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Cold Weather Health and Safety

Jill Webster Ph.D., Utah State University


Farm and ranch work in cold weather can be life threatening. Cold related illnesses and injuries, such as hypothermia and frostbite, are serious on their own, but they can also increase the risk of other types of accidents. Even mild hypothermia (low body temperature) causes loss of coordination, and impairs the victim’s judgment. Frostbite causes a loss in dexterity in the hands and feet, as well as serious discomfort. Both can affect the victim’s ability to work safely. It is important to remember that hypothermia can occur in mild as well as severe weather.