Layer up

Buffalo, NY, Letter Carrier Shane Pierren dons protective winter gear

The Postal Service is reminding employees to take precautions to avoid frostbite, hypothermia and other winter hazards.

Here’s what you should know:

• Frostbite is dangerous. Frostbite, damage to body tissue, creates a loss of feeling or pale appearance in the extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes and the tip of the nose. Symptoms can include aching, throbbing and even blisters. 

• Hypothermia is dangerous, too. Hypothermia, which occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can be produced, can be deadly if you don’t catch it in time. Signs include memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.

• Get help if needed. If you experience symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia, call 911 immediately and notify your supervisor. 

• Layer up. The best way to dress for winter is in layers, which provide insulation and help retain body heat. Avoid pure cotton, linen or similar materials because they retain moisture and can cause you to become colder.

The Safety Blue page has additional on-the-job tips, including a Safety Depends on Me video on avoiding frostbite.