Safety is important 365 days a year, but it is especially important during the winter months, when there are weather hazards everywhere you turn.
Working on sites in the cold can present many risks but keeping hands warm is one of the most important keys to staying safe.
So why is keeping hands warm so important?
We lose heat at our extremities (fingers and toes) before we lose heat in our core. In essence they get cold to keep our trunk warm.
This cold response can have potentially dangerous side effects for our hands; we’ll start to experience effects such as decreased hand dexterity, grip strength, sensitivity and mobility – all the things that make our hands such indispensable tools.
Not only does this mean we can’t do our job as well as we should be able to, continued exposure to cold can even lead to frostbite and other problems such as hypothermia.
Wearing gloves may seem the obvious answer to all of this. However, there are lots of thermal glove options out there – so, where do you start?
What are the important things to look for with a thermal glove?
- Check the mechanical protection – in cold weather, it’s so easy to focus on thermal protection to combat the cold risks. However, the risks of cuts and abrasions are still very much there, the risks that come with cold weather are an additional risk. It’s important that a winter glove doesn’t compromise on cut protection in favour of thermal protection.
- Check the dexterity of a glove, or simply – can the task be done while wearing the glove? A lot of thermal gloves can be thick and cumbersome, which means it’s likely the gloves will need to be removed to carry out the task, and that will leave hands unprotected against the weather, as well as unprotected against all other risks in the workplace.
- Check for waterproofing – select a glove that is water-repellent or waterproof if it’s going to be worn when working in wet or damp conditions. Our body heat decreases much faster if the insulation inside our gloves is wet, so it’s important to keep gloves dry to keep hands warm.
Getting the best out of thermal gloves
There are a couple of further tips we’d like to share to help get the best of the thermal gloves:
- Put thermal gloves on before you leave a warm environment to enter the cold. This may seem basic, but our body heat is as valuable as gold in cold environments, and we need to do everything we can to retain it. As with many things in life, prevention is better than cure!
- Wear the right size gloves – a thermal glove should fit your hand properly. A pair of gloves that are too big allows the cold wind to enter. This in turn means the gloves won’t perform effectively as an insulating barrier against your skin, as well as reducing dexterity and grip strength. On the other hand, gloves that are too small or tight can compromise circulation as well as increase sweating, which actually makes your hands colder, and also are very uncomfortable to wear.
- Gloves with slightly extended cuffs can be fastened under jacket sleeves, so that there’s no exposure to the elements around the wrist and lower arm area.
In conclusion, to keep hands safe, warm and working in the winter months, it’s important that wearers are issued gloves that not only insulate their hands, but also provide sufficient levels of cut protection and functionality.
The concise thermal range at STALSEN ticks exactly those boxes.
For more information, or to request sample pairs, please get in touch by clicking here.
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