Winter can be a tough time for outdoor workers, especially those in the construction industry. The cold weather and harsh elements can make it difficult to stay warm and comfortable on the job, but there are several things you can do to protect yourself from the cold in order to stay productive. Employees who stay warm and comfortable despite the weather could be more productive at work based on the gear they have. Since some areas of the country are starting to get cold, let’s dive into some tips on how to stay warm during the winter as an outdoor worker:
1. Dress in layers
One of the best ways to stay warm in cold weather is to dress in layers. This allows you to trap heat between the layers and adjust your clothing as needed. While it might be freezing in the morning when work starts, the afternoon might become a little warmer so it can be a good idea to have multiple layers in case this happens. A good rule of thumb is to have three layers: a base layer, a mid-layer, and an outer layer.
The base layer should be made of a moisture-wicking fabric, such as wool or synthetic fiber, to draw sweat away from your body. The mid layer should be made of an insulating material, such as fleece or down, to trap heat, and the outer layer should be made of a windproof and waterproof material to protect you from the elements like snow, rain, and hail.
Here are some specific examples of clothing you can wear for each layer:
- Long underwear
- Thermal socks
- Wool hat
- Fleece jacket
- Down vest
- Wool sweater
- Insulated jacket
- Winter boots
While Mother Nature may be in control of the weather, you can be in control of keeping your employees warm. If you want to provide your employees with gear to keep them warm, here are some items to offer or encourage employees to wear while on the job:
- Hand warmers and foot warmers: Hand warmers and foot warmers are small, portable devices that generate heat. They are a great way to keep your hands and feet warm on cold days.
- Insulated neck gaiter: An insulated neck gaiter can help you stay warm by trapping heat around your neck and face.
- Insulated jacket and pants: An insulated jacket and pants are essential for staying warm in cold weather. Look for a jacket and pants that are made of a durable, water-resistant material and have plenty of insulation.
- Winter boots: Winter boots should be made of a durable, water-resistant material and have plenty of insulation. They should also have good traction to reduce the chance of slipping on ice and snow.
2. Wear proper head and hand protection
Your head and hands are two of the first places to get cold, so it’s important to wear proper protection over these areas. A warm hat and thick work gloves can help you stay warm and comfortable all day long. Here are some of our options:
- ergodyne® N-Ferno® 6806 Lime 6806 Cuffed Rib Beanie Hat
- ergodyne® ProFlex® 818 WP L Performance Thermal Waterproof Winter Work Gloves, Black
If you’re working in extreme cold conditions, you may want to consider wearing a balaclava or face mask to protect your face from the elements. You may also want to invest in a pair of insulated gloves or mittens. Luckily for you, we have just the thing:
- ergodyne® N-Ferno® 6823 Balaclava Face Mask – Wind Proof, Hinged Design, Black
- MCR® Safety Ninja® Ice Fully Coated Gloves, Insulated, Cut Resistant, Black, Medium
3. Take breaks to warm up
It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to warm up, especially if you’re working in cold weather for hours on end. If possible, find a warm place to sit or stand, such as a break room or truck cab. You can also warm up by drinking a hot beverage or eating a hot meal. Yup, you guessed it, we have warm beverages too! Here are a few delicious options to stock up on and to have on hand out in the cold:
- The Original Donut Shop® Snickers K-Cup Pods, Light Roast, 24/Box
- Celestial Seasonings® English Breakfast Black Tea K-Cup Pods, 24/Box
- Nestle® Hot Cocoa Mix, Rich Chocolate, 0.71 oz, 50/Box
4. Stay hydrated
It’s important to stay hydrated, even in cold weather. When you’re dehydrated, your body must work harder to regulate its temperature, which can make you feel colder. Keeping plenty of water and drinks with electrolytes on hand can be a great way to stay hydrated throughout the day. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drinking fluids is important to keep your body hydrated all day long. While good old H2O is considered the best choice, hot beverages, such as tea or coffee can also get the job done.
Working outside in all types of weather can be tough, but having the right gear to keep you warm during the harsh winter months can be a game changer. Knowing what to wear and what to bring with you for work can also keep you safe from weather elements and weather-based obstacles. By following these tips and using the right products, you can stay warm, comfortable, and safe all day long, even in the coldest of weather conditions.
GrowNetwork. How To Stay Warm Outside While Working in the Cold. (https://thegrownetwork.com/how-to-stay-warm-outside/) Accessed October 30, 2023.
HASpod. 12 Tips to Keep You Warm When Working Outside This Winter. (https://www.haspod.com/blog/health/tips-keep-warm-outside-winter) Accessed October 30, 2023.
Indeed. 21 Ways to Stay Safe When Working Outside in Cold Weather. (https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/working-in-cold-weather) Accessed October 30, 2023.