Cold Weather PPE
Monday 18th October 2021
Direct Training (GB) Ltd.
As the colder months of the year draw in, outdoor work does not stop with the change of seasons.
That is why it is the leaders within the workplace industry responsibility to facilitate a smooth adjustment to the colder temperatures. One way in which they can do this is by including Winter PPE in their safety program. This is because when you are working outdoors, especially more so in the extreme temperatures, PPE or Personal Protective Equipment must defend workers against the elements in addition to the risks which are associated with the job at hand. For many, PPE will mean adding additional, insulated layers of clothing. This will provide cold resistance and some specialised items of PPE may add other enhanced features.
Below we are going to discuss 5 of the key items of Winter PPE that are great to have on hand in the cold months of the year:
Hard Hat Liners - Also known as cold weather liners, these are a must that should be provided to workers to protect their heads, necks and ears from the cold whilst they are wearing hard hats. In workplace conditions where a worker is exposed to extreme cold, a full head cover should be worn. This can be made of a knit or flannel. Hoods are also a good way of keeping warm however they only provide a limited amount of insulation against elements such as the cold, wind or rain.
Anti-Exposure Work Suits - If your employees are working in an environment of extreme wet or cold and are exposed to harsh conditions for a long period of time, an anti-exposure work suit will help to prevent hypothermia and provide a waterproof lining. This is especially important to consider as the negative health effects of cold weather progress much more rapidly when people are wet or damp.
Insulated Gloves - insulated gloves are essential in order to protect against frostbite and to ensure that work can be carried out comfortably. That is why warm, insulated gloves are one of the most essential items of PPE in the cold weather. Insulated gloves are available in a wide variety of styles and sizes to suit every need and person. In order to ensure that the gloves are not degrading with use, you should replace the gloves often, especially in environments where they may suffer more wear and tear.
Clothing Layers - Along with gloves, this is possibly one of the most crucial forms of PPE on this list. Taking a multi-layering approach to clothing is crucial to protecting workers during the ever-changing winter conditions. Below are the 3 layers of clothing that you should be wearing in the cold:
1. A polypropylene or similar wicking material so draw sweat away from the body, keeping skin dry.
2. An insulating layer of wool or polar fleece-type materials.
3. A nylon or similar material to block the wind.
Eye Protection - One of the things that is commonly overlooked is that the sun reflects off of surfaces such as snow. Snow blindness and damage from UV rays can seriously damage your eyes. The best type of eye protection for working out in the snow are polarized, foamed-sealed safety glasses with anti-fog provide the best protection from wind chill, debris and sun glare.