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6 Ways to Stay Warm When Working Outdoors During Winter

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Working outdoors during the winter carries several risks that workers should be aware of. There's the risk of hypothermia, for example, if a worker's body temperature drops below 95 degrees. There's also the risk of trench foot if a worker's feet is exposed to cold and wet conditions for a prolonged length of time. Because of these hazards, it's important for workers to follow some basic precautions to stay safe when working outdoors during this time of year.

#1) Wear Moisture-Resistant Fabrics

It's not uncommon for workers to get wet when working outdoors, and the winter season is no exception. Rain, sleet and snow can all leave workers wet. During winter, however, workers should wear moisture-resistant fabrics to protect themselves from hypothermia. Vinyl, polyester and other synthetics are preferred over cotton and wool because of their ability to resist moisture and keep workers dry.

#2) Wear Gloves

Wearing gloves during the winter can protect workers' fingers and hands from frostbite. Because less blood flows to the hands than other areas of the body, fingers are highly susceptible to frostbite. Thankfully, a pair of heavy-duty, insulated gloves will provide warmth and protection from frostbite.

#3) Wear Thick Socks

In addition to gloves, wearing thick socks can protect workers from hypothermia during the winter. Like hands, feet are also susceptible to frostbite. If a worker wears thin socks -- or no socks at all -- he or she may experience frostbite on their feet.

#4) Go Indoors to Warm Up

Employers should allow workers to take breaks by going indoors to warm up during the winter. It's the employer's responsibility to create a safe working environment, and forcing workers to endure subfreezing temperatures for a prolonged length of time is not a safe environment.

#5) Wear Multiple Layers

Wearing multiple layers can further keep workers warm and comfortable during the winter. Instead of wearing just a single shirt and a jacket, for example, a worker can wear an undershirt, followed by a long shirt or sweater, and then a heavy moisture-resistant jacket.

#6) Wear a Cap

A cap isn't just a fashion accessory; it's an invaluable garment that can workers' head and ears warm when working outdoors during the winter. A knitted cap provides a layer of protection from the winter elements. Therefore, workers should wear a cap when working outdoors during this time of year. Along with other tips listed here, it will protect them from the cold winter weather.

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