred speech. If not treated before the core body temperature drops to 85°F, hypothermia will become severe. A worker with hypothermia will lose consciousness when his/her core temperate reaches 78°F, and death may occur shortly after.

Basic first aid for hypothermia includes:

  • Move the worker to a warm area
  • Remove frozen or wet clothes
  • Wrap the worker in warm clothes or blankets
  • Provide a warm beverage
  • Don’t give caffeine or alcohol
  • Get medical attention ASAP

Dehydration

Dehydration is not just a summertime danger. With every breath your workers exhale in cold weather, moisture escapes their body through their lungs. A dehydrated worker is more vulnerable to other cold weather injures such as hypothermia. Symptoms include dry skin and dry mouth, but these are harder to distinguish when the temperature is low. Urine color is a better indication during this time of the year. Dark yellow or brown urine is a sign of dehydration. If not treated, symptoms can progress to extreme fatigue and confusion.

Basic first aid for dehydration includes:

  • Provide plenty of fluid such as water
  • Do not give caffeine or alcohol
  • If symptoms are severe, get medical attention ASAP

Overexertion Injuries

Overexertion injuries are common in outdoor workers during cold weather. Low temperatures require a body to work harder to replace lost heat, which puts additional strain on the heart and lungs. This, in turn, makes physical activity more difficult. Tissues become stiffer, increasing the risk of strained and sprained muscles.

Basic first aid for overexertion injuries include:

  • Rest the affected muscle or limb
  • Apply a cold pack to the sore area
  • Try a compression wrap
  • Elevate the affected limb above the heart
  • Take an over the counter pain medication
  • If injury does not improve, seek medical attention