Periods of intense or extended cold weather, accompanied by temperatures well below 0°C or varying abruptly with corresponding freezing and thawing phases, are prone to incidents and accidents.
Ice pressure can, above all, cause cracking or even a complete break in pipelines and damage the process related devices carrying or containing hazardous substances. Yet «ancillary» equipment is also vulnerable and requires vigilant monitoring (sensors, fire extinction networks, etc.).
The electrical network, which is heavily loaded and perhaps overloaded during peak consumption hours, may be subject to voltage variations that weaken the electronic system (including safety functions). Network collapse is another possible and dreaded outcome. Auxiliary means of heating (torch blowpipes, space heaters, etc.) for thawing or warming equipment create myriad opportunities for «atypical» dangerous hotspots. Lastly, snow and ice can give rise to physical hazards by overloading building roofs, limiting accessibility to industrial installations, etc.