As industry professionals continue their winter projects, they face the challenge of keeping themselves and their workers warm at outdoor and poorly-heated work sites. Single-digit and below-zero temperatures are common in many parts of the U.S., and unlike school children who look forward to snow days, professionals rarely get a day off because of the weather. Instead, workers and supervisors should follow these tips to stay warm:
- Workers should be encouraged to wear two pairs of socks and insulated boots. Standing on concrete or outdoor surfaces for long periods of time can make it difficult for professionals to stay warm. Using composite-toe boots, layering socks and standing on mats or other insulating barriers can help.
- Scarves — as long as the loose ends are safely tucked away into coats — are a good way to retain heat in the neck area, where coats and hats don’t help.
- Helmet liners, which are often made of fleece, add a layer of insulation and help ensure workers’ heads and necks are warm.
- Wrap-around eye protection can help maintain heat near the face.
- Employees working outdoors for extended periods of time should invest in thermal-insulated coveralls. These are designed to reduce lost body heat and retain a high core body temperature.
- It’s still crucial for workers to stay hydrated during the winter. Managers should encourage workers to carry hot water in a thermos to sip during the day. Drinking warm water instead of cold will help keep up the body’s temperature.
- Supervisors can invest in work-site safe space heaters. This option may be best for projects in smaller locations, because most space heaters do not warm large areas.
Heated Gear Options
Workers and managers concerned about the extreme cold this season should invest in heated gear. Milwaukee has released its fifth generation of the M12 Heated Jacket. The newest option in their line of heated work gear includes more color choices, a new design with a better range of motion and 3-in-1 options to increase versatility. The jacket can be worn as a vest or as a full coat and has a detachable hood. The chest/back heating zone can be controlled independently of the pocket-heating area, and there’s a USB port for on-the-go charging.
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