Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) and What you Should Know

From US Department of Labor Blog

by Mandy Edens

Photo credit US Dept of Labor

Photo credit US Dept of Labor

Protective Clothing is the most important way to avoid cold stress. The type of fabric even makes a difference. Cotton loses its insulation value when it becomes wet. Wool, silk and most synthetics, on the other hand, retain their insulation even when wet. Here are some clothing recommendations for working in cold environments:

  • Wear at least three layers of clothing. An inner layer of wool, silk or synthetic to wick moisture away from the body. A middle layer of wool or synthetic to provide insulation even when wet. An outer wind and rain protection layer that allows some ventilation to prevent overheating. Layering provides better insulation. Do not wear tight fitting clothing.
  • Wear a hat or hood to help keep your whole body warmer. Hats reduce the amount of body heat that escapes from your head.
  • Wear insulated boots or other footwear.
  • Keep extra clothing (including underwear) handy in case you get wet and need to change.
  • Do not underestimate the wetting effects of perspiration. Oftentimes wicking and venting of the body’s sweat and heat are more important than protecting from rain or snow.

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