On the other end of the climate spectrum, prolonged exposure to cold can be equally dangerous, causing loss of sensation in the extremities, frostbite, or hypothermia. Needless to say, selecting the right protective clothing plays a crucial role in sufficiently protecting your workers from high or low temperatures.
Custom-made for climate
With so many different protective fabrics on the market these days, there are a variety of wovens, knits, fleeces, and soft shells available to mix and match when it comes to providing your employees with climate-sensitive garment options. In temperate regions, for instance, companies may opt for one all-season garment set, perhaps with an extra jacket for chillier days. In other regions with distinct seasons, companies often make the conscious choice for two sets: summer protective clothing, made from lighter fabrics designed for excellent moisture management; and winter protective clothing, made from thicker fabrics that wick away sweat yet also insulate the body from the cold.
In regions such as Southeast Asia or the Middle East where high temperatures are a year-round phenomenon, companies often invest in inherent FR fabrics that offer the best lightweight protection. That said, it’s impossible to ignore the increasingly warmer summers everywhere, as global temperatures rise as a result of climate change. This makes inherent FR solutions an attractive option for any company wanting to keep their workers cool and comfortable.
Comfort is serious business
No matter where you’re located, climate control is an essential piece in the safety-comfort puzzle. Taking worker requests for more comfortable protective garments seriously will always result in a better safety culture with fewer accidents. Uncomfortable (read: overheated) workers are much more likely to lose focus, make unsafe decisions, and risk harming themselves by wearing their workwear incorrectly — for instance, by failing to completely zip their jacket or wearing just half of their protective suit.
Get involved, get specific
It’s common for large organisations to select protective clothing at the global HQ, then roll out this generic solution regionally. Outposts may understandably try to find a local protective workwear solution that’s better tailored to their climate, but this can come at a cost to safety compliance. That’s why it’s smartest to get all global stakeholders involved in your protective clothing tender from the beginning, in order to fully assess your workers’ safety and comfort needs across all different seasons and climates.
When “one size fits all” doesn’t apply
Ultimately, everyone experiences temperature differently, so give your workers the chance to decide their ideal climate protective clothing for themselves. Not only does this signal that you value and hear them, it empowers them to take responsibility for their own safety on the job by wearing their workwear correctly. Thanks to the many types of protective fabrics available these days, you’re sure to find a solution that ticks all the boxes when it comes to climate- and temperature-related end user needs. We recommend consulting your protective fabric supplier or garment maker directly to discover what your options are.