While it may not get too cold too often in South Carolina that does not mean there are no risks for hypothermia in outdoor work environments. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypothermia occurs when your body cannot keep itself warm enough because it is losing heat too fast. Generally, you are hypothermic if you have a temperature of 95 degrees or less.
Usually, this condition happens after exposure to conditions that lower your body temperature, such as cold weather or icy water. To treat it, you have to get your body temperature back up to normal and maintain that temperature.
To protect itself, your body focuses on heating your core area. This means your fingers and toes may get very cold. They may tingle or you could lose feeling in them. You may also feel tired or confused. Your breathing and heart rate get slower as well. Your body kicks into survival mode, but this puts you at risk for serious injuries. You could even slip into a coma.
Hypothermia is a gradual condition. It usually does not happen all at once but rather over time. Unless you fall into an icy body of water, you may not even notice it is happening to you. Pay attention to your body and your surroundings. Wind can cool your body quickly. You also should dress for the conditions. Cover exposed skin and avoid direct contact with wetness that will cool your body more quickly. This information is for education and is not legal advice.