Safety Tips Personal protective equipment Seasonal safety: Winter Weather Workplace exposure

Stay safe while working in the cold

Alex Potemkin/iStockphoto

Working outdoors is an inevitable part of the job for many people across the country. And when the temperatures drop, it is important that workers wear appropriate protective clothing.

The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety recommends a variety of tips for employees to follow when working in the cold:

  • Wear jackets that are easy to open at the waist, neck and wrists to help control how much heat is retained or given off. If working in wet conditions, be sure the jacket is waterproof.
  • Wear a wool cap to help prevent heat loss through the head.
  • Keep all protective clothing clean. Dirt fills air cells in fibers and therefore reduces its insulation abilities.
  • Avoid wearing cotton clothes because cotton gets wet easily. Wool and synthetic fibers do better at retaining heat when wet.
  • Wear layers of clothing, as the air between the layers provides ideal insulation. Wearing layers also provides workers with the option to remove them if they get too warm or add more if they get too cold. Additionally, ensure the inner-most layer allows moisture to wick away, so sweat does not collect on the skin.
  • Wear felt-lined, rubber-bottomed, leather-topped boots. Leather is porous and allows evaporation in boots to keep workers’ feet dry.
  • Keep extra socks on hand in case yours get wet.