Winter can be a harsh season for a lot of us, especially those of us that aren’t great with cold weather! However, the ones that really endure the most are the construction crues, electricians, and other employees that work in outdoor occupations. As a business owner or manager, it’s imperative these employees have the proper cold-weather FR clothing essentials to keep them warm and ultimately content and productive. In this article, we’ll cover some of the reasons business owners should provide their employees with cold-weather gear, what to look for in compliant materials, and features that make for the best cold-weather, fire-resistant apparel.
Adherence to Industry Compliance Regulations
When selecting flame-resistant garments, adhering to employer and industry standards for safety is pivotal. The foremost step is to identify potential hazards and comply with OSHA regulations. Employers should study hazard risk assessment and arc flash and identify all potential issues. Once all hazards are identified, the employer should initiate necessary measures to resolve the dangers. Potential hazards often result from environmental factors like heat, cold, chemical, and gas exposure, along with unnecessary manual operations, faulty equipment, electricity, and thermal hazards. Understanding particular workplace practices and dangers allows us to recognize the type of FR workwear.
High Comfort Level
One of the prime reasons industrial workers or employees complain about non-compliance with FR protocols is that the workwear could be more comfortable, and they are deterred from wearing it. Another complaint issue is the fit. The workwear could be of a better fit, too tight or loose. The most effective method to address the problem is to provide workers and employees with comfortable workwear that they want to wear. During the extreme winter conditions, investing in cold-weather FR clothing provides comfort and improves productivity and efficiency.
Facilitating the Advanced Fiber Technology
Based on the research and studies, comfortable FR workwear includes three features:
A lightweight FR garment adds warmth without hampering motion and retains productivity during winter when layering is essential.
It enables the air and heat to flow through the workwear and alleviates overheating in hot working environments.
- Moisture wicking
It is an advanced feature in FR garments that keeps the employees or workers dry.
Combining the three features, modern flame-resistant clothing or fabric technology enhances productivity and safety by removing physical discomfort.
Layering the Garments
One of the highlights of taking the workwear to the next level is layering the apparel the right way. Layering in the fitting process lets employees or workers stay warm and eliminate cold stress during extreme winters. Layering the FR garments includes shirts, balaclavas, hoodies, sweatshirts, jackets, and onesies to keep the workers/employees warm and regulate the skin temperature when it is colder. To prevent cold stress, OSHA regulations advise employees and workers to wear lightweight, loose layers for better insulation and ease of mobility. It is better if FR garments have an arc rating and include additional safety parameters against electricity and toxic chemical disasters. From crew neck to zip front and pullovers, there are multiple options to choose from and remain warm and comfortable.
Moisture Wicking Feature
Despite the cold weather, the workers don’t stop sweating. Dampness and moisture from sweat amplify the heat loss from the body, increasing the cold stress. The most effective method to combat sweat and cold stress is to wear an arc-rated FR garment that is moisture-resistant. It is not a concern of comfort alone, but protection and high productivity. Moisture-wicking or resistant garments combine two fibers that pull the sweat from the skin and release it into the air, drying faster than other fabrics. Layering multiple moisture-wicking clothing from the base to the outer workwear creates efficient moisture management and keeps the workers comfortable and dry all day.
Firefighters and energy and power sector workers face tremendous hazards in the workplace. It gets complex during the winter due to cold stress and external factors like low visibility. The best way to ensure top-notch safety and enhance productivity is by supplying the workers with cold-weather FR clothing essentials that keep them comfortable, safe, and warm.