4 Tips to Choose the Right FR Safety Clothing for Winters
With every changing season, there are new inherent hazards that directly affect a worker’s health & safety.
In the winter season, decreasing temperatures & wind chill tend to put outdoor workers at risk for hypothermia & frostbite; other dangers could be decreased mobility, slower response times & slippery surfaces. Additionally, it has been observed that diligence with wearing flame-resistance clothing over warmer winter wear may diminish the effect & potential risk during the winter months.
For these reasons, it is crucial that a winter Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plan must be established for workers working in areas where they may be exposed to arc flash, hazardous materials, or other conditions that require flame resistance clothing.
Here are four tips that will help you choose the right FR safety clothing for winters:
Avoid Loss of Body Heat & Injuries Associated with Potential Arc Flash
In addition to being uncomfortable, wet clothes will lead you to lose more body heat. You may also face a greater risk from moisture seeping through the layers. Once the clothing directly touching your skin becomes moist, it gives a path for an arc flash to travel. Make sure to use appropriate rain gear & have a change of FR clothing available for emergencies. Workers who’re exposed to electrical hazards must not wear synthetic materials as they can melt.
FR clothing items with moisture-wicking fibers pull the moisture away from your body, which helps in keeping you warmer, drier & more protected. The balance of insulation, warmth & breathability should not be overlooked while you’re working outdoors in winters. Choosing the right safety clothing for your application & environment can make a big difference in both safety & performance.
Protect Your Eyes
Eye protection in winter is a lot more important than just keeping debris or chemicals out of your eyes. Icy blasts from harsh winds in winters can irritate eyes & cause decreased visibility. So make sure your eyes are well-protected. Moreover, in certain hazardous work environments, the use of face covers along with protective eyewear may be needed.
Cover Your Head, Hands & Feet
Your body loses about 10-percent of your heat through your head. While it is important to keep your head warm, you must also ensure that your hard hat is properly fitted and those hats or liners do not cause slippage. Choose a hat or liner that can cover the back of your neck as well as your head. It is better to get a slightly larger hard hat for winters to accommodate the necessary head coverings.
In addition to this, protecting your arms & hands is also critically important for job effectiveness & worker safety. Frostbite to your hands & feet can occur rapidly. Thus, you should consider getting additional liners for gloves & boots. These liners will provide you with extra warmth & you can change them if they become damp. If your job requires you to wear protective gloves, liners should be made with suitable material that’ll not melt in case of arc flash.
It is always better to look for reusable and washable products while looking for hand & arm protection. These products offer anti-microbial & cut resistance designs and heat & chemical resistance in a lightweight & heavyweight options.
Keep your PPE Well Maintained
Your flame-resistance clothing is designed to keep you safe. For it to perform properly & provide you enough safety, you must take care of it as well.
You must follow the use & care instructions provided by the FR clothing manufacturer on the garment in order to get the full-service life from your FR products. During winters, you may need to change your garments frequently if you’re working in snowy or muddy conditions.
The most crucial factor for choosing appropriate PPE for the winter season is selecting clothing items that are not only suitable for the temperature in which you’ll be working, but it is also functional for the kind of work you’ll be performing and the physical exertion you’ll go through. Make sure to always follow the legal requirements for your trade & consult relevant sections of NFPA codes & standards to make the right choice.