Winter Tips for Keeping Warm While Working Outdoors

Posted: 2021-01-19

Working while being exposed to extremely cold weather is not an easy task. It subjects you to several health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia, which can affect your productivity. If neglected, it can even lead to serious medical and health conditions. To avoid health risks associated with low temperatures, consider these tips.

Choose the right clothing.

Covering yourself with the right clothing is the easiest way to protect your body from the effects of extremely cold weather. Being strategic on what to wear is a major step toward working comfortably despite your cold surroundings. Therefore, you should consider dressing up in layers, especially choosing warm clothes.

To properly clothe for this season, there should be insulation between you and the environment. Layers are effective because they allow you to put on or take off clothing as you see fit.

Synthetic fabrics such as polypropylene are recommended for winter. You can use them for your first layer. Synthetics wick moisture away and insulate the body whether you’re dry or wet.  If you have long underwear, be sure to put them on. Try wool and silk for your second layer, which are also useful in cold weather. Wool protects effectively and naturally resists odor. For your outer layer, wear thick fabrics, especially when the weather goes sub-zero.

Avoid cotton because it absorbs water and holds it next to your skin. Once it gets wet from snow, rain, or sweat, it will start to extract heat out of the body. The results are particularly detectable in cotton socks, underwear, and cotton T-shirts since they are the first layer next to your skin.

Try battery heated clothing.

If you aren’t comfortable wearing layers of fabric, consider using battery heated clothing, including jackets, gloves, vests, and footwear. These advanced clothes enable you to easily adjust the temperature of your garments depending on your preferences. Heated socks and gloves are especially important if you’re doing manual labor as they give you dexterity at temperatures below 53 degrees and can protect you from frostbite during severe weather.

Put on boots.

To protect your feet and ensure you maintain firm footing while working, wear a good pair of work boots and pair them with a pair of battery heated socks. Alternatively, you can use hiking boots with thick soles, felt lining, and a high calf. These boots should keep you safe from any snow in your feet, prevent air from getting around your ankle, and give you the grip you need on the snowy ground.

Have multiple snacks.

To effectively work while exposed to cold weather, you need your body to produce heat. For this reason, it is best to take in your calories consistently throughout the day. Go for six to eight snacks instead of having two heavy meals. Half of your nutritional intake for the day should come from carbohydrates such as rice, bread, and bagels. Additionally, you can consume cheese, butter, and meat, which add more fat content to your diet, making your body feel warmer.

Drink plenty of water.

It is a no-brainer that working in summer requires you to stay hydrated; the same goes for winter. Your body uses water to control your temperature, so taking in good amounts of fluids in your body is critical. Room temperature or lukewarm water should suffice. However, avoid drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine as these are vasodilators, meaning, they tighten your blood vessels, making it harder for your heart to pump blood through your body to your extremities. As a result, your heart and body are working much harder to keep you warm.

Look after each other.

As much as possible avoid working alone because, in case of an accident, you will need somebody’s help. Be sure to work as a team and keep an eye on one another. Encourage everyone to take a break when they feel chilly and get try to get warm. Employing the buddy system is an effective way to promote job site safety and ensure no one experiences the adverse effects of exposure to cold weather.