Specific conditions in cold-weather climates can increase the risk of cold-temp related injuries, including hypothermia, which can affect a person even when land temperatures are above freezing or water temperatures are below 98.6°F/37°C.
While the ANSI Z358.1 Standard outlines suitable water temperatures as tepid – with a defined range of 60 to 100°F/15.5 to 37.77°C – and requires a full 15-minute drench period, the low end of this accepted temperature range can exacerbate the effects of hypothermia, particularly when exposure lasts the entire drench period. In addition, ANSI Z358.1 Appendix B6 states: Colder ambient temperatures might require an enclosure for added protection – even with water supplied in the ANSI Z358.1 specified temperature range, there is a high risk of hypothermia for wet victims exposed to frigid ambient temperatures where loss of body heat is intensified by the effects of evaporative cooling and wind chill. It is crucial that the proper safety shower system is provided to prevent an incident where hypothermia could intensify an injury to a victim already in a hazardous situation.
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