How to Adjust Your Outdoor Workers’ Uniforms to Cold Weather Clothing
As the fall air begins creeping in and the temperature is starting to drop, now is the time to start preparing your employees for the cold weather that is making its way into Colorado.
If you have employees that work outdoors, the cold weather can put a huge damper on both employee productivity and even safety as risks of dangers such as hypothermia become more prominent. So what can your business do to protect your employees from cold weather conditions without having to totally overhaul your current uniforms?
Here are our tips to keep your employees safe, comfortable and productive this fall and winter with cold weather clothing.
The Foundations of a Layering Strategy to Stay Warm
The easy solution to keeping your employees warm throughout their work shift is to provide them with or recommend they wear layers.
The different types of layers include:
1. Inner Layer for Wickability
The number of layers your employees wear won’t matter if they are also sweating and storing moisture underneath all of those garments. This is because the moisture sitting under their garments, directly on their skin, has a cooling effect. Therefore, if your employees have difficult jobs that make them sweat or if snow is able to make its way into employees’ clothing, then they may be storing that cool moisture underneath all of those layers, resulting in an inability to stay warm. Therefore, it’s important that your first layer of defense has wickability features to prevent moisture retention.
2. Middle Layer for Heat Insulation
While the first layer should prevent your employees from storing moisture underneath all of their layers, the second layer is important to prevent heat from escaping. In other words, this layer utilizes the natural heat of the body to keep it warm.
3.Outer Layer for Cold Weather Protection
Even though the second layer functions to store body heat, certain environmental factors have the ability to reduce the warmth that is stored underneath that second layer. These factors include elements such as wind or water. A cool breeze, snow or rain that gets beneath that insulating layer quickly exposes your employees to the cold. The outer layer serves as a protector or cover from these elements.
It’s not just layers for the arms and legs that are important, though. Other parts of the body are susceptible to the cold, including the head, hands and feet. Consider offering or recommending these cold weather clothing layers to your employees:
While the myth that you lose the most heat from your head may be false, it’s essential to cover as many exposed areas of the body as you can simply because each point releases precious heat that could be protecting your employees.
2. Gloves and Mittens
What will work to protect hands from the cold is primarily dependent on the material of the glove or mitten. It’s also essential when selecting gloves or mittens for your business that they are materials that your employees will be able to still efficiently and safely do their work in. Look for gloves and mittens that are both insulating and waterproof.
3. Thermal Insoles
Of course, your employees will be wearing socks and shoes on the job, but have you considered the material of the insoles of the shoes or the material of the socks? Look into heated versions so that a long day on their feet outdoors isn’t too detrimental to your employees’ health.
So where do you go from here?
First, take a look at what your employees are currently wearing to determine what cold weather clothing will be necessary to keep them warm. Luckily, at Service Uniform, we provide uniforms that can easily be layered for use in any season.
Our apparel, suitable for the fall/winter, includes:
- Long-Sleeved Shirts and Jackets
For more information about our uniform supply and uniform rental programs, simply give us a call at 303-936-4701 or fill out our form online.