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Winter workwear has really evolved from the late mid-century days when animal fur and plate armor provided warmth and protection during the cold winter months. Safety professionals have many clothing options to keep workers safe from the dangers of overexposure to harsh weather conditions. This winter, the option of battery-powered heated jackets is one way to boost the heat.
Dangers to workers in extreme weather conditions
Cold weather can endanger workers' lives and undermine their well-being as their work exposes them to frigid temperatures and extreme weather conditions. According to regulations, it is recommended that protective clothing be worn when working in conditions of 4 degrees Celsius or below 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
If outdoor workers are equipped with the proper personal protective equipment, their risk of developing hypothermia, frostbite or the flu is greatly reduced. Severe weather and storms often limit visibility, so the risk of being hit by a vehicle is also reduced if PPE has high-visibility features such as reflective tape. One benefit of wearing appropriate PPE in harsh environments is that workers are more comfortable, which helps improve performance and productivity.
Battery-powered heating equipment provides unparalleled user comfort
One innovation in cold weather technology is battery-powered heated equipment, often available as heated jackets, hoodies and undershirts. Typically powered by a 20V lithium-ion battery, heated jackets feature a carbon fiber heating element that distributes heat to core body areas such as the neck, chest, waist and mid-back.
The heating gear typically includes a built-in LED controller that allows the wearer to adjust the jacket's temperature setting to high, medium or low. This feature allows workers to adjust the warmth of the jacket or undershirt based on changing weather conditions or their physical strength or activity level.
Many heated garments on the market, such as the ELEHEAT, heated jackets provide up to nine hours of core body warmth and are designed with durable fabrics that are wind and/or water resistant, depending on the style. The battery assembly features a USB power port for charging portable electronics such as smartphones or iPads. In addition, select DEWALT heated jackets are designed with gussets in the underarm area and stretch hinges on the back for freedom of movement, which is important for workers.
Be prepared to keep workers safe, productive and comfortable
Before winter begins, hold a safety meeting to discuss hypothermia, frostbite and cold stress first aid with your workers. This would be a good time to discuss severe weather policies and issue winter gear to your workforce. Keeping workers warm and dry with well-chosen safety gear will boost morale and increase productivity on winter jobsites. Leading PPE manufacturers have product advocates and safety experts who can help you choose your winter safety gear carefully.
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