Working outside in the winter months can be challenging, especially when you are balancing keeping warm with making sure you’re wearing the right PPE to keep you safe. Layering different PPE garments is the perfect solution to this issue.
How to Layer PPE and Work Wear
A three-tier layering system is a way of wearing PPE and workwear to protect yourself from the wet, dark, and cold winter conditions. This system allows you to add or shed layers based on your comfort levels, environment, and job conditions – with a base, mid, and outer layer. Being able to add and reduce layers allows you to take control of your own comfort levels. This is vital to ensure you are protected, happy, and comfortable while working – comfort means productivity.
The base layer retains body heat and sits close to the skin to wick away perspiration as quickly as possible. This is to keep your skin dry, as a wet base layer can dramatically reduce your body temperature. Although while working this might not be an issue, if a job stops, it may mean that you will be standing/sitting idle, which can potentially lead to cold stress if you are not suitably protected. Selecting the right bottom layer allows you to ensure that your body temperature doesn’t drop too quickly when work stops.
The role of a mid-layer is to trap heat and retain warmth through the cavities created by the base and mid layers. The mid layer is designed to keep you dry and warm. It is also a way to wick away excess moisture from the base layer while retaining heat. A fleece is an ideal candidate for a mid-layer as is provides a strong fabric which allows excess moisture to leave your body while protecting you against cold conditions by retaining heat.
The final piece of the puzzle, the outer layer or weather protection layer protects you against the wind and rain. The primary objective of the outer layer is to shield you from all conditions while providing protection. For example, low visibility and rain might require a waterproof, possibly windproof, hi-vis jacket.
The top layer has to be able to breathe and expel moisture while protecting you from the wind, snow and rain. The most effective outer layer is one that can breathe and protect you against all conditions simultaneously.
By adopting the 3-layer system you can guarantee maximum comfort and protection for yourself throughout winter. This allows you to take control of your personal comfort by being adequately equipped to adapt to any condition.
Don’t let winter catch you off-guard. Whether you need hi-vis, waterproof, or thermal workwear and footwear, layer up and protect yourself against the elements.
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