Every winter, tens of thousands of workers brave the bitter cold to perform necessary jobs and services. Often, the only thing protecting them is their personal protective equipment (PPE).
Winter work outfits are an absolute must on any jobsite! Can you spot the worker in the above image?
Wearing the proper protective garments to guard against freezing temperatures, wind, and precipitation is vital to your health and safety when your job takes you into the tundra of wintertime. Whether it’s a Hippora- lined heated winter glove or a nice bomber jacket, wearing appropriate PPE is the only way a worker makes it from one season to the next.
MCR Safety recognizes the risks that winter weather poses to workers. For this reason, we offer a wide variety of cold weather PPE garments so you can avoid the effects of cold stress and do your job safely and comfortably.
Don’t put yourself in unnecessary danger. Learn about the different kinds of winter PPE and how the styles MCR Safety carries will protect you from winter’s many hazards.
OSHA Winter Preparedness: Are You Ready?
If your job requires you to work outside in winter weather, you have to be prepared. Cold stress conditions can be very dangerous. Working in below-freezing temperatures, especially in wet or windy conditions, can lead to trench foot, frostbite, and hypothermia.
While OSHA does not issue specific standards for working in cold environments, it does state that employers have the responsibility to provide employees with a workplace that is free from winter weather hazards. This means employers should train employees on safe work practices and provide engineering controls to protect them from the cold.
These measures may include:
- Training to recognize and prevent cold stress
- Training to recognize and react to slippery surfaces, downed power lines, and other winter weather hazards
- Providing equipment like radiant heaters
- Providing employees with proper tools and equipment to do their jobs
- Providing employees with proper protective clothing
- Training employees to dress properly for cold weather
Being prepared for winter is critical! Winter products shown in the image: FR bomber jacket, an FR balaclava, winter lined leather work gloves and polarized safety glasses.
Here is some helpful information from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
What Do You Need for Winter PPE?
OSHA may not set requirements for winter workwear, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t standards for what is appropriate and recommended for wearing when work takes you out into winter weather. It’s just common sense for workers to suit up for extreme conditions and for employers to provide their workers with high-quality winter PPE.
So what kind of winter PPE do you need? This might depend on your specific job and location, but here are the standard recommendations:
- Anti-exposure work suits that are waterproof to protect against hypothermia in cold and wet conditions
- Insulated work gloves that allow for dexterity while preventing frostbite
- Heavy-duty work boots to prevent frostbite, preferably felt-lined, rubber-bottomed, leather-topped, and waterproof
- Winter liners for hard hats made of flannel or knit to protect ears, neck, and head
- Polarized, foam-sealed safety glasses with anti-fog and UV protection features to prevent snow blindness and sun glare
- Layers of clothing, preferably with zipper openings, to trap body heat when cold and vent excess heat when warm
- Mouth or face covering to protect against cold and windburn (balaclava masks are covered in the next section)
Having these items on hand and replacing them when they become damaged or worn is vital for staying safe on the job in winter conditions. Let’s explore some specific options available for winter PPE.
What Is a Balaclava Mask ?
A balaclava mask is a piece of winter headgear designed to protect the head and face while exposing only the mouth, nose, and eyes—or sometimes just the eyes. It’s a versatile piece, and some designs also can be converted into a hat or collar. Balaclavas are sometimes called ski masks, but regardless of what you call them, a balaclava pattern, as shown in the above image, keeps your face and head warm in frigid conditions!
Any construction worker working outside in cold weather knows it’s all about keeping your face warm and the cold chill at bay. That’s why a balaclava mask is part of the winter work outfit worn across many industries where workers are outside during winter months.
Outdoor workers can use balaclavas to keep their heads and faces warm in the cold. Look for one with additional features that suit your needs, such as moisture-wicking abilities, sun protection, or waterproofing.
MCR Safety’s Winter Balaclavas
Stay warm when the weather turns bitterly cold with one of our balaclavas. MCR Safety understands the hazards you face when working outside in the winter. That’s why we offer high-quality balaclavas to protect you from frostbite and windburn while keeping your head comfortably dry and warm.
When you’re working on a roof or outside in the oilfields and brutal cold winds are pounding you, facial protection becomes the PPE a worker needs close by. With MCR Safety’s FR balaclava mask, you will be ready to head out into the worst wintery conditions and survive any wind chill Mother Nature blows your way.
As the saying goes, “The show must go on,” and it goes on all year within the construction industry, in cold or hot weather.
Full-face protection includes wind protection that extends below the neckline. MCR Safety’s balaclavas are engineered to keep your entire neck covered and protected. Our non-FR styles are made of soft-stretch polyester fleece material; these garments help protect your head, face, ears, and neck from the discomforts of extreme conditions.
Our premium BLCVL balaclavas have:
• 250-gram polyester fleece stretch fabric lining: for comfort and warmth
• Reflective binding: for enhanced visibility in low light
• Elastic binding around the face: for a secure fit to help protect against wind and cold
• Lightweight material: that fits under a helmet or hard hat without feeling too bulky
• Versatile winter hood: that can be worn in a variety of ways, from ski mask to neck gaiter
In addition to cold weather protection, using an MCR Safety balaclava for layering offers enhanced FR protection for jobs where you’re working with open flames or at risk for combustion or arc flash.
MCR Safety now stocks three different versions of balaclavas: a hi-viz balaclava, an FR balaclava made with CarbonX, and a non-FR balaclava.
What is a Bomber Jacket?
Have you ever heard the saying, “Bomber jackets are to jackets what henleys are to t-shirts”? Yea, it’s true. You will instantly look sharper when you’ve got a sporty black bomber jacket on!
Bomber jackets are the zippered leather jackets with a fitted waist and cuffs made famous by bomber pilots in World War II. While they have become a popular casual fashion statement in recent decades, the bomber jacket has also been adopted for on-the-job use due to its close-fitting style. The BRCL3L, shown above, has become a fan-favorite, as it reverses from Class-3 visibility while at work to a sporty black when hi-visibility is not required.
BRCL3L reversed back to hi-vis.
The reversible feature makes the BRCL3L a popular selling style every winter! Today, many bomber jackets come with features like extra insulation and high-visibility reflective colors that make them suitable to wear on the jobsite or away from work.
MCR Safety’s Hi-Visibility Bomber Jacket
When working outside, high-visibility clothing is necessary to keep you detectable to drivers, especially in inclement weather and at night. When it’s snowing outside, you have no choice but to be working in a hi-vis garment, as you become harder to distinguish in the snow. A high-visibility bomber jacket can do double-duty by keeping you warm and visible.
MCR Safety has designed a broad line of reflective PPE that will allow you to find the right product for your application, including our Hi-Visibility and Luminator Series bomber jackets. These jackets come with a variety of features to make your cold environment job easier and safer to perform. Peruse our styles and find the right combination of these features to select the bomber jacket that best suits your needs.
Here are some features you’ll find:
• Reversible, with a reflective side and black side
• Treated with Teflon
• Zip-out fleece liner
• Reflective stripes
• Detachable hood
• Bright fluorescent colors
• Zippered closure and pockets
MCR Safety’s hi-vis bomber jackets should be a vital part of your cold-weather uniform. They provide an outer layer that guards against the elements and for the best warmth, you can choose a style with an inner lining for extra insulation. Removable linings are ideal for temperature control.
MCR Safety’s Winter Catalog covers all the winter bomber jackets we offer.
MCR Safety’s FR Bomber Jackets
An outerwear staple for almost any work environment is a jacket. MCR Safety’s bomber jackets are designed to be comfortable, rugged, warm, and water-repellant. When you’re facing cold temperatures, an insulated jacket is worth every penny. This is especially true when it’s double-stitched and tacked for reinforcement, ensuring the shell stays intact and you retain body heat.
Spend your work shift warm and toasty in our durable bomber jacket. Here are two of MCR Safety’s FR Bomber Jackets:
What Is a Chore Coat?
A chore coat is a loose-fitting work coat with large breast- and hip-pockets, a pointed collar, and a front closure often of buttons or velcro. Chore coats are usually made of durable twill or canvas that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear on the job.
Historically, chore coats have been worn by laborers across many different industries where work tends to take place outside. The pockets are ideal for holding tools, the cuffs can be rolled up, and the loose fit makes moving around easy. Today, the style has caught on among fashionistas as well, combining utility with fashion.
MCR Safety’s FR Chore Coat
Are you looking for a sporty FR winter jacket? When the weather forecast shows cooler weather on the horizon, wearing a warm jacket becomes an absolute necessity, but there is no reason you have to sacrifice a stylish appearance for warmth and safety. You also don’t want to sacrifice safety if you need FR protection. In MCR Safety’s Chore coat, you don’t have to as it’s tested to a CAT Rating 3!
Our FR chore coat provides the comfort, fit, warmth, and style workers seek. With their longer cut, chore coats are an excellent option for FR outerwear clothing, as they provide coverage and protection below the waist. Anyone who demands quality FR garments will choose to wear MCR Safety’s chore coat!
Here are MCR Safety’s FR chore coats:
Vortex - MCR Safety’s Warmest Work Jacket
When winter is coming, you need to make adjustments to your winter work wardrobe, especially if you’re anticipating sub-zero temperatures. Don’t put yourself at risk by forgoing proper winter PPE, like one of MCR Safety’s warm work jackets.
MCR Safety’s Vortex jackets are our warmest option. Its double-insulated construction is made of a permanent polyester quilted liner covered by a zip-out fleece liner that will keep you warm in temperatures as low as -27°F.
Our Vortex jackets also feature ten outer pockets for storage, high-quality ripstop polyester/polyurethane material for ruggedness and long wear life, and exceed ANSI Class 3 and CSA Z96 Class 2, Level 2 requirements to ensure you are seen in low light conditions and complex backgrounds.
Lastly, the roomy detachable zippered hood will hide away into the collar when not needed and features adjustable drawstring closures and hook and loop chin straps to keep it in place. A standup storm collar protects the neck and chin.
X marks the spot in a Vortex jacket, providing even greater worker recognition!
MCR Safety keeps you safe and warm in all winter weather with our exceptional Vortex jackets.
Extra.. Winter Work Gloves
We’ve got another blog that specifically highlights MCR Safety winter gloves. We discuss clo ratings, cut-resistant winter gloves and whole lot more. Here are some of the following topics we highlight:
• Waterproof Winter Work Gloves
• Warm Work Gloves
• Best Winter Work Gloves
You can read up on it here.
Extra Hi-Vis ClothingTips
We receive a variety of questions from users regarding hi-vis products. Here are some of the frequent questions around cleaning we receive:
• How do I clean grease on hi-vis jackets?
• How do I wash a bomber jacket?
With regards to both questions, we include the following tag on the inside of every MCR Safety bomber jacket.
All ANSI Class 2 and Class 3 certified garments must meet specific machine-wash tests, shown above.
Here are some additional tips for laundering hi-vis gear:
1. Machine wash with like colors on a delicate cycle.
2. Use a mild detergent. We stress again, as it's shown in the tag image, Do NOT use bleach! We also do not recommend using fabric softeners.
3. Avoid washing reflective products with rough fabrics or garments with rough edges, like your work jeans. The microscopic glass beads found on the reflective tape can be worn off by garments with a rougher texture.
Concerning difficult stains and getting grease off, we recommend you first softly wipe soiled or greasy areas off with a clean cloth. Never use bleach on the stain, as sodium hypochlorite can damage hi-vis products. Only stain removers designed for bright colors should be considered, such as Clorox 2, which is color-safe (or non-chlorine). Clorox also makes Lestoil Heavy Duty Cleaner, which is great for getting oils and greases out of fabric. It also contains no chlorine bleach.
Winter Catalog and Winter Insulation Page
We’ve got even more resources for those looking to explore more winter work outfits. Both our winter catalog and insulation page will guide you on all of MCR Safety’s winter PPE.
Here is the link to our insulation page.
Stay Safe This Winter with MCR Safety
Don’t let Old Man Winter get the best of you. Prevent cold stress and stay comfortable this winter season with quality cold-weather PPE from MCR Safety.
Our products are designed to provide maximum protection from extreme winter conditions so you can do your job correctly and safely.
We are committed to protecting people and can provide all the safety equipment you need. No matter your industry or profession, for over 45 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a world leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it’s on the shop floor, an oil rig, or a construction site, we are there providing solutions to workplace hazards. It’s all part of our commitment to protect people.
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. nFor more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor or give us a call at (800) 955-6887.