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Mine Type: All Mines Category:   Cold Stress
Mine Safety and Health Administration
MSHA's Occupational Illness and Injury Prevention Program
Miner's Tips


"Cold Disorders"

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Cold Stress Cold Stress


Extended exposure to water and cold temperatures can be dangerous. Harmful cold related disorders are:
  • Trench Foot
  • Frostbite
Trench Foot is caused by prolonged exposure to a wet, cold environment, or actual immersion in cold water.

The symptoms of trench foot include a tingling or itching sensation, burning, pain and swelling, and sometimes blisters.

First aid treatment for trench foot includes moving to a dry area, carefully washing and drying of the affected area, warming and a slight elevation of the feet. Seek medical help as soon as possible.

Frostbite occurs when the skin tissue actually freezes. This condition usually occurs at temperatures below 30°F (-1�C). The effects of wind chill can cause frostbite at temperatures above freezing.

Symptoms of frostbite include tingling, stinging or aching of the exposed area followed by numbness. If the frostbitten areas have not been rewarmed, they appear white and cold to the touch. The treatment for frostbite includes covering with clean, sterile cloths or bandages. Do not massage or rub snow on frostbitten tissue. This may cause greater injury.

Issued: 03/21/2003
Tag # AP2002-H018


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