As sunrise fluctuates between 6.30am all the way to 8.30am as the British weather transitions from Autumn to Winter, and sunset happening between 6pm and 4pm at the peak of winter, there are many hours your workers may be shrouded in darkness or semi-darkness as they work. When it’s darker outside, your workers are in more danger of accidents. In fact, workers are 15% more likely to have an accident in October than they are in the previous six months, which means employers have a duty to increase protection and awareness.
With falling leaves, rain, wet, slippery ground, and more dangerous road conditions, it’s important to keep workers safe. If your workers drive on site during sunrise and sunset, they may have sun in their eyes, which can cause obvious problems, but there are also issues with visibility, with passersby not seeing your employees as well as they can in summer months. Your employees are in danger of slipping on wet leaves, or not having enough light to see what they are doing properly. Furthermore, with colder weather, workers are in danger of not wearing enough layers or getting too hot by wearing too much. In between weather factors cause problems overall, so it’s getting darker...is your team covered?
Here are 4 winter workwear essentials:
3) Warm work gloves
4) Safety boots
Later sunrise and sunsets means that visibility is an issue. Depending on where your workers operate, you will need to make sure they have adequate hi-vis protection. It’s advisable to provide hi-vis vests as a minimum precaution, but an even safer plan is to make hi-vis jackets and trousers part of essential protection as well. This way, no matter the light level, your workers can be seen.
When the weather gets colder, it’s important your workers have layers. You need to make sure your workers have a thermal layer, a fleece layer (you can even embroider your company logo), a sweat-wicking layer, and an outer, waterproof layer if needed. If workers get too hot, they can go inside a warm, dry place to remove excess layers and make themselves more thermally comfortable.
Waterproofing is especially important as the autumn transitions to winter since, if your workers get wet, they can increase their risk of illness when combined with colder temperatures.
3) Warm work gloves
When working on-site, warm work gloves are one of the most important factors. Colder weather often means clumsier fingers, and low-light means that workers may place their hands on sharp objects or edges without realising it, which is why work gloves are important to keep hands safe from harm at work. Keeping warm hands also reduces the risks associated with VWF (Vibration White Finger) when operating vibrating equipment on site.
4) Safety boots
As the ground gets slippy, safety, slip-resistant safety boots are paramount. Work boots can protect against wet leaves, slippery surfaces, and muddy ground. A good pair of safety boots protects your worker’s ankles from harm, cushions their joints and feet, and corrects posture to reduce back injuries. A good pair of shoes for outdoor workers is important to keeping them safe.
Want to find out all about seasonal workwear essentials?
Download a FREE copy of our Workwear Buying Guide with a new guide for spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Each guide outlines the average UK temperatures for each season, the inherent dangers you need to protect against, and how to clothe your workers to best defend against outdoor dangers.