Frigid temps challenge workers outside in Clark County

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Kristen Kinder of the Goo-Goo Car Wash says the frigid temperatures doesn't slow down business.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

As the polar vortex pushes temperatures down, people who work outside have to be prepared to deal with the frigid weather.

Mail carriers, firefighters, police officers, farmers, utility and construction workers are just a few of the people who typically work outside year-round, regardless of the conditions.

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Prolonged exposure to freezing or cold temperatures may cause serious health problems such as trench foot, frostbite and hypothermia, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

In extreme cases, including cold water immersion, exposure can lead to death, the federal safety agency said. Danger signs include uncontrolled shivering, slurred speech, clumsy movements, fatigue and confused behavior.

Temperatures on Tuesday will likely start cold and then climb into the lower to middle 30s, WHIO Stormcenter 7 Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said. A light breeze may bring wind chills back into the upper 20s.

U.S. Department of Labor recommends wearing as many layers of clothing as possible that still allows for comfortable movement. That’s because one thick layer of clothing isn’t as effective as insulation as several layers.

Kristen Kinder of the Goo-Goo Express Car Wash said the frigid temperatures haven’t slowed down business as the cold snap hit first Springfield last week.

“We try to stay open and stay out here, we keep the wash open,” Kinder said. “Sometimes we do get a little frozen. We do our best to work with the cold weather and keep things going.”

Car wash customer service attendants Gage Fugate and Ian James were layered up working the lot helping to dry cars and deal with customers needing any help with their vehicles.

“It’s pretty cold out here but we just keep working through it,” Fugate said.

Workers at the Goo-Goo Express Car Wash brave single digit temperatures to get cars clean. Wayne Baker/Staff
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Workers at the Goo-Goo Express Car Wash brave single digit temperatures to get cars clean. Wayne Baker/Staff

James said the key to staying warm is to keep moving.

Mail carriers and window washers say preparation is key. They rely on hand warmers, gloves, boots and lots of layers. But their product might need some tweaking, said Matt Perry, owner of Perry Window Cleaning.

“We are still out their doing storefront windows even when it gets below freezing,” he said. “Usually when it gets to 25 degrees or below, we add some methanol to the water and it gets the job done as long as the other side of the glass is warm or heated. It sort of works like windshield fluid in your car.”