Maristela Rovai, assistant professor & South Dakota State University Extension dairy specialist has some steps farmers can take to help their employees get through this storm safely.
- Encourage employees to wear appropriate clothing. This includes layering up and ensuring as little skin is exposed to the elements as possible. This tip sheet by South Dakota State extension explains appropriate winter clothing in English and Spanish.
- Offer frequent breaks to help employees warm up. While your barn staff will spend most of the day inside, employees that work on the outside crew will need frequent short breaks to come inside and let their body temperatures warm up, according to www.allonehealth.com.
- Consider offering warm beverages and snacks. Hot drinks like coffee and tea can go a long way in keeping employees warm while they work outside. Also, just like a calf, the human body burns more calories trying to stay warm than it does during mild weather. Offer employees calorie rich snacks.
- Implement a buddy system for outside work. Employers should consider asking employees to work outside in pairs, so they can keep an eye out for symptoms of hypothermia and frost bite.