29th May 2018 – Staying Safe in Warmer Weather
It’s official. Summer is actually, really, genuinely arriving. After months of dark mornings and blustery days, it seems that even Britain is capable of finally reaching more balmy temperatures. While this is great news for most people, operatives who need to wear PPE may not welcome the seasonal shift quite so much. PPE is important, but it can also be cumbersome, retain too much heat, and make an already tough physical job seem much more arduous. Given this, what are the best ways to keep your cool, even while you’re staying safe with your workwear? Follow these tips to help make summer a pleasure, rather than a pain…
Change the GSM
you may have noticed that your workwear is categorised in terms of ‘gsm’ value. GSM (also known as gm/2) equates to the grams per square metre weight of the fabric. It stands to reason that the lower the gsm value, the cooler your kit will keep you. When the weather starts to warm up, consider swapping your usual 220gsm polo shirt for a 180gsm style. The reduced weight will enhance wicking properties, improve your ability to cool down, and lessen the amount of trapped heat within the shirt as you’re working. Check out our 220gsm and 180gsm versions, to ‘weigh’ up your options.
Swap your material
It may sound obvious, but swapping the material your workwear is constructed from can make a significant difference when it comes to keeping your cool on a hot day with significant physical exertion. Polyester is great for workwear because of its tear-resistant durable qualities, and our specially-developed garments combine the durability of polyester with an innovative weave which maximises your skin’s ability to perspire effectively in warmer weather. Heavier materials such as polycotton blends can weigh you down when things heat up, and the denser weave may serve to hamper, rather than enhance, your comfort and safety on the job.
For those of us who need to wear safety masks to keep compliant on the job, it can be uncomfortable in the hot weather. Masks are a critical part of the wider PPE package, protecting the wearer from air-borne hazards, but in the summer months it can feel restrictive and overly warm to wear one. A quick solution to overheating from wearing a mask can be found through switching the type you use. Moving from an unvalved to valved option promotes easier air flow, keeping things cool and making it much more comfortable to wear.
Swap your high-vis workwear
High-visibility workwear is one of the staples of safe outdoor working, but in the warmer months the additional layers of clothing can really make a difference when it comes to getting hot under the collar. A great option to replace the traditional polo shirt and hi-vis waistcoat is to opt for a hi-vis polyester polo shirt, instead. This halves the number of layers you need to wear, while still maintaining absolute safety through being visible as you work.
While keeping safe is the most important aspect when considering your ideal workwear, there’s no reason why you can’t keep cool at the same time. Options such as breathable safety boots and vented safety helmets work to reduce overheating and keep the wearer comfortable, without compromising on safety. Don’t forget the sun cream when you’re out on the job, and you’ll find yourself enjoying, rather than dreading, outside work in the summer months.