Choosing Proper Apparel Helps Guard Against Cold Stress

When working outdoors in winter, the first line of defense against the elements is to dress properly for the cold. The following tips, recommended by OSHA, will help protect against cold stress and cold-related illness:

    • Wear at least three layers of loose fitting clothing. Layering provides better insulation.
           - An inner layer of wool, silk or synthetic (polypropylene) to keep moisture away from the body. Thermal wear, wool, silk or polypropylene, inner layers of clothing that will hold more body heat than cotton.
           - A middle layer of wool or synthetic to provide insulation even when wet.
           - An outer wind and rain protection layer that allows some ventilation to prevent overheating. 
     • Tight clothing reduces blood circulation. Warm blood needs to be circulated to the extremities.

      • Insulated coat/jacket (water resistant if necessary)
      • Knit mask to cover face and mouth (if needed)
      • Hat that will cover your ears as well. A hat will help keep your whole body warmer. Hats reduce the amount of body heat that escapes from your head.
      • Insulated gloves (water resistant if necessary), to protect the hands
      • Insulated and waterproof boots to protect the feet