Page 45 - OHS, November/December 2021
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sweatshirts, parkas and even winter bibs come in handy. ThThis apparel provides warmth while also keeping workers visible to each other and motorists.
While black workwear does not have the same rating as hi- vis workwear, it does offffer enhanced visibility thanks to hi-vis and reflective striping. In non-roadway settings, black hi-vis is a great winter option as the dark color absorbs and holds in more heat from the sun.
Along with jackets and parkas, hi-vis accessories can also add to overall warmth and visibility. Vests can be added atop hi- vis and non-hi-vis outwear for enhanced visibility. Knit or fleece caps and liners can be worn alone or under headgear for extra warmth. Reducing the amount of heat leaving through their head can help workers better regulate their internal temperature. Weather resistant clothing can also protect workers from getting wet due to precipitation and provide enhanced protection from wind.
Hand Protection. Gloves are another important category of PPE worn in winter. Insulated gloves provide workers extra protection from the elements. They can keep hands warm while still providing good grip in all conditions. Insulated nitrile dipped gloves offer contact cold protection and are water resistant which allows them to be worn in snowy and icy conditions.
Even gloves not specifically designed to be worn in winter, like leather drivers, can provide a barrier against cold metals, equipment, etc. and protect against frostbite. Suppliers are even offering gloves that allow for warmth and also touch sensitivity, for those who need access to devices without removing their hand protection.
Eyewear. As we have experienced during the pandemic, the more one covers up his/her face, the more likely he/she is to deal with fogging lenses. Eyewear with anti-fog coating can allow workers to wear balaclavas, hat liners and more without having to deal with obstructed vision. Sealed eyewear can also help with temperature regulation in extremely cold temperatures.
Footwear. When it comes to reducing the risk of falls, footwear is the best place to start. Insulated and water-resistant work boots or over-shoes that offer high amounts of traction will help workers maintain their balance on slippery surfaces. Boots that keep water from reaching the sock and foot will go a long way to prevent trench foot and hypothermia.
Those working outside or in the elements should have shoes with non-slip soles. Not only will this reduce their risk of falling, but it will also reduce the likelihood that their feet will slip while driving or operating heavy machinery.
Hearing Protection. While hearing protection is not specifically needed in winter weather, earmuffs can provide extra warmth to workers’ ears. Like your hands and feet, ears are one of the most common places frost bite can occur. If workers are not wearing caps or hard hat liners, earmuffs are a great alternative that is likely already part of a jobsite’s PPE.
Warm Weather Work Tips
Protecting workers from the hazards of cold weather is important for employee retention and a company’s bottom line. To keep your team safe, here are some easy steps you can take to reduce cold weather-related illness and injury.
Suppliers and safety officers often talk about the importance of weather-specific PPE in summer to avoid heat-related complications, but proper PPE is just as important in the colder months.
1. Stay abreast of weather forecast.
2. Require proper PPE for current conditions.
3. Regularly inspect the jobsite for hazards or slippery
4. Encourage workers to stay hydrated and take breaks as
5. Provide a warm, dry space for breaks.
6. Know the signs of cold stress like frostbite3 and
7. Have emergency kits on hand.
8. Inspect and warm up equipment in accordance with
manufacturer guidelines.
No matter what winter conditions workers face, proper PPE
can make a big difference in reducing their risk of illness and injury. From hi-vis workwear to gloves to eyewear, outfitting workers with proper protection will keep them safe and your job site running smoothly. The key to dealing with winter hazards is preparation and the right PPE is one crucial step towards that goal. As with all PPE needs, suppliers can help you decide what products will be the most beneficial for your workers. Winter is creeping in, so contact yours today!
Katherine Faulk is the Marketing Strategist for Pyramex Safety. She is responsible for managing external communications from the company and supporting the sales team through the promotion of marketing initiatives. Pyramex is a leading provider of safety and PPE products with 30 years focused on delivering innovative product lines and attention to customer service.
3. causes/syc-20372656
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