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Monday, Sep 01, 2014

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Know the facts about wind chill


As winter weather continues across Southeast Ohio, here is some important information to know about wind chill, how it can affect you and what you should do to stay safe in frigid temperatures.

Wind Chill is a formulated measurement of the effects that a combination of wind and ambient temperature have on the human body. The primary hazard involved with wind chill is the potential to freeze skin resulting in frost nip or frost bite and permanent damage. Wind Chill can be classified into four Danger Levels.

Danger Levels

  • Danger Level 1
    • A wind-chill down to -20 will feel cold and may be uncomfortable but it presents little danger to a person with proper winter clothing. Limit exposure to 30 minutes or less.
  • Danger Level 2
    • A wind-chill from -20 to -40 become very cold and uncomfortable, and presents an increased danger where exposed skin may freeze in less than 15 minutes.
  • Danger Level 3
    • A wind-chill from -40 to -60 becomes very dangerous and difficult to tolerate with an increased danger where exposed skin may freeze in as little as 5 minutes.
  • Danger Level 4
    • A wind-chill below -60 presents great danger and should be avoided. Exposed skin may freeze within as little as 1 minute.

Protective Measures

  • Danger Level  1
    • Wear normal winter clothes. Cover as much exposed skin as possible and limit exposure time.
  • Danger Level 2
    • Dress in at least 2 layers of clothes the under layer should be thin with the outer layer being somewhat loose fitting. Wear gloves, two layers if possible. Wear a ski mask or cover your nose and mouth with a scarf. Cover your head with a stocking cap or a hoodie or both. Cover all exposed skin except the eyes. Limit exposure time.
  • Danger Level 3
    •  Dress in thin layers at least 2 three is better, outer layer should be loose fitting. Cover all skin and head with at least two layers. Protect breathing area with a scarf or mask. Avoid exposure and limit outside time or work as much as possible.
  • Danger Level 4
    • Dress only in clothes designed from extreme cold weather (Expedition grade).  Cover all potentially exposed skin. Avoid any exposure, have warming facilities nearby. Curtail all except emergency outside time or work.

This information was provided by the Office of Risk Management and Safety.