Temperatures in Ottawa are similar to those in Russia’s capital. For the month of January, Ottawa’s average high is -6.3°C and the average low is -15.5°C while Moscow’s average high is -7°C and average low is -13°C. Average temperatures for July are also close for the two cities.
WORKING IN EXTREME COLD
Working in cold environments is hazardous to your health and also life threatening. It is crucial that the body is able to preserve core body temperature steady at +37 degrees C (+98.6 degrees F). This thermal balance must be maintained to preserve normal body functions as well as provide energy for work activity. While working in cold environments, the body's mechanisms for generating heat meets three major challenges ... low temperature, wind and wetness.
OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH EXTREME COLD
Hypothermia results when the body temperature falls below 35°C. Symptoms include drowsiness, impaired coordination and weakness. It can also be fatal.
Frostbite is the result of skin freezing. It causes swelling, redness, tingling and burning. Skin turns white and waxy as the frostbite progresses. Infection and loss of extremities can be the result. Frostnip is a condition where ice crystals from under the skin.
JOBS WHICH COLD MAY BE AN OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD
Workers at risk of suffering due to the cold include:
Outdoor workers - Road Crews, builders, constructions workers, hydro and telecommunications, police officers, fire fighters, emergency response workers, military personnel, transport workers, bus and truck drivers.
Workers in refrigerated warehouses
Meat packaging and storage workers
Outdoor recreation workers
HOW DOES COLD AFFECT WORK PERFORMANCE
Uncomfortably cold working conditions can lead to lower work efficiency and higher accident rates. Cold impairs the performance of complex mental tasks. Manual tasks are also impaired because the sensitivity and dexterity of fingers are reduced in the cold. At even lower temperatures, the cold affects the deeper muscles resulting in reduced muscular strength and stiffened joints. Mental alertness is also reduced due to cold-related discomfort.