5 Ways to Stay Warm on Construction Sites This Winter

It’s cold out there this time of year, but that doesn’t mean that work slows down for commercial construction firms or general contractors. Unfortunately, even on the coldest days, we sometimes have no choice but to be out on a worksite, finishing up a project.

Projects for us at Leon Williams Contractors stay around Knoxville, Maryville, and the rest of the East Tennessee area. It doesn’t get quite as cold for us as it does in other parts of the country, but we still have to prepare for some pretty chilly days on the job.

The good news is, there are still plenty of ways to stay warm on a construction site, and when the temperature drops, we take full advantage of them.

Here are five ways construction workers protect their entire bodies on a worksite during the winter.

  1. Clothing: Thermal insulated coveralls are the best choice for winter work. They cover nearly all exposed skin on your body, including arms and legs, but are comfortable enough to allow you to move freely. Often, we’ll get them a little bit oversized, so we can put some layers underneath. Layering is great because if you do get overheated, you can take a layer off to cool down without exposing too much skin. But it’s crucial to choose the right layers: an inner layer needs to be moisture wicking, to keep sweat from making you cold; a middle layer might be made of fleece or wool, covered by the insulated coveralls.
  2. Face and neck protection: There are some wonderful helmet liners that work well under a hard hat. These typically fasten under the chin, so they protect your head, ears, and part of your neck. You can also wear facemasks and wrap-around eye protection to hold in body heat, and a scarf is a good option for protecting the rest of the neck, and is easily removable if you get hot. It’s just important to avoid dangling ends that could get caught in equipment.
  3. Hand protection: It’s tricky to pick just the right gloves for construction work. They need to be heavy and durable, but with the right fabric and texture to allow you to remain dexterous. Here again is a good opportunity to buy them a little too big so that you can put a warm liner inside.
  4. Foot protection: The most important thing here is to have waterproof, insulated boots so no moisture seeps in; once that happens no amount of layers will keep your feet warm. However, they also need to be breathable, so your own perspiration can get out. Insulated or thermal socks are a good bet, especially with a double layer. Don’t forget a sock liner for added protection. And if there’s a pile of snow on the ground, a snow gator is ideal for protecting your feet from it.
  5. Working the right way: Movement generates heat, so the most important thing in staying warm on a cold worksite is to keep moving. This is also why layering becomes important. You will sweat as you work, and that sweat could make you cold, so the more layers you have on, the easier it is to stay dry. If you think you’ll be working up a lot of sweat, it’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes.

Construction work doesn’t go on hold in the winter, so it’s very important to work around the weather as much as possible. By following these principles, we’ve been able to stay warm and safe even on the coldest worksites.

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