Working outside when temperatures drop and during adverse weather conditions requires more than just a coat and scarf. Winter workwear is vital for workers who spend time outdoors during the colder months of the year. Freezing temperatures are a safety hazard and can lead to hypothermia and cold stress when workers don’t have enough insulation to stay warm on the job.
High visibility (or hi vis) clothing should also be considered for certain jobs like conducting traffic or construction where winter weather can make it more difficult for workers to be seen. The hours of sunlight are shorter, and inclement weather usually means heavy cloud cover during those times. Being visible no matter the worksite situation is an important first step.
Safety gear designed for winter weather means safer, more comfortable workers.
How to Stay Warm at Work
Cold weather protection starts with taking stock of the hazards in your work environment. Watch out for snow, ice, and excess moisture that can increase the risk of slips and falls. Monitor the temperature closely throughout your shift to see how many layers you’ll need to keep warm. Don’t forget to factor in the wind chill as well.
It’s often best to build up a series of layers when dressing for cold weather. The outermost layer should be completely waterproof and leave enough space for additional layers. Use an insulated winter jacket and work pants to keep the innermost layers dry during your shift. The sleeves of your jacket should extend over your gloves to prevent moisture from slipping in. Wear moisture-wicking thermal layers to help with perspiration. Each layer should fit properly and comfortably without cutting off circulation.
If you’ll be in cold weather environments but need protection from fire-related job site hazards, flame-resistant liners are an ideal addition to your PPE. FR liners not only add a layer of warmth in cold weather environments but they’re designed for protection from flash fire hazards, giving you protection from the hazards of two temperature extremes. If you need more warm protection from fire hazards, FR jackets in various styles, brands, and colors are also available at PK Safety.
How Do I Keep My Hands Warm at Work?
Cold weather work gloves are crucial for anyone working with their hands. Waterproof, insulated gloves provide thermal protection, grip, dexterity, comfort, durability, and breathability. Work gloves can provide protection not just from the cold but also from various on-site hazards like impact injuries and chemical exposure. Hand warmers and heat packs are also a good option to provide instantaneous and continuous warmth to one’s hands. They can easily be slipped into a worker’s gloves, pockets, or other winter gear.
Which Gloves Are Best for Winter?
Use high-visibility work gloves to keep your eye on the task at hand. Your winter work gloves should keep your hands warm and dry while providing a firm grip in wet conditions. They should be seamless and made with a thick, durable material that won’t rip or split apart — even when working with sharp objects.
No matter the temperature, you need winter workwear you can trust. From hard hats to welding helmets and FR clothes to hazmat suits, we carry functional and comfortable gear in all conditions from trusted brands. PK Safety can answer your worksite, equipment, and other safety questions. Contact our safety experts for more information on cold weather safety hazards, winter workwear, or anything else we offer.