Winter Wearables: 6 Essentials Recommended by a Safety Professional

November 21, 2022 • Kayla Leach

Winter weather takes a toll on our bodies. Low temperatures and high winds can lead to chapped skin and cold injuries. Ice and snow make walkways an everyday hazard. The cost can be even higher for employees working in these conditions.  

The perfect time to prepare for winter weather is ahead of time. Brad Minor, Safety and Risk Consultant, recommends employers outfit their teams with the right gear for the weather. Check out six winter essentials for outdoor work. Then, be sure to review your options and choose products that work for your business and your employees. 

Insulated Cut-Resistant Gloves 

Gloves are essential for a frosty day on the job. While gloves can make it a challenge to hang on to tools and equipment, the addition of cut-resistant fabric helps prevent cuts and punctures. Waterproof coating and bright colors help make a pair of insulated cut-resistant gloves great for everyday use. 

Great for: Employees in agriculture and fisheries, cold food processing and construction.  

Slip-On Ice Cleats 

When work sites become hazardous due to ice and snow, wearing the right footwear can prevent slips and falls. Cleats give the wearer an extra layer of security on icy, snowy or rocky surfaces. Slip-on ice cleats can be added and removed as necessary. They also come in a variety of textures – such as rope, chain and spiked – so employees are always prepared for the terrain ahead. 

Great for: Employees in forest and conservation, trucking and delivery driving. 

Face Protection 

High winter winds can expose sensitive skin on the face to dryness, peeling and in the worst cases – frostbite. Face protection, such as a balaclava, helps reduce contact with the elements and insulate the wearer. Buying versions with breathable fabric prevents the fogging of required safety goggles or glasses. 

Great for: Employees in road work, outdoor utilities and tower climbing. 

Insulated Boots and Wool Socks  

Insulated boots provide a protective later in slushy, wet conditions. Adding a pair of wool socks create a perfect pair for colder winter months; wool socks hold in heat; even when wet. Doubling up on insulation and warmth for feet help keep the wearer warm and comfortable for a longer time. 

Great for: Employees who work in fish and game, wildlife and wet conditions. 

Hand and Foot Warmers  

Portable hand warmers provide a long-lasting burst of heat just where wearers need them. Small pocket-size warmers, such as HotHands, can be tucked into pockets or gloves. Larger adhesive patches offer a more direct heat source. Stock them in employee vehicles, locker rooms and break areas for easy access. 

Great for: Employees in all industries. 

Thermal Clothing 

Dressing for the weather is key to a physically comfortable workday. While layering can help employees adjust to shifting conditions, thermal underclothes can help provide consistent heat when a forecast shows solidly cold conditions. For employers invested in innovation, battery-powered heated apparel is available for those invested in an innovative approach. 

Great for: Employees in all industries. 

November 21, 2022
Kayla Leach
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