Clothing and Layering Required for Winter Work

There are many safety hazards in the construction industry, no matter the time of year. During the winter in colder climates, employers must consider extreme cold, high winds, and often, a heightened chance of slipping and falling.

To combat these hazards, protective clothing is needed when work is executed in winter temperatures. Workers should select proper clothing to suit temperature, conditions, duration of the activity and the job’s location.

Following are some guidelines for cold-weather work clothes:

  • When possible, wear multiple layers instead of a single layer.
  • The inner layer must provide insulation and be able to repel moisture from the skin.
  • Thermal underwear made of polyester is recommended.
  • External layers should be easily detachable.
  • The outer layer must be waterproof.
  • Wearing a wool cap or a wool liner under a hard hat when possible can reduce excessive heat loss.
  • Remove snow from clothing before entering a¬†warm shelter.
  • Gloves should be used when the¬†temperature is below freezing. Mittens should be used for work when the temperatures go below zero.
  • Avoid cotton cloth because it tends to get damp or wet.

Wearing proper clothing such as the items above will keep workers warm while reducing the possibility of excessive sweating — as well as the possibility of injuries on the jobsite.