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The UK is expected to experience the coldest winter in a decade according to scientists from the University of London. The Beast from the East is likely to strike again, and there’s only a 20% chance that temperatures will rise above 5 degrees Celsius during the first two months of 2020. This would make this winter one of the coldest since official records began in 1953. If you work outdoors or in a manual job, it’s essential that you’re dressed appropriately to deal with the elements.
Failure to wear the necessary clothing when working in the cold could expose workers to joint conditions such as arthritis, as well as frostbite, windburn, hypothermia or even heart attacks in extreme cases. Along with these severe risks, cold weather can negatively impact the productivity of a workforce, so as an employer it’s vital that you take measures to invest in thermal workwear and ensure that your staff commits to wearing it. Check out our £59 value pack here.
As survivalists will know, the key to staying warm in cold weather is to wear layers. It’s not enough to wear a thick coat on top of your regular clothing. Instead, you’ll need to work from the skin outwards, ensuring that you invest in a quality thermal base layer top. The layer next to your skin should be made from material that is moisture wicking, which will keep you dry whilst drawing sweat away from your body.
On top of your base layer, you should wear a second layer of breathable material such as a zip neck fleece which is designed with insulation in mind to lock in the warmth. The right combination of layers will help to retain heat, whilst preventing heat loss, but they should always provide the right level of flexibility to allow your employees to perform their tasks effectively.
Your top and outermost layer is the one that will face the elements, so it’s important that you wear a fully waterproof jacket or raincoat. But of course, if you work in an industry where safety is paramount and you need to be highly visible, then you can combine health and safety regulations with weather considerations by wearing a hi-vis rain jacket. Some of the jackets are insulated, whilst others offer multiple levels of protection from wet and cold weather, as well as being flame resistant. Our jackets can be customised with your brand name and/or logo design to promote your company when your workers wear them.
Protecting The Hands
Gloves are a must when working in cold weather, as hands are the body part which tends to be used the most in manual labour jobs such as construction. You should invest in thermal work gloves that are waterproof and fleece-insulated for added warmth. A quality pair of PPE gloves will also be lined on the palm for cut protection. You may find that your workers are tempted to take off their gloves during work, particularly if they need to operate equipment. As an employer, you should emphasise the importance of them wearing the gloves to protect their hands, but offer warm rest areas or even pocket handwarmers for workers who prefer to go without.
Looking After Your Feet
Your workforce simply won’t be able to perform their job properly if their feet become damaged by the cold, wet weather conditions. Blisters and even frostbite are real risks to employees who try to trudge on when working with wet feet. A pair of waterproof work boots is one of the most important investments you can make for your staff. They should be insulated but also breathable, allowing moisture to escape. Waterproof safety boots should be worn in combination with thermal socks for best results.
Covering Your Neck and Head
The head accounts for approximately 7% of the surface area of your body and is responsible for losing 10% of body heat when not covered appropriately. During cold weather, you’ll want to keep as much of this warmth circulating around your body, so it’s crucial that you wear an insulated hat coupled with a wind resistant fabric balaclava which will leave only your face exposed to the harsh weather conditions. Also check out this beanie with built-in LED head light part of our headwear range.
The temperatures are plummeting as we approach the end of the year and freezing conditions are likely. If your company requires workers to spend long periods of time outdoors, then it’s time to invest in thermal PPE gear to safeguard their health and wellbeing, whilst ensuring that they remain warm enough to stay productive on the job. Remember that our hi-vis outer layers can be customised with your own company branding, but if you have any questions at all before placing an order, contact us on 0808 109 6099 and our team will be happy to talk you through the best options. Call us today!