A person’s body temperature is affected by more than the environment alone; health and lifestyle factors contribute significantly to the way individuals perceive cold. Some individuals will feel excessively warm while carrying out the same task in the same environment.
Safety company, Arco, stresses that being uncomfortably hot, wet or cold can cause irrational and unsafe behaviour as employees take shortcuts to avoid being exposed to these conditions for long periods of time and their ability to make decisions deteriorates.
In its latest educational campaign, Arco is emphasising the importance of layering, this winter, to ensure workers remain comfortable throughout the colder months as well as staying safe. Employers need to recognise that, in order for employees to work at their optimum productivity level, they must be able to maintain a comfortable body temperature. It’s also vital that employers understand that allowing workers to continue working in uncomfortably wet or cold conditions is detrimental to their well-being and can become a safety risk.
One of the most effective ways to protect employees against their thermal environment is to provide them with a suitable layering system. A layering system simply means providing different garments so workers can adapt what they wear to the changing weather, their work activity and their personal needs. Multiple layers are also more effective and less cumbersome to wear than a single bulky item.
- An outer layer to shield against wind, rain and scuffs with breathable properties to help prevent overheating
- An insulating mid later to provide warmth and comfort
- A base layer to offer additional thermal properties but also wick sweat away to help keep workers dry
To ensure employers are fully educated on protecting workers from the winter elements, Arco has created a dedicated section on its website and a free expert advice sheet for customers to download.
As well as a quality layering system, employers need to ensure their workers are provided with fully waterproof clothing if they spend the majority of their working day outside; this includes those who require hazard protective clothing such as hi-vis.
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