What is a cold injury?
Cold injuries are often suffered by those who are working in freezing and wet conditions for prolonged periods of time.
Personnel diagnosed with cold injuries often suffer life-changing consequences and permanent disability. Cold injuries can cause numbness, tissue damage, loss of digits, and long-term pain and permanent intolerance to cold conditions.
There are different types of cold injury. The most common is non-freezing cold injury (formerly known as trench foot). Other types of cold injury include hypothermia and freezing cold injury injury (also known as frostnip and frostbite).
Diagnosis and treatment of cold injuries are often difficult. In worst cases, it can lead to the affected persons losing their job or being discharged from military service. This can result in significant financial loss being incurred.
It is the responsibility of the employer (or in cases of military personnel, the Ministry of Defence) to assess the working conditions you are expected to work in and to provide suitable protective equipment including boots, socks and gloves. If you are exposed to extreme cold, your employers (or again in cases of military personnel, the Ministry of Defence) should be carrying out regular foot inspections for signs of an injury developing.
If you have suffered an injury, you could be entitled to non-freezing cold injury compensation and cold injury compensation.