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Hi-Vis Winter Workwear: Making Work Easier and Safer

hi-vis winter workwearWhen the weather reaches uncomfortably low tempuratures in the workplace, the most important thing you can do is dress for it. Proper preparation means not only dressing as warm as possible, but dressing for your job to improve both safety, comfort and performance.
 
Working outdoors during the winter season creates a variety of obstacles. You're faced with freezing temperatures, harsh winds, snow, and freezing rain. Materials, tools and surfaces become wet and icy, making them more difficult and hazardous to work with. Visibility is often drastically reduced, further complicating things and compunding the above-mentioned struggles.
It's definitely not for the faint of heart.
 
Fortunately, we can battle the winter climate with apparel that's been designed for working in it. Manufacturers have made serious progress over the years in an effort to provide the most effective garments for the job. This includes both hi-vis winter workwear and Non-ANSI apparel. While warmth is critical, it's equally important to focus on functionality - something that's often overloked. No two jobs are the same, and there's more to a safe and productive work day than just being warm.
 
For people whose occupations require less physical activity and more exposure to the cold, warmth is key. The head, hands and feet often get neglected and are the first areas to become dangerously cold. High visibility headwear and high visibility gloves are designed for exactly this situation. With limited physical activity, it's important to choose a highly insulated garments such as Tough Duck, which are designed for the coldest weather out there. On the other hand, people whose jobs are strenuous or require heavy physical activity will find certain garments too warm. Their bodies heat will rise and these garments can cause too much sweating and inability to maintain a comfortable body temperature. In that circumstance, it's important to choose lightly insulated jackets, freezer vests, or multi-use jackets such as the Onyx Series 3-in-1 Ripstop Bomber Jacket from GSS. It's better to maintain a constant body temperature than to constantly remove and add layers as activity starts and stops - making it important to find a apparel that provides balance throughout the day.
 
Warmth and safety do have a common ground, but comfort plays an equally important role. With garments that are too bulky, you will lose flexibility and range of motion. You also create more risk when it comes to snags on equipment or materials which can be life-threatening. The super-bulky artcic style jacket and bibs which might work wonderfully for a land surveyor could be a death sentence for someone working with rebar, or at extreme heights. Keep that in mind when looking for the correct high visibility bibs for your job. Try to find gear that will be comfortable but not retrictive to your job duties.
 
Depending on your location, you might find that brutally cold temperatures don't occur, yet you still deal with snow and freezing rain. In these circumstances, visibility is more important than ever and this is especially true for those working in or around roadways. Even if your job requirements only call for ANSI Class 2 garments, it's in your best interests to choose something like this Viking ANSI 3 Ripstop Rain Jacket that can be work over your clothes while offering waterproof and ripstop protection from the elements.
 
There's a lot to consider, but one thing is for sure - there's no shortage of hi-vis winter workwear. A safe week at work is a good week and a warm and safe week is even better. We spend a lot of time at our jobs, it's important for that time to be spent effectively. Improving comfort and performance while reducing the risk of accidents and hazards should be a top priority. Get the right gear and you'll be able to focus on your job, no matter what the climate is.
 

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