How to work safely in cold weather

Working outside in the winter months is exhausting, to say the least.

Many workers spend long hours in the freezing cold weather attempting to get on with the task at hand. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make outdoor work a little more bearable. Between high-quality clothing and regular breaks, you can work much more comfortably and safely in the winter.

Follow this quick guide to work safely in the cold weather.

Regular breaks

The cold weather takes its toll. We use so much energy trying to stay warm there is hardly any left for work. You need to take regular breaks throughout the day – and ideally, somewhere indoors. You can warm up, dry your clothing and have a bite to eat. Keep your stomach full of nutritious foods to keep your energy and temperature up. The last thing you need to be is cold and hungry. Short breaks can help to avoid numbness and, hopefully, illness.

Dress for the weather

Winter is the time for layers and a lot of them. Wear a thermal set under your work uniform and a few jumpers on top. Make sure your outer layers are waterproof to stop the snow and rain from seeping through. The days are much shorter in the winter, and you will probably spend some time working in the dark. Wear high-visibility clothing with reflective panels so everyone can see you on-site. You also need non-slip footwear to stop you from falling over on icy surfaces. Your shoes should fit properly to prevent snow from slipping inside.

cold weather

Stay hydrated

You are likely to sweat under all your thermal layers when you start doing manual labour. Your sweat needs to evaporate, so it doesn’t cling to your skin and make you cold later. Breathable fabrics, like cotton, can help to monitor your temperature and release sweat.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and make sure you have a few hot drinks throughout the day.

Lighting on site

You will probably arrive and leave work in the dark. You need overhead lights on-site, so everyone can see what they are doing. It’s dangerous to work with heavy machinery and power tools in the dark. Prepare the lighting ahead of time and make sure everything works correctly. You can work efficiently and avoid any injuries due to poor visibility.

Keep yourself safe on site this winter with thermal clothing and adequate lighting.