Do your employees need thermal or waterproof workwear?

3 October 2016  |  Geoff

As an employer, you need to balance your obligations to your employees against the need to run your business as efficiently as possible. Consequently, if your workforce have to labour outdoors on a regular basis, you may wonder whether you need to invest in thermal and waterproof workwear for them. Of course, as a general rule, you should provide your employee with any protective workwear that they might reasonably need. However, the situation isn’t always clear-cut. In order to decide if you need to provide thermal and waterproof workwear, there are several factors you need to consider.

1. Duration of work
It’s important to think about the length of time that each employee will have to work outside. If they only have to carry out relatively simple tasks that only take a few minutes, you may not need to issue them with waterproof or thermal clothing. In contrast, if your employees spend most of their time working in open-air environments, you should consider equipping them with appropriate protective gear. For example, if your business is part of the construction industry or carries out repairs to outdoor equipment, your employees will probably spend the majority of their time in the open air and may need thermal or waterproof workwear.
2. Weather conditions
Do your employees need to work outdoors in various weather conditions or are they only expected to work outdoors when the weather is relatively hospitable? If your employees will need to keep working in rain or extremely cold conditions, you must provide appropriate protective clothing. However, if they are only expected to work outdoors when the weather is temperate, you may not need to provide them with thermal or waterproof clothing.
3. Time and location
It may be necessary to provide your workforce with thermal and waterproof workwear if your business operates in a particularly inhospitable location. If your employees have to carry out work in a damp, cold location, you should equip them with relevant protective gear. Similarly, if they have to carry out work at night (when conditions are likely to be chilly and wet), they will need thermal and waterproof clothing.
Here at Total Workwear, we stock top-quality protective workwear (including waterproof and thermal clothing) from brands such as Portwest and Tuff Stuff. By considering the factors we have listed above, you can decide if you need to invest in it. However, it’s also important to note that you may be legally obliged to provide protective workwear if your business operates within certain industries. Check your legal obligations as well as considering the factors we have listed.

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