The right workwear is a worthwhile investment. It’s the key to a productive workplace where everyone feels comfortable with what they wear. Choosing the correct workwear often increases employee safety, especially with outdoor tasks.
With wintertime just around the corner, it’s crucial more than ever to ensure workers wear proper gear, from jackets to footwear – even bags and other accessories.
The Characteristics of Ideal Workwear
Outdoor work is challenging, and it gets even tougher when the air is chilly, and snow is falling. It’s important to pick the right winter workwear when there are many concerns, including the cold weather.
The Material Matters
There are plenty of choices when it comes to winter workwear, but most people tend to focus on the style, colours, and feel of the clothing. Some may pay more attention to their comfort, such as if they can move around freely. While it is not wrong to consider these factors, there is one thing that should not be left out: the workwear material.
The right choice of material can provide a ton of benefits, including:
- Lower fatigue levels
- Better productivity
- Wearability for all skin types, including sensitive skin
- Reduced injuries
- Improved safety
Workwear requirements can be met with the proper materials. These requirements typically depend on the industry and sometimes the location of the business. Specific jobs need workers to wear safety standards compliant clothing, such as fire-retardant or moisture-wicking features. Others may have to wear high-visibility clothing, such as the Bisley Hi-Vis Softshell Jacket for the ladies. Such clothing ensures safety, especially with bad weather and low-light conditions.
Protective clothing, such as jackets, should be used to keep warm. The best materials for this purpose are fleece and synthetic fibres. Winter is not the best time to wear cotton. Although it is a good material for most of the year because of its breathability, cotton gets damp easily. It also tends to lose insulation, which can be hazardous to a worker outdoors.
Heavy-Duty Does Not Mean Heavy
Workwear should never be heavy, bulky, or cumbersome. It should not interfere with how the wearer walks and performs tasks. The problem is that it’s typically tricky to find workwear with waterproofing qualities, durability, and extra weather protection without being weighty. Thankfully, technology has improved clothing options for outdoor workers. While fleece jackets, for example, may still not be lightweight, they have become easier to wear.
Wearing one bulky garment is actually ineffective, which is why the layer method is more preferred. When done correctly, layering will not hinder the worker’s movement even while wearing several layers. Each layer is significant, contributing to the benefit of the whole ensemble. Here are some tips when dressing in layers:
- Always begin with an outer layer, which has the ability to act as a windbreaker. This outer layer, however, should be breathable enough to allow ventilation.
- The middle layer should be useful in absorbing sweat. Although it is chilly, people can still perspire. Retaining insulation is vital in a damp environment so that the worker remains comfortable throughout the shift.
- An inner layer, which is usually made of cotton, maintains ventilation.
Layering should make the person feel warm. But at the same time, it should not be too warm that it becomes uncomfortable. Flexibility should be considered, where the worker can easily discard or add a few layers when the weather conditions change.
Waterproof Winter Workwear
It goes without saying that the outer layer should be waterproof. Since it deals directly with the weather, the shell layer should be waterproof and windproof. It can even have built-in insulation. Jackets should have waterproof features. Although it is not required, having a hoodie can help increase tolerance to colder conditions.
Most workers do not need complete waterproof garments, even if they have a great chance of dealing with rain or water elements. Being fully waterproof means that the clothing will not transmit sweat, which is deemed unsafe in cold weather. Waterproof clothing tends to be rougher, less soft, and inflexible when exposed to low temperatures. That’s why it is vital to select the workwear based on the intended use.
Other Features to Look For
Outdoor workwear for winter should have reinforced zips that can easily be opened and closed even with gloved hands. Cuffs should be adjustable. If possible, choose longer cuffs, which provide better protection against water.
If the job entails walking around in the snow, there’s a possibility that the worker can fall and hurt their knees and elbows. Therefore, they should wear protection for these parts of the body. Some winter workwear types have these additional features, so there is usually no need to purchase knee or elbow pads separatel
Winter Workwear Must-Haves
They say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.” That’s why it’s always necessary to update the winter wardrobe to ensure it contains the following essentials:
- Jackets: A suitable worker jacket can be the classic bomber jacket, which is great for outdoor conditions. But in jobs where high visibility is required, the employee should don the necessary hi-vis jacket like the KingGee 4-in-1 Waterproof Taped Jacket. Many jackets today come with drawstrings or cords, fastening cuffs, and other similar insulation features. They all prevent warm air from escaping while also preventing snow and the cold from finding their way inside the clothing. Waterproof jackets do not have to be incredibly heavy. They can still be breathable, so the wearer does not get soaked in sweat.
- Boots: Footwear should always be rugged while providing interior comfort. Choose a pair of boots like the Magnum Waterproof Zip Safety Boot with water and dirt-repelling action, breathable material, and a composite toe cap.
- Bag: Carrying work gear outdoors in unpredictable weather conditions can be problematic. That’s why a waterproof bag is a crucial accessory for all types of workers.
- Gloves: Workers wear gloves for comfort and warmth. They are also valuable for protecting the hands whenever they manually handle items, which may sting due to their low temperatures.
- Headwear: Beanies can help retain heat on the head of the worker. They are designed to keep the wearer comfortable without feeling that they have something heavy on their head. Headlamps may also be necessary, depending on the person’s line of work. However, if there is always a possibility of working out late, a headlamp should always be ready for use.
- Socks: Find a sock with durability and moisture-wicking, and thermal properties.
With suitable workwear during the winter months, workers can fulfil their jobs comfortably. Their gear will keep them warm without losing the ability to move like normal. That way, workers can continue staying productive while ensuring their safety from accidents and even illnesses due to bad weather.