For many of us, there’s no escaping the cold! Work doesn’t stop for winter, and when it’s cold, you need to be smart about your working conditions!The cold isn’t just uncomfortable, it can be dangerous; with frostbite, numbness, and hypothermia. It’s important to remember the dangers of working with the wrong gear in winter conditions.
A few years ago we created an article highlighting the best ways to prevent heat loss by wearing the right gloves 🡕 here! We recommend checking out that article, as it goes into more detail about the ways in which your body loses heat. In this article, we wanted to give a few quick tips to keep in mind when heading out into the cold!
Quick tip 1: Plan for breaks
Numbness, shivers, and in extreme circumstances hypothermia and frostbite can really lower productivity. You want to get the job done, and being productive means working smart, when out in the cold ensure you’re taking necessary breaks to warm up! If you’re working on projects that allow you to rotate between your crew, make sure that’s done so that everyone is given a break from the cold.
Quick tip 2: Sleep & Eat
When working outside in the cold, being alert is essential. Make sure you’ve had enough sleep and food to get you through your time working outside. Ensure you’re drinking enough fluids while you work as dehydration sets in faster in cold weather, leading to headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, endangering yourself and your team!
Quick tip 3: Stay Dry
Damp clothing can quickly drop your body temperature, so it’s important to stay dry in the cold! We’ve developed excellent solutions for water resistance!
For our synthetic winter gloves, we’ve created a breathable Hy+Dry® barrier designed with advanced technology to provide ultimate protection from wind and water and keep your hands warm, dry, and comfortable.
For our leather winter work gloves, we’ve created Dryhide™, a breathable and water-resistant leather treatment that lasts up to 3 hours. Dryhide™ blocks liquids from penetrating the leather and dries soft keeping your hands warm, dry, and comfortable.
When in doubt, go fully dipped! With a seamless coating over the palm and back of hand, these gloves have excellent water-resistant qualities.
Quick tip 4: Find the Right Fit
Outdoor jobs can vary wildly, and personal responses to cold temperatures can vary from day to day and person to person! We suggest trying different glove styles to see what fits you and your work the best.
Get the Right Insulation
When deciding on insulation we’d suggest that you start by considering your application, look at the level of dexterity you require, and then work your way backwards. Thinner insulation allows for more precise movements and minimizes hand fatigue.
Consider the orientation of the glove’s insulation. To increase dexterity, the lining may be different between the glove’s palm and back of hand. For example, our 95785 Shock Trooper has a Lightweight 3M Thinsulate™ C40 (palm) and C100 (back) lining.
If dexterity is not an issue, go bulky, or consider how the glove’s insulation is built-up. Materials matter, and layering can help to create new levels of warmth. For example, our winter Van Goat gloves have an extra layer of microfleece on top of the cut resistant liner, keeping hands warmer!
Try a mitt
Mittens ain’t just for kids – keeping your fingers in one pouch allows them to share the heat in one space, and the extra space in the mitt leaves more room for insulation. This is great when your work doesn’t require the use of your digits! Although, with that in-mind, we’ve developed many new one-fingered mitts that allow you to interact, and use tools more easily, while maintaining many of the same warming qualities of a traditional mitt.
Try a liner
In Winter, temperatures can swing drastically. Sometimes your glove choice in the morning might be too warm for the afternoon! A glove liner allows you to add or remove layers depending on your current comfort level.
Try a heated glove (or heated liner)
For some people, the old-school methods just don’t cut it, and you gotta try something a little more… high-tech! There are a few different styles of heated gloves, but most fall under the battery-powered category, and in our experience, they’re the most successful in maintaining a consistent heat level.
Heated gloves are a little more expensive, but the trade-off is often well worth the investment, and with modern battery technology, the working time has finally hit a point that is acceptable for outdoor laborers.
A few things to look for in a heated glove:
- Are the batteries interchangeable? Built-in batteries are great aesthetically but not super functional in real-work scenarios. The ability to have multiple batteries charged, and to switch out on the fly, can save your hands on those very cold days!
- Are there multiple heat levels? Everyone has different tolerances, and weather can vary throughout the day – having multiple heat levels allows the user to set the perfect temperature for their working conditions.
- What are the glove’s other features? The self-heating technology is only one part of the glove, without other weather-resistant features like water resistance, wind resistance, and adequate lining, the glove will likely not be up to the task.
- Battery life and coil temperatures! Check out how long each battery will last, and what temperatures the coils will heat to at each heat level.
Why choose a heated glove or a liner? Price can be a big factor when choosing a heated glove, especially when outdoor work can be rough on gloves, or when you require specific PPE on the job site.
A heated liner can be worn under your existing glove, transferring the wear and tear to the shell, allowing you to maintain the protective qualities of your work glove while getting the heat of the heated glove.
Quick tip 5: Keep a cold weather safety kit in your work vehicle
Weather can shift quickly, leading to unexpected outcomes. Having a cold weather safety kit in your work vehicle is essential when working in cold climates. Here are a few ideas of things to keep in your kit. If you’re building one yourself, please do your own research to ensure you’re adequately covered for your conditions.
A few ideas:
- An emergency blanket,
- a dry pair of gloves!
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