While some types of construction taper off during the winter, other projects continue onward, despite cold weather and your wishes that you could just stay inside. Keeping warm on the job isn’t just about being comfortable, but also about staying safe. You probably know extreme cold can lead to frostbite, but even being slightly cold for extended periods of time can make you more susceptible to coming down with the flu. Even if you get to ride around in an excavator with a radio playing 80s dance floor jams, you should still take special care to keep all that burning passion close to your body and not steaming out into the environment. This winter, use five simple methods to keep yourself warm on the job at the construction site.
1. Dress in layers, which helps trap warm air so you retain more heat. You can remove just one thin layer if you’re starting to feel warm, rather than having an all-or-nothing dilemma if you’re not wearing enough clothing. Keep your clothing dry by wearing a bottom layer that wicks moisture away from your skin and a waterproof top layer. Give priority to materials like wool and synthetic fabrics instead of cotton, which can feel very cold if it’s wet.
2. Choose clothing that allows you to maintain the full range of motion needed for your job. You want your sleeves to still cover your wrists, even when you’re extending your arms to reach something. You may need a slightly longer coat, as well, to ensure there isn’t a gap between your coat and your pants when you’re reaching above yourself. When in doubt, keep some hand warmers on deck.
3. Wear a hat or liner under your hard hat. If you can, choose one that covers the back of your neck as well as going over your head. Yes, this means you may need a slightly larger hard hat during the winter, but the change will be well worth it. Even though losing a great percentage of your body heat through your head is a myth, a layer of insulation will make a huge difference.
4. Get a good pair of felt-lined leather work boots. Because leather is breathable, sweat from your feet will evaporate instead of keeping your socks wet and making your feet feel cold. When you choose socks, stick to wool and similar materials and make sure they won’t make your work boots too tight. If your boots are too snug, socks won’t insulate as well because they will be compressed, your circulation may be impaired and you won’t be able to move your toes around to keep them warm.
5. Bring a thermos of hot water (consider flavoring it with honey and/or lemon), tea or coffee to drink when you’re on breaks during the day. Being able to take a few sips of something warm can help you feel warm from the inside out. Be careful when drinking diuretics like tea and coffee; drink water so you stay hydrated.
You may have to make a fairly significant investment in your winter wardrobe, especially if this is your first winter working in construction. Keep in mind that your investment will pay off through better health during the winter. This means fewer doctor’s bills and more income because you’re able to actually work all winter.
Cassandra Lynne is an admin for Good Morning Bloggers. Good Morning Bloggers is a free service that connects blog owners with writers and vice versa. Besides from blogging, Cassandra is a travel enthusiast, art fanatic and animal adorer. Follow her on Twitter @goodmorningblog.