Clemson Agricultural Safety

Cold Weather Safety – December 2022

Cold Weather Safety

Extremely cold air affects most of the United States and comes every year. During the winter, precautions should be taken when working in cold weather.

People working in the cold are exposed to the risk of frostbite. Frostbite can occur within a matter of minutes, depending on the temperature. Areas of skin that are most prone to frostbite are exposed skin, hands, fingers, and toes.

Another concern for working in the cold is hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat. Often this happens when the body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Common symptoms of hypothermia are shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness.

Cold Weather and Plants
Frost and cold weather can be harmful to crops and plants. In the late fall and early spring, temperatures can dip below freezing when crops are in the ground. This can cause plants and crops to be hurt or killed. Frost typically happens on clear, calm nights when temperatures are in the mid-30s.

Safety Measures

  • Only go in the cold when necessary. If you are in the cold for extended periods, make sure you wear the appropriate clothing with lots of layers.
  • If you must travel in winter weather, check the conditions before traveling. Ensure that the roads of clear of any ice or snow.
  • If you lose power, make sure you have prepared an emergency response kit. This kit should include flashlights, candles, a battery-powered radio, water, and non-perishable food items. If you must charge your phone in your car, be cautious of Carbon Monoxide poisoning while staying in your car for long periods.
  • If you have a space heater in your house, it should be at least three feet from any persons or objects. Before leaving a room for an extended period, ensure the space heater is turned off or unplugged.
  • Pipes may freeze in cold temperatures. It might be beneficial to keep water running on extremely cold nights to prevent your pipes from freezing.

Information from National Weather Service

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