By Rick Geiger
Cold weather bears down on us as late fall turns into winter, but we still have to work. Dressing for cold weather work is serious business. It’s not just about comfort. There are health risks to prolonged exposure. The colder it gets, the more energy your body uses to stay warm. When it’s windy or raining or snowing, your body loses heat faster and uses even more energy. Working in cold or freezing temperatures for long periods can even lead to health problems. So, take the cold seriously and plan ahead.
SafetyLineLoneWorker.com says dressing appropriately for cold weather work is all about finding a balance between warmth and function. The name of the game is to Keep Warm and Keep Dry by following a few simple guidelines:
Insulated clothing—gloves, jackets, socks, overalls—are essential to cold weather work. Think layers and opt for a looser fit over tight clothing, which reduce blood flow to the extremities and can restrict movement.
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Bring the Heat
Heated clothing is also an option. Some clothing manufacturers offer jackets, vests, and gloves that accommodate heat packs, so you can bring the heat with you. How cool—I mean, warm—is that?
Keep the Heat
Remember, heat will escape from anywhere that is not covered. So be sure to protect your head from the cold. That whole thing about losing 80% of your body’s heat through your head is a myth, but still you need to cover up! Caps, balaclavas, and hats with ear flaps are worth their weight in gold in the cold.
Wicking under garments draw moisture away from your body, which helps keep you warm.
Heat for Your Feet
Good footwear should prevent you from slipping in icy conditions as well as keep your feet warm and dry.
Water-Proof Outer Layer
And don’t forget a water-proof coat or jacket that is lightweight and breathable.
Cold weather work doesn’t have to be miserable. Remember, Keep Warm and Keep Dry.
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