Preparing your workforce for a mild winter
There are a multitude of articles, tips & advice out there for protecting your workers against the extreme cold. The need for having the right levels of thermal protection for extreme weather is largely understood and documented. However, the difficulty in the UK is the range of temperature fluctuations that your workforce has to deal with during autumn & winter.
So this year, don’t just order your Winter PPE like you usually do – take a different approach and use layering. Here is some guidance on how to layer PPE and workwear:
Use three tier layering
A three tier layering system consisting of a base, mid and outer layer is a way of wearing PPE and workwear which enables the wearer to add or shed layers. Adding or reducing layers allows workers to take control of their comfort levels at all times, adjusting layers to suit their working environment and job conditions. Giving individuals the option to take control of their own layering is crucial to ensure your workforce is protected, happy and comfortable. Comfort improves productivity.
The base layer retains body heat and sits closely to the skin to wick away perspiration as quickly as possible. This keeps skin dry. Whereas if a base layer gets wet, it can dramatically reduce the wearer's body temperature. Whilst it is true that this might be an issue if the individual is working, once the activity stops, cold can set in if the individual does not have other layers to suitably protect them from cooling down too rapidly. Selecting the right base layer for your workforce enables you to ensure that your workforce are not at risk of cold stress.
The role of a mid layer is to trap heat and retain warmth through the cavities created by the base and mid layer. The mid layer is designed to keep you dry and warm. It is also a way to wick away excess moisture from the base layer while retaining heat. A fleece is an ideal candidate for a mid layer as is provides a strong fabric which allows excess moisture to leave the body while protecting your workforce against cold conditions by retaining heat.
Lastly, the outer layer or weather protection layer, shields your workforce against the wind and rain. The primary objective of the outer layer is to safeguard the wearer's inner layers and body from all conditions while providing protection. For example, low visibility and rain might require a waterproof, possibly windproof, hi-vis jacket.
The top outer layer has to be able to breathe and expel moisture whilst protecting your worker from the wind, snow and rain. The most effective outer layer is one that can breathe, while protecting your workforce against all and any conditions simultaneously.
By adopting the 3 layer system you can guarantee maximum comfort and protection for your workforce throughout winter - in both mild conditions, and the extreme cold. This allows your team to take control of their personal comfort by being adequately equipped to adapt to any condition.
Expert advice on Winter outfits
Don't let the weather catch your workforce off-guard. Whether you need hi-visibility, waterproof or thermal and wind protection, layer up and protect your team against the elements. Our team will meet with you to review your working conditions, exposures and job roles and, using this information, help create the most effective winter outfit for your workers.
Recently, we've helped customers with the following challenges:
Scenario 1: Wind Protection & Breathability
A workforce in the marine environment was exposed to high winds and spray, while also battling with perspiration due to the nature of the work. We worked with Engel Workwear to create a high-performance workwear solution that ensured the garments were windproof, breathable and ticked all the boxes to keep the workforce in comfortable but compliant clothing.
Scenario 2: Consistent Appearance Indoors and Outdoors
Some tasks inevitably involve working in both outdoor and indoor environments, multiple times a day. A consistent corporate image was required to cater for both environments. We worked with Engel Workwear to design a layering solution that provided breathability and warmth without any decline in the corporate image that our client deemed essential.
Take a look at some great options, PPE and workwear layers on sale this autumn/winter here. Our Early Bird 15% discount offer expires 15th November. Call us on 0800 328 5028 to request an appointment for assistance with creating the best winter outfits for your workforce.