and civilians can keep themselves safe during the upcoming
cold-weather/winter season by understanding cold-weather injuries and
how to prevent and treat them.
past 10 years, Soldiers have experienced an average of 361 cold-weather
injuries a year, according to statistics from the U.S. Army Combat
Readiness/Safety Training Center. Cold-weather injury prevention is a
command and leadership, as well as a personal, responsibility. The
successful management of cold depends on having the proper knowledge and
understanding of problems associated with cold weather.
McCoy’s winter climate makes it important to know the proper steps to
take to prevent and combat cold-weather injuries, said Deb Heise-Clark,
Installation Safety Office (ISO) safety specialist.
the injuries that we have had at Fort McCoy already this winter season
involve the extremities (toes and fingers),” Heise-Clark said.
“(Everyone) should place an emphasis on keeping themselves and their
clothing becomes wet, people should ensure their skin is dry and then
put on dry clothing, such as socks, gloves, boots, etc. Heise-Clark said
this is important during both work and at home, especially during
be discussing this topic at our next quarterly Safety and Occupational
Health Advisory Council meeting,” which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday,
Jan. 12, Heise-Clark said.
important safety topics for people in the Fort McCoy community include
monitoring for carbon monoxide (CO) and the proper use of snow blowers.
CO is an
odorless, colorless gas that is produced by the incomplete combustion of
fuels and interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the
rest of the body.
sources of CO are incomplete burning of carbon-containing fuels, such as
coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas and fuel oil. Possible sources include
the gas being emitted by combustion sources, such as unvented kerosene
and gas space heaters, furnaces, woodstoves, gas stoves, fireplaces and
water heaters, and automobile exhaust from garages attached to houses.
prevent CO poisoning by ensuring appliances are properly adjusted and
working to the manufacturers’ instructions or local building codes. This
includes ensuring heating sources are properly vented, have an adequate
intake of outside air and are not used in an enclosed space if not
properly vented. CO detectors can be used as a backup, but shouldn’t be
used as a replacement for proper use and maintenance of fuel-burning
using a snow blower must read the owner’s manual to become familiar with
its specific operation. Heise-Clark said installation organizations
using snow blowers must document the orientation process.
gas containers must be used for snow blowers, and the containers and
snow blowers cannot be stored in mechanical rooms or where flames are
present. Heise-Clark said people using snow blowers should check the
areas they will be clearing and pick up anything that could cause an
safety procedures should be followed when running the equipment, adding
gas or clearing items from a machine. Machines should be turned off when
also should wear appropriate clothing and footwear to prevent frostbite
and improve footing on slippery surfaces,” Heise-Clark said.
in-depth information about cold-weather-related injuries and their
prevention, visit the Army’s Center for Health Promotion and
Preventative Medicine site at
which includes guidance and publications, presentations and training
information about the Army’s fall/winter safety campaign can be found at
by clicking on the fall/winter icon at the bottom right corner of
the home page.
information in the Fort McCoy community, visit the Safety Section of the
Fort McCoy Extranet, which is available through the public Web site at
or through the Fort
McCoy Corporate Network. Information also is available by calling the
ISO at 608-388-3403.
(Compiled from information from the U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety
Center, the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventative medicine
and the Fort McCoy Installation Safety Office).