If you work outside, rainwear may be an essential part of your attire. Any clothing that keeps you warm, dry, and visible even when it’s pouring outside is rainwear, although individual requirements for your job can vary.
Stay dry and safe working in wet weather by wearing waterproof, lightweight, and durable rainwear from safety workwear brands like MCR Safety, NSA, and PIP. Also included are high visibility clothing and reflective rainwear that are important components of your safety equipment plan and make you hard to miss in even the heaviest downpours.
Information about individual items can be found by following the links to their pages. For questions about rainwear, other PPE, or general worksite safety questions, contact a PK Safety expert online or by phone.
What is rainwear?
Rainwear is a broad term for any clothing item worn in the rain due to its waterproof or water-resistant qualities. While branding can vary (we personally like PIP, MCR Safety, NSA, and Pyramex for our rainwear), rainwear technology for workers is designed to make working outside in cold and wet conditions possible in a few ways:
- Keeping rainwater outside of the garment and away from the skin
- Wicking sweat away from your skin
- Protecting you from the cold and wind chill
How do you stay dry while working in the rain?
Staying dry while working in the rain consists of two parts. The first is to keep the rain away from your skin. Rainwear is waterproof or water-resistant for this reason. Technologies may vary, but these garments are coated or repel water, which prevents it from soaking through to your skin.
The second way is from your own body moisture. Even when it’s cold and wet outside, if you’re working hard, you will sweat and generate a great deal of body heat and humidity, all of which can get uncomfortable. Well-designed rainwear allows sweat to evaporate through the material and away from your skin.
When should I use hi-vis rainwear?
All rainwear should be hi-vis because conditions are typically darker when it’s raining, and rain reduces visibility. Any amount of added visibility on a dangerous worksite is worth it. Remember, when choosing hi-vis rainwear, garments should be comfortable and appropriate for the tasks at hand. Performing a risk assessment and looking into different types and classes of hi-vis rainwear (or other safety workwear) can help you make purchasing decisions. You can ask for help from a PK Safety expert.
- Type O garments for off-road workers who aren’t near roadway traffic. They’re commonly Class 1 HVSA, which means they require the least amount of background and reflective materials in their construction.
- Type R garments for workers near or exposed to roadway traffic. They can be Class 2 or Class 3 HVSA, which require more background and reflective materials.
- Type P garments for first responders and emergency personnel. They can also be Class 2 or 3 HVSA.