Hypothermia Prevention / Cold Weather 101

Avoid Hypothermia At Your Mine Site

By:  The Mine Safety Institute, Part 46 New Miner Training

Cold Weather Safety Video Sample

Cold Weather 101 For Surface Miners

Hypothermia, as well as frost bite, are potential health risks of mining in cold environments due to prolonged exposure to cold conditions. Hypothermia is a condition where one’s overall body temperature, one’s ability to produce heat versus retain it, drops too low.What causes someone to become hypothermic varies based on age, body mass, fat percentage, overall health and duration of exposure

Prevention Strategies


  • Wear multiple light layers to create adjustable warmth that doesn’t inhibit motion.
  • Wear a cap with ear coverage.
  • Wear warm gloves that don’t get in the way of doing your job.
  • Wear warm socks rated for the temperatures you work in.
  • Body movement generates heat, so be sure to move around!


  • Wear an outer layer that is moisture wicking to prevent water entry to lower layers.
  • Wear socks and underwear that are moisture wicking in order to dry sweat and keep skin dry.
  • Dryness helps with heat retention and temperature regulation.


  • Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Eat carbs. Carbs convert more readily to heat.
  • Drink fluids. Your body uses up water trying to stay warm.
  • Alternate regular drinking water with warm fluids like tea to keep up your body temperature while hydrating.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages.



Teeth Chattering

Numbing of Fingers/Toes

Confusion, Mumbling & Memory Loss


Low Energy

Body Temperature of 95 – 87 Degrees

Ceasing to Shiver

Slow, Shallow Breathing

Burning Sensation in Fingers/Toes

Confusion, Mumbling & Memory Loss


Losing Consciousness

Below 87 Degrees


Get to a warm dry place with protection from wind

Remove any wet clothing and replace with dry layers

Drink warm, non-caffeinated, liquids

If possible, keep moving / creating friction to generate heat

CALL 9-1-1

Take immediate action to warm the person until help arrives