How to Choose the Right Industrial Safety Garments for Winter Season?
Winter in Canada is very cold and the snow causes many problems for commuters and other people like slippery surfaces, slow-moving traffic, and lagging response times. The major cause of such difficulties being the heavy snow happens to fall in peak wintertime.
There are different types of problems that are faced by almost everyone. Talking about factory outdoor workers, they have to brace themselves for this tough time of the year. Employers have to make sure they provide their workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them protected and warm during extreme winter.
Without proper winter PPE plan, your workers are susceptible to diseases like hypothermia and incurring bruises from frostbite. Hypothermia is when the body temperature becomes less than the optimal level. Due to it, fatalities and long-term effects of cold injuries are certain, prevention is better than cure. Outdoor workers in harsh winter have to eat healthily, wear reflective clothes, stay active, and look out for one another.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), every employer is supposed to protect its labor from extreme work hazards including harsh winter conditions. Therefore, a company must ensure that proper winter gear is being worn by all of its workers. Being an employer, you can do the following things to ensure your employees’ safety during extreme cold:
- Keep an eye on changing weathers and adjust work schedules accordingly
- Provide your staff with regular breaks at warm resting places
- Use radiant heaters to keep your workforce comfortable
- Shield areas of work from the wind as much as possible
- Have a doctor available at the site and constantly monitor your employees’ health during the entire shift
- Train your workers on how they can shield themselves from cold conditions
- Tell them about the symptoms of cold stress, frostbite, and hypothermia
- Provide first-aid to those affected by cold stress and other cold illnesses
Apart from these general guidelines, you can also provide your employees with specialized winter clothing. In Edmonton, you can find quality workwear to protect your workers from harsh conditions of winter.
Here are some of the guidelines that will help you choose the right industrial safety garments for your employees in the winter season:
Use High-Visibility Gear
Days in winter are short and it gets dark way early as compared to the summer season. The weather conditions in winter also change abruptly so do the visibility of things. Truck drivers and construction workers have great difficulties in spotting things in front of them. Therefore, they need to be provided with high-visibility gear so that everybody can recognize each other while working together.
Protect the Eyes
Sunglasses are commonly used in summertime. But in winter, eye protection is not given that much importance. Snow blindness is a form of photokeratitis, which occurs when the cornea is burnt from the UV radiations reflecting from the snow. Workers need to wear polarized safety glasses (with anti-fog layer) to protect them from sun glare, debris, and wind.
Wear Multiple-Layers Clothing
During peak winter, single-layered wind-breaking coveralls are not enough for workers’ safety. It’s wise to wear two to three layers of clothing for personal protection. The first (innermost) layer is for absorbing moisture; it helps in drawing sweating away from the body. The second (middle) layer made of breathable material (like fleece) is to assist in insulating the body. The third (outmost) layer is supposed to be windproof and waterproof winter safety parkas.
Wear Protective Gloves
Working without good quality gloves in extraordinary cold results in frostbite. Wearing the right type of gloves is the key to keep your workers warm and avoid causing injuries to themselves. Some of them would prefer glove liners as well while others might want to wear mittens. Ask your employees to try out a combination of all these one by one and see which ones suit them the most.
Wear Multi-Layered Socks and Insulated Boots
Socks made of polypropylene material is suitable for keeping your feet warm and absorbing sweat from the skin. Make sure to wear sock in two layers; the first one made of wool and the second one should be large enough to feel comfortable while walking.
Insulated workwear is very important especially if you are working in a construction site or during a strong cold season. When it comes to workers’ feet, they must get to wear the most durable and insulated boots preferably made of waterproof leather to keep them warm and cozy.
Wear Neck and Head Gears
Good quality headgears and scarves need to be worn during the harsh cold to keep workers warm and protect them from catching different kinds of winter illnesses.
In a nutshell, keeping warm and comfortable during the peak winter season is highly significant for the productivity of your employees. While your workers are putting in their hard work in harsh outdoor conditions in winter, make them feel warm by providing them with the best safety wear. In this way, they won’t get sick and will give their best to your company.
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