Low-temperature and cold-water operation

chinacdc.cn | Updated: 2022-03-18
What is low-temperature operation?
Low-temperature operation involves work where the average temperature of the working environment is equal to or less than 5℃.
Low-temperature operation is more common in cold seasons and for outdoor work. Operations in a low-temperature environment include food and medicine production, working indoors without heating in winter, and working in cold storage.
What is cold-water operation?
Cold-water operation involves work where the average temperature of the water is equal to or less than 12℃.
Operation in cold water includes fishery work, salvage, aquaculture, processing of aquatic products or seafood, processing of agricultural products, the catering industry and refrigeration.
What effect does low temperature and cold water have on human health?
Cold injury: Cold makes people uncomfortable, and may cause injuries in parts of the human body, such as the face, ears, hands and feet, as a result of exposure over a long period of time.
Chilblain: Chilblain begins with skin erythema, swelling, a burning feeling, and itching. Severe symptoms include blisters, erosion of superficial skin tissue, and pain. Chilblain often occurs in areas with low temperature and high humidity that are not too cold, such as coastal areas, and is most common in winter.
Who is not suitable for low-temperature and cold-water operation?
Workers suffering from the following diseases or symptoms are not suitable for low-temperature and cold-water operation: cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (hypertension, coronary heart disease), chronic upper respiratory diseases (chronic bronchitis, chronic paranasal sinusitis), asthma; gastrointestinal diseases; liver and kidney diseases; arthritis; cold allergy; distal extremities (fingers, toes); blood circulation dysfunction of face (nose tip, cheek, auricle); peripheral neuritis; low immune function; diabetes; hypothyroidism; adrenal hypofunction; and people with frostbite experience. Workers over 50 years old should avoid low-temperature and cold-water tasks.
Protection measures
For workers engaged in cold-water operation, the most important thing is to preserve warmth when possible. 
In a cold working environment, the parts prone to cold are mainly exposed parts of the skin, such as the face and hands. The parts of the human trunk prone to cold are the shoulder joints, knee joints, waist, back and abdomen. Therefore, in a cold working environment, it is advised to strengthen thermal insulation of these parts.
1.Focus on measures that preserve warmth in the hands, feet, knee joints, waist and abdomen. Gloves, knee protection, waist protection, abdomen protection and other protective equipment can be used to prevent cold.
2.The body should be fully dressed. It should be ensured that the average skin temperature of the part covered by the clothing (trunk part) is not lower than 33 ℃, at which the human body will not feel cold.
3.The clothing and warm protective equipment should be waterproof and moisture-proof.
4.Female workers should not engage in cold work when having their period.
5.Get more vitamins A, B2 and C, which can help prevent cold.
6.Increase the supply of hot drinks during work.
7.Increase the number of breaks during work and prolong the rest time.