Working Outdoors in the Frigid Temps - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Working Outdoors in the Frigid Temps


AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -- The cold temperatures have many people staying indoors as much as possible, but what if that's not an option.

Within minutes the cold  seems to chill you to the bone. It makes the jobs of construction workers, utility workers, mail carriers and the like all the more difficult.

"I fantasize about summer all winter long while I'm walking around," said Austin Mail Carrier, Bob Rosel.

 When delivering mail this time of the year, it's best to take it one step at a time.

"Walking conditions become one of the biggest issues, with ice and snow," said Rosel.

Like it or not, Old Man Winter is here to stay for the next few months and he has ensured ensuring that some jobs will become more challenging.

"The winter is kind of a struggle. It's a physical and mental struggle, because you've got to get yourself in a mind set to work outside for hours," explained Rosel.

For some Austin Utilities workers, that can mean 3-4 hours at a time.

"When the ground starts freezing it starts moving the ground around and pipes break, causing a main to break, and we have to come and fix them right away,"said Jason Cummings, with Austin Utilities.

The second water main to crack this winter, did so on Tuesday. On average, 30 mains will break per winter.

So if your job has literally left you "out in the cold" what can you do to stay warm?

"You have to dress in layers. You do all the right things that everyone talks about doing in cold weather to protect yourself. Be sure to stay hydrated. I think people forget that sometimes you need water as much in winter as you do in the summer. Sometimes you just have to sit in the vehicle and warm up," said Rosel.

If you do have to go outside, be sure to bundle up. Frostbite and frost nip can occur whenever temperatures dip below zero.

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