Preparing for Winter: Proper Protective Clothing at Work

Winter is coming! As winter starts to descend upon us here in the GTA it is important to remember to take proper clothing precautions at work to keep yourself warm and safe during the winter months. Proper protective clothing is the key to keeping yourself safe and healthy if you are exposed to outdoor weather conditions at work.

Using Proper Protective Clothing in Winter

winter

Face/Eye Protection

Eye protection must be separate from nose and mouth protection to prevent frosting and fogging of eyeglasses. Always make sure to select the appropriate type of eye protection for the job you are doing.

Hand Protection

Gloves should be worn below 4°C for light work and below -7°C for moderate work. Mittens should be worn for any work done in temperatures below -17°C.

Protective Clothing

Protective clothing should be worn at or below 4°C. The temperature, weather conditions, and your level of activity should be taken into account when selecting proper protective clothing.

If you are doing physical work and will be perspiring, you may want to wear less protective clothing. Perspiration will make the clothing wet which will increase risk of cold injuries.

You should wear multiple layers with the inner layers providing the most insulation and the outer layer being waterproof. Cotton is not recommended as it gets wet very quickly.

Footwear

Felt-lined, rubber-bottomed, leather-topped boots are the best footwear for working in the cold winter months. The leather in the boots allows the boots to breathe and allows perspiration to escape so your feet do not get wet.

Removable insoles inside your boots will help to clean your boots and dry wet boots fast.

Socks

Make sure to always wear the proper sock thickness for your boot. A sock that is too thick will diminish the sock’s insulation and squeeze your foot which will slow blood flow and increase risk for cold related injuries.

Always have extra socks on hand to change throughout the day when available.

Source: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/cold_working.html