Colder weather is on the way. Are you prepared? Here’s a list of workplace winter safety gear every employee should have.
Winter Safety Gear for Employees
Of course, the type of equipment you need depends on your job. If you work mostly outdoors, you’ll need warm clothing from head to toe. Whereas, if you switch between heated and unheated areas, you’ll probably want lighter gear that’s easy to put on and take off.
When dressing for the winter weather, a multi-layered approach is the best strategy. Done correctly, each layer should serve a specific purpose.
- Layer 1 (Closest to the Skin) – Moisture-wicking fabrics, such as polyester and Spandex, draw sweat away from the body and keep the skin dry.
- Layer 2 (Middle Layer) – Insulating fabrics, such as wool and fleece, hold warmth even in wet conditions.
- Layer 3 (Outer Layer) – Windbreakers and raincoats provide cover from the elements.
With all three layers, zipper openings are helpful. These allow you to easily remove or adjust your clothing. And remember, even though winter gear can be bulky, avoid loose-fitting clothing that could get caught in machinery.
Hard Hat Liner
Protecting your head from the cold is important too. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge if your job requires a hard hat. Rather than trying to jam a traditional winter hat over or under your helmet, look for specially designed hard hat liners. A balaclava or ski mask, which also covers the face and ears, is another option.
Sunglasses aren’t just for summer. Ultraviolet or UV rays can be just as dangerous in the winter when the sun reflects off the snow. To keep your eyes safe from wind, debris and glare, polarized, foamed-sealed safety glasses with anti-fog offer the best protection.
As with hard hats, many jobs require gloves. Some companies provide heavier/lighter safety gloves depending on the season. However, if you have only all-season gloves and your hands are cold, consider buying glove liners for added warmth.
Your shoes or boots should deliver both warmth AND good traction. Wet or icy surfaces (both outdoors and in entryways) can lead to slips, trips and falls. Try to find steel toe, waterproof, non-slip footwear or studded overshoes with these features.
How to Get the Right Winter Safety Gear?
So, do you have to buy your own winter personal protective equipment? Or does your company need to supply PPE? The answer depends. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers must provide required safety equipment, such as hard hats. But they are not responsible for “ordinary clothing… or other items, used solely for protection from weather.” Non-included items include winter coats, rubber boots or ordinary sunglasses. If you’re worried about your winter weather supplies, use these tips to talk to your boss about safety concerns.
Are You Hoping to Find a Safer Workplace This Winter?
Connectology matches talented manufacturing employees with top companies in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin and beyond. Whether you’re searching for a better placement or a different opportunity, our recruiters can help. Browse all our available openings today!