Too Cold to Work? | VideoEvan Kruegel | 1/31/2013
This morning, Biddinger`s crew was nowhere to be seen. The western half of Williston, normally teeming with construction workers, was completely deserted. Doctors say taking the day off was probably a smart idea.
"When we have a wind-chill factor from -30 to about -50 degrees, people can get frostbite from being outside for less than 10 minutes,Ē said Dr. Shu-Ming Wang, a family practitioner at Willistonís Craven Hagan Clinic.
If the wind chill drops below negative 50, frostbite can set in in half that time. Any time it gets this cold, workers need to be especially careful.
"They need to be taking very frequent breaks. They need to be dressed very warmly, and they should cover up all their exposed surfaces."
While it may look ridiculous, Wang says anyone who plans on spending more than 10 minutes outdoors should wear a coat, gloves, hat, mask, and even goggles.
"The most common places on the body that we see frostbite are the ears, the nose, the chin, the cheeks, and those are the areas that people sometimes forget."
Wang says there is a wind-chill temperature where people simply shouldn`t venture outside at all.
"I think probably -40 to -50 degrees you really should not be outside, and thatís not just for workers, but for people with asthma, COPD, because the cold can cause bronchial spasms and can cause them to go into respiratory difficulty."
The forecast tomorrow calls for slightly warmer temperatures, but for those working outside, Wang says throw on an extra layer. You`re body will thank you later.