safety workwear PPE

How to choose winter workwear

Chilly weather, low temperatures and shorter days not only take a toll on our mood and health, but also affect safety at work. Winter PPE needs to meet several specific requirements. Clothing must be comfortable, keep workers warm and protect them not only from the elements, but also from safety hazards and accidents in the workplace. 

Which materials should you consider when choosing workwear? What requirements should you take into account when making your decision?

Read on to learn the answers to the questions most frequently asked by our customers. 

safety clothes winter ppe

Choose quality

Choose quality cold weather workwear to suit the needs of your staff and the type of place they work in. Our range features products by well-known brands such as Ardon, Delta Plus and Portwest

What work clothes does an employee need in winter? 

Winter workwear must protect workers from hypothermia or frostbite, but also ensure that they can move around sufficiently freely.  

Essentials definitely include quality underwear, perhaps thermal, that wicks away moisture and sweat and has thermoregulating properties.  

Work shirts, work gilets and work sweatshirts should be layered to suit the prevailing weather. A fleece sweatshirt or fleece bodywarmer is a must. What makes fleece a particularly popular cold weather material is its good insulating properties. 

winter jacket

Thermal overalls, thermal work trousers or waterproof trousers are part of the standard kit. During the colder months, a quality winter work jacket or work coat is a wardrobe essential for anyone working outdoors. Jackets and coats are the layer of clothing that comes under the most stress. That is why they are made of various materials with varying functional properties, such as water resistance or the need for reflective elements if workers are in a place where they need to be highly visible.

ppe winter clothes

Our tip: Layer up!

Layering allows workers to add or remove individual layers of clothing as needed, for example if there is a change in temperature or the intensity of the work they are doing. If possible, go for thinner clothes made of “functional” material. 

Material used for winter workwear 

  • Cotton is one of the most popular materials because it is strong, durable, comfortable and pleasant to the touch. Cotton is also able to absorb moisture, such as sweat.  

  • Fleece is essentially 100% polyester. This functional material is hugely popular when it comes to protecting the wearer from the cold. It is an unassuming, pleasant material that keeps the wearer warm and very comfortable. 

delta plus brighton2 fleece jacket
  • Lycra is a fabric that makes workwear hold its shape even though it fully adapts to the movement of the body. Lycra is often combined with cotton to make a garment more pleasant and comfortable, while retaining the qualities typical of Lycra – quick drying, stability of shape, and snugness of fit. 

  • Polyester is one of the most popular materials used in the manufacture of winter workwear because it is weather resistant, strong and can retain heat. Polyester is known for its stability of shape, high resistance to ageing and UV rays, and easy maintenance. 

delta plus orsa softshell jacket 2 in 1 ppe
  • Softshell is an extremely lightweight yet strong material that is both windproof and breathable. This material is particularly popular with workers because of its elasticity and the comfort it provides when they move around.  

Protective winter gloves

Work hazards don’t go away even when the colder months creep in, so workers’ hands still need to be protected from such risks.  

Gloves designed to protect against the cold must comply with EN 511, according to which gloves must protect hands against convective and contact cold down to -50 °C.  

Cold-resistant gloves are also used by workers who are not outside in cold weather, but carry out their work in cold rooms, such as in freezers if they are in the food industry.

PPE Business Development Manager

If your employees work in wet environments or come into contact with icy surfaces or objects, I definitely recommend gloves with a textured palm and fingers.

Marek Špidra
PPE Business Development Manager

Types of gloves for protection against the cold  

Select gloves to suit the type of activity being carried out and the maximum cold to which workers are exposed. Cold temperatures have a considerable effect on the mechanical properties of materials, making them both stiffer and more brittle. 

  • Fully coated gloves offer protection against the cold, moisture, and many workplace hazards. They are usually a combination of fabric (cotton, nylon, Lycra, kevlar, polyester, glass fibre, acrylic), or a blend of these, and a coating material (rubber, latex, polyurethane, nitrile). 
  • Half-coated gloves are gloves that have a coating only on the palm and fingertips or are three-quarters coated.  Especially in the winter months, it makes sense for the coating to be coarse, particularly if workers are handling wet and frozen objects.  


Choose winter gloves 

layering of clothes ppe

Winter head protection

Did you know that most people lose some 10% of their body heat through their head? 

Integrated hoods will help to keep workers warm even in extreme conditions. A knitted or fleece cap will keep workers warm and comfortable even when the temperature drops well below freezing. 

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