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SafetyWatch: Proper winter attire

December 27, 2019 -  By
Photo: Greenius

Dressing for the job is important to make winter work comfortable and manageable

The real challenge when dressing for winter work is to keep skin warm and dry — perspiration can make clothing damp or wet.

The key piece of clothing is the upper-body base layer, such as a T-shirt made from a material that won’t get soaked from sweat, which makes cotton a poor choice. A material with polyester or polypropylene is designed to wick moisture away from skin and through the shirt to the next layer to evaporate or be absorbed by outer layers. The next layer of upper body clothing should be something warm like a sweatshirt or fleece.

The final upper-body layer should be an outer shell that’s water resistant or waterproof on the outside. The best choice is a material that “breathes.”

Bring an extra piece like a sweatshirt or a fleece sweater if it’s going to be extremely cold.

For the lower body, the same rules apply. Water-resistant or waterproof snow pants are usually the best choice.

When using a snow blower, especially in windy conditions, you will be sprayed by snow mist discharging from the blower. If you’re wearing jeans or another absorbent material, the snow will stick and make you wet and cold.

Waterproof footwear is essential, so leather work boots are out of the question unless they are lined under the leather with a waterproof material. Lined rubber boots are the best choice.

For socks, nylon or wool are best. The best gloves are waterproof but breathable. It’s always good to have an extra pair or two in case they
get wet.

For headgear, a close-fitting hat will keep the head warm in most conditions. In windy or blizzard conditions, a full-face covering is helpful, as are a scarf and a hood.

Be prepared for bad snow events and use less clothing if weather conditions are more favorable.

Source: Greenius

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