If you have ever been out in the cold, stomping your feet and rubbing your hands, you know how hard it can be to stay warm when the temperatures drop. For construction workers, the seasonal changes present additional job hazards, and they don’t have the luxury of seeking shelter indoors. Fortunately, there are ways to stay warm and dry while working in the winter.
Wear Cold Weather Gear
Dressing in layers is the key to keeping warm. Put on, at least, three layers of clothing with a thick outer coat that protects you from the rain and wind. Wear cold weather gloves to keep your hands from freezing and waterproof boots with insulation to keep your feet warm and dry. Always wear a hat or a hood that covers you ears and neck. A knit face mask protects your nose and cheeks. Wearing glasses that wrap around the front of your face helps to keep the cold and the wind from straining your eyes.
Some jobs are going to require that you get into the middle of damp conditions or work through storms. Your outer layer of clothing is a shield against the elements that keeps you dry. Your jacket and coveralls need to be made of a waterproof material. Treated leather is good material for your boots, and there are many special synthetic fabrics designed for this purpose. Your garments should be sturdy but also flexible enough to let you work.
Cover All Exposed Skin
Every bit of exposed skin lets a little bit of your body’s internal heat escape. That’s why it’s important to keep as much of your skin covered as possible. Most of your gear will cover the greater portions of your body, but the joints between two garments can let some of the heat out. Cinch up your gloves and sleeves, and make sure your pant legs cover over the tops of your boots. Wrap up your neck in a scarf to cover the gaps between your hat and your jacket. Coats and coveralls that have tears or holes need to be patched or replaced.
Eat and Drink for Warmth
When you are exposed to the cold, your body has to work harder to maintain its internal temperature. Even if you are inactive, standing in the cold can still cause you to become exhausted. You can help maintain your core body temperature by eating a high-calorie meal like pasta. The calories your body burns put off heat to keep you warm.
Also, you should keep your body hydrated to encourage the natural metabolic processes. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, but drink plenty of warm sugary drinks. The extra calories from the sugars contribute to the energy your body uses to maintain your core temperature.
It’s always best to avoid being caught outside in the cold, but when your construction job requires it, you should be prepared. Always wear the right cold weather gear. Stay as dry as possible, and avoid allowing your bare skin to be exposed to the weather. Consume plenty of high-calorie foods and drinks to give your body the energy it needs to stay healthy.