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Winter Weather Safety

Winter is here and despite the colder weather, the work must be done. Here are some tips to remember when you are working in the cold and to help keep you safe:

Layer Up. No matter where you live in the country, the weather can fluctuate during the day and you will want to make sure you are dressed properly. Layers allow you to add or remove clothing items as needed. Add in waterproof layers as well as insulation to keep you dry and warm.

Start Early, Pace Yourself. Be realistic about the duration and difficulty of a task. Keep in mind that the sun is setting earlier, so try to do as much as possible before it gets dark. Avoid having accidents by being aware of ice, snow, and rain. Don’t overwork yourself and know your own limits.

Know When To Hold Off. Monitor the weather and hold off on outside jobs if needed. Try making a list of indoor jobs you could do when the weather is extreme. When it comes to outside jobs, be prepared to stop at any point should the weather become extreme.

Carry Safety Gear. Aside from your basic work gear and your personal protective equipment, you should carry the following items to help you stay safe.
  • First aid kit
  • Pocket knife or multitool
  • Headlamp
  • Radio or cell phone

Buddy System. When possible, perform tasks in pairs. If you are outside and get stuck or have an accident, the weather conditions can make a bad situation worse. If you are with a partner, chances are that they will be able to help or find help quickly.

Tell Someone. Always make sure someone knows where you will be working, what you are doing, and when you anticipate being done. This way, if an accident occurs and you are unable to call for help, someone will know how and where to find you.

Watch Your Step. Keep an eye out for ice and use salt or sand in your work areas. Try using shoes that would give you some extra traction such as cleats or ice crunchers. If you find yourself in a slippery situation, slow and steady will help keep you safe.

Take Frequent Breaks. It can be easy to want to finish tasks quickly and skip breaks when the weather is colder. It is important that you make sure to take plenty of break in a warm space such as a warehouse, barn, or truck. Give yourself a few minutes to warm up, get a drink, and breath before heading back out into the cold to finish your task.

Fuel Yourself. Eat plenty of healthy protein packed meals when working outside to make sure you stay full and running the best you can. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water so that you avoid dehydration. Have a hot beverage on hand such as coffee , tea, or hot cocoa to help you warm up during breaks.

The winter months pose plenty of additional risks and while your crops may be taking a break, your job does not. Make sure to take care of yourself allows others you work with to take care of themselves and keep the farm running smoothly. For more winter weather tips click here.