Staying warm this winter isn’t just a matter of comfort, it’s a matter of safety. Leaving your body exposed to the various winter hazards can lead to decreased productivity and potential injury, even death. Thankfully, with the proper FR clothing, it’s possible to stay both warm and protected this winter. While selecting FR clothing for cool and cold weather can be a difficult task, being aware of all potential hazards will help you with this process. However, as the seasons change, so do the hazards. To prepare you for the change in seasons, here are the top 3 winter hazards to watch for and how to prepare for them:
1. Cold Stress
Cold stress occurs when the skin temperatures drop and eventually leads to the internal body temperature dropping as well. This can lead to serious health problems including tissue damage and even death. Two of the main factors that contribute to cold stress are cold weather and wind chill.
Cold Weather – How cold is too cold?
What’s considered “too cold” can vary based on body type, pre-existing health conditions, geographic location, and more. Regardless of what is considered too cold for you, layering FR garments is the best practice for staying warm and compliant this winter. From FR base layers to outerwear, layering FR garments allows you to add or remove warmth to adjust to your working conditions. Given the requirements and physical demands of a job, it’s possible to be cold one minute then sweating the next. Any moisture, even from body sweat, that is trapped on the body can accelerate the rate at which you loss heat. The FR Control 2.0™ base layers feature moisture-wicking technology and actively work to regulate skin temperature (+/- 3 degrees) to keep you warm when it’s cold and comfortable when you’re active. Adding a moisture-wicking performance layer on top of the FR Control 2.0 base layer creates a moisture management system that pulls moisture from the skin and pushes it to the outside of the garment, keeping you dry.
Wind Chill – The “feels like” temperature
Sometimes referred to as the “feels like” temperature, wind chill is the quantity expressing the effective lowering of the air temperature caused by the wind. Simply put – as wind speed increases, the "feels like" temperature decreases. Created by the National Weather Service, the Wind Chill Temperature (WCT) index uses advances in science, technology, and computer modeling to provide an accurate, understandable, and useful formula for calculating the dangers from winter winds and freezing temperatures. Although this can be used help gauge the wind chill, local conditions such as time of day and precipitation should be taken into account. A drop in the “feels like” temperature can cause the body to lose more heat than normal, accelerating the effects of cold stress. Wearing an FR outerwear layer that protects you from the wind, such as NSA FR™ foul weather gear, minimizes the effect of wind chill.
3. Low Visibility
FR Hi-vis clothing isn’t just for the summer. In fact, the winter brings a variety of potential hazards that can create even more of a need for FR hi-vis clothing than the summer. Less daylight, foul weather, and the cloudy skies of winter all contribute to decreased visibility for outside workers. This means that many workers need FR hi-vis outerwear that is compliant to ASNI 107 and can keep them warm during the winter. Layering can be done with FR hi-vis clothing to allow you to add or remove warmth without sacrificing visibility. For warmth without a restricted range of motion, the DRIFIRE® Performance FR Hi-Vis Long Sleeve T-Shirt is the perfect mid-weight layer. Adding an FR hi-vis sweatshirt on top, like the clean style VIZABLE FR® Hi-Vis Hybrid Lined Zip Front Sweatshirt, provides increased warmth, protection, and ANSI 107 compliance. Whether you need hi-vis yellow or hi-vis orange will depend on job function, employer requirements, and geographic location. For example, working in wooded areas may require hi-vis orange instead of hi-vis yellow because orange provides greater contrast against the green background.
The best way to avoid potential injury this winter is to select comfortable FR clothing that keeps you warm, dry and protected. Being aware of all potential hazards, as well as employer and industry standards, is a fundamental part of this process. To find out more about the winter FR clothing options available at J.L. Matthews, contact our customer service team through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-800-421-3360.
Posted by Mike Cuppage on October 12, 2018 at 11:39 AM in FR / Flash Fire Permalink