How To Use Construction Propane Heaters To Save Employees From Frostbite Or Hypothermia

Construction & Contractors Blog

Working construction in cold weather is rough work. You need to feel where pipes, wood and fasteners meet, but you cannot take your gloves off for very long to accomplish the task. In addition to these dangers, building boathouses and docks on the edges of and in frigid waters is a recipe for frostbite and/or hypothermia. If you have propane heaters (the kind you use for keeping concrete warm) on your job site, you may have exactly what you need to save someone's life or livelihood in the event of frostbite and hypothermia. Here is how that works.

For Frostbite

The warning signs for frostbite hurt enough to force someone to look for shelter from the cold. However, if your current job site is lacking in shelter from the cold, the work truck (or trucks) does not have heat or a special physical ailment (like Reynaud's Phenomenon) prevents an employee from recognizing the signs of frostbite, you will have to do something fast to rescue his or her hands, feet, toes, etc. Because you want to re-warm frostbitten body parts slowly, make sure the affected parts are inside gloves, socks, or other cloth-like material.

Then have the employee place his or her frostbitten parts either up underneath the barrel heater as it is wrapped around the barrel, or better yet, unhook the heater from the barrel and have him/her place the affected parts directly on the warm surface of the heater. Adjust the temperature settings for the lowest setting so that it is not too hot. Then call for an emergency vehicle to get your employee to the hospital to treat the frostbite properly.

For Hypothermia

In the event that someone on the construction crew falls into a body of water and begins to freeze before being fished out, he or she will need warmth right away. (This is where your propane heaters really come in handy for saving someone's life.)

  1. Unhook at least three propane heaters and lay them flat on the ground, stacked top to bottom to create a sort of tri-paneled heating blanket.
  2. Now put your wet, frozen worker in the middle. Cross his or her hands over his/her chest.
  3. Wrap the ends of the propane barrel heaters around the person's body and try to secure them in place. This person may now look like a human burrito, but will be able to get plenty of life-saving warmth from the heaters.
  4. As he or she begins to warm up, start turning the heaters down so that the worker does not get scalded by the heaters.

Hopefully, an ambulance can get to you within a short time and your worker will be taken care of by the heaters until the ambulance arrives. Click here for info about propane heaters.


13 March 2016

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