The cold months are coming on, and while many people will be spending more time indoors, that means long days outside fighting the cold while working for many construction workers.
To help you stay safe and warm at work, we’ve compiled a basic list of the cold-weather gear every construction worker should have from head to toe.
Layers of outerwear insulation
First, construction workers need a capable and resilient outerwear jacket to protect their core and insulate them from the cold. When selecting outerwear for working outside, you should layer it so that workers can adjust based on the temperature and their physical exertion.
The last thing anyone who works outside wants is to start sweating because they’re too insulated and working so hard. Sweat instantly cools the skin and can cause shivering and eventually contribute to hypothermia. It’s best to have a base layer of moisture-wicking fabric to keep the skin dry with added layers of shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets that a worker can take off or put on depending on how they feel throughout the day.
Warm work boots
Anyone who works on their feet all day, especially construction workers, knows how important protective and comfortable footwear is. Construction workers need footwear that protects their toes from heavy falling objects and keeps their feet warm and dry.
Our feet and toes are most in danger of frostbite, so insulated and water-repellent work boots are necessary to keep them warm and dry. While steel-toe boots are the default for many workers, steel can trap cold air in the boots. Therefore, other materials like composite-toe boots can be warmer for outdoor workers in the winter.
Pro-Tip: Consider work boots with anti-slip rubber soles to keep your footing stable on ground covered with slippery snow and ice.
Hard hat liners/winter caps
Warm headwear is perhaps the most overlooked cold-weather gear every construction worker should have. Next to our fingers and toes, our ears are most susceptible to frostbite, as they often have exposure to the chilly air and biting wind.
While workers can wear warm caps underneath their hard hats, many find them uncomfortable or obtrusive to their vision. Hard hat liners are necessary for outdoor workers in especially cold conditions. Knit caps or full headcovers, such as ski masks and balaclavas, are crucial for keeping the face and ears warm.
Well-insulated gloves are essential for construction workers in cold conditions. Workers need to use their hands and fingers often, but if their gloves don’t protect and insulate their hands, they can get stiff, and workers can lose finger dexterity.
Pro-Tip: It’s wise to have hand and feet warmers for workers to keep in their gloves, boots, and pockets.
Gloves should also be water-repellent, as damp and moist gloves won’t do much except make a worker’s hands feel even colder. Consider wearing finger gloves under mittens or half-mitten gloves to keep fingers warm. You can adjust them when finger dexterity is necessary.