Winter is well and truly upon us. It’s only December but we’ve already had storms, fallen trees, power cuts and snowfall. This turbulent weather means more wind and rain alongside plunging temperatures. For those working in these adverse conditions they will face many challenges and hazards therefore they must be dressed in the appropriate winter workwear and PPE essentials.
What Winter Workwear And PPE Do I Need?
Many things in life needs a good base and dressing yourself for winter is no exception. Base layers are ideal to wear underneath your workwear including the BRUBECK® Thermo range which is available in men’s and ladies sizes. Made from 3D technology with functional yarns to reinforce moisture management and thermal comfort during colder weather, this double layer knitwear with snug fit effectively draws moisture out and insulates your body from cold weather conditions. Variable knit structures and NILIT HEAT yarn help to keep the skin dry and warm. This combination not only prevents your body from overheating and hypothermia but is also antibacterial and nature friendly.
Ok, So What About Winter Coats And Jackets?
A good quality jacket or coat is another essential in your winter workwear range. The Working Xtreme and Visible Xtreme ranges from ELKA are a popular choice especially as they can be teamed up with matching trousers or bib and brace. The EN ISO 20471 certified Visible Xtreme series are high quality technical products that will make you highly visible with the latest European safety standards. Alongside the Working Xtreme range, both styles are crafted for professionals and with the wide garment assortment it is always possible to keep warm whilst being protected against blistering wind and persistent rain.
Hand Protection With Thermal Safety Gloves
Our hands are the first point of contact with any work task, so it’s essential to keep them protected against the cold. Reduced temperatures can greatly impact finger dexterity, which in turn not only reduces productivity but increases risk of accident.
Products such as the Icetherm Cold Weather Glove is specially designed to perform in extremely cold conditions. This premium thermal safety glove is constructed with a tough, tear resistant nylon outer and coated in a flexible patented HPT® coating for exceptional grip in most conditions and designed to stay flexible at extremely low temperatures. Meanwhile the Icetherm Xtreme Fully Coated Cut Level F Thermal Glove is perfect for extreme environments and offers complete protection from all the elements and many workplace hazards. The Nitradry coating offers excellent water resistance while the thermal lining keeps your hands warm, even during the coldest winter days.
Head Protection In Winter
When working continually within a cold environment it is vital to retain as much body heat as possible especially as most people lose 7-10% of their body head through their head. Most workwear jackets sold by Clad Safety feature built-in hoods which fasten to maintain a secure fit in extreme conditions. Alongside this there are other products available to provide warmth to a wearer’s head. Winter hats must never be worn instead of a helmet regardless of how cold it is. Helmets are a vital addition to your PPE range and they can be safely adapted in hot and cold weather. This waterproof thermal helmet liner with fleece lining is an ideal winter accessory and it is also compatible with helmet-mounted ear defenders. Meanwhile, this flame resistant balaclava provides warmth and whilst conforming to EN ISO 11612:2015.
Beanie hats and thermal balaclavas are also a popular choice when a helmet is not required. The Pulsar Ultratherm Mesh Ear Balaclava is certified down to -15° and the mesh ear design is in accordance with Network Rail requirements. Products such as the ones mentioned above allow you to stay warm, safe and compliant while at work.
Face Coverings Aren’t Just For Covid
Over the past two years face masks have become a common feature across the globe as we battle through the COVID-19 pandemic, but did you know they can serve a dual purpose in winter? Cotton face masks and snoods can be worn to not only keep you and your colleagues safe, but they also provide warmth to the wearer at the same time. The Combesgate EcoViz® High Visibility Snood Sweatshirt is the perfect addition to your winter workwear wardrobe. This versatile sweatshirt is made from Repreve® Recycled Polyester and the built-in snood provides warmth and protection from the cold whilst also serving as a face covering too.
Don’t Forget Your Feet!
So, we have covered jackets, trousers, head protection, thermal safety gloves and face coverings but lastly, and most importantly, we need to talk about thermal safety boots.
Thermal safety boots are designed to keep your feet warm even in the coldest of temperatures. They have a thicker lining such as fleece or thinsulate fabric and have been tested for cold insulation.
Not only do thermal safety boots protect your feet from the cold, but they also have waterproof properties too. If your feet get wet then they will be cold too therefore thermal and waterproof protection are essential features of safety footwear in the winter months
Our feet play a major role in regulation our body temperature and are more sensitive to temperature variations. In cold conditions the temperature of our feet can drop to 28°C, which is significantly lower than the body’s core temperature of 37°C core temperature. The cold feeling in our feet then spreads throughout the body and will have a negatively impact on productivity in the workplace.
Clad Safety stock a wide range of thermal safety boots from the leading brands including Amblers, Cofra and Rock Fall.
Remember, when you and your team are working in extreme conditions or experience prolonged exposure to the cold, it’s important to choose clothing specially designed for their thermal capabilities, along with any other protection that your hazards require. Along with reducing productivity, too much exposure to low temperatures can result in hypothermia, frostbite and increased accidents due to impaired physical and/or mental function.
These products are integral to the comfort, safety and well-being of your workforce, and allow them to continue in their tasks, despite the temperature. As with all PPE, thermal protection is intended to be used as a last line of defence against accident and injury from hazard, and it’s an employers’ obligation to firstly ensure that risk is reduced where possible. If it gets too cold to work safely, consider implementing changes to work schedule and regular breaks within a warm environment, to reduce the impact of the cold on your employees.
Clad Safety has been operating for over 30 years and takes pride in the excellent service that we offer to our customers. Our product range, combined with expert technical knowledge allows us to offer valuable workwear and PPE solutions to a wide range of business.