Getting things done on a worksite can be challenging, especially when it’s hot. Wearing suitable clothing can make a huge difference when it comes to your health and well-being. Manufacturers specially designed personal protective equipment (PPE) to give workers adequate protection against common workplace hazards.
Excessive exposure to the sun and hot temperatures can result in various side effects you’re better off avoiding. These challenges make it difficult for employees to maintain proper safety practices while keeping themselves comfortable. Luckily, you can use these top eight FR clothing options to stay cool in the summer.
Types of Material
One of the first things to consider when purchasing FR clothing for summer work is the type of material it consists of. Lightweight fabrics are breathable and allow wearers to move around without chaffing or cutting off circulation. FR clothes manufactured with Nomex are strong enough to resist heat without causing too much discomfort.
Staying cool in the summer requires a material that’s soft and comfortable. However, workers also need to stay safe. FR clothing manufacturers often use specialized fibers capable of creating breathability without putting workers at risk.
How Well They Fit
How well FR clothing fits can significantly affect your comfort levels, especially when it’s hot out. Wearing restrictive or tight-fitting clothing can make you feel warmer, especially if the fabrics don’t allow your skin to breathe properly. On the other hand, clothing that’s too loose can be dangerous when operating around heavy machinery and moving parts.
Take careful measurements before purchasing your FR clothing to ensure it’s a good size for your requirements. If you’re having trouble, most FR clothing providers will assist you in taking measurements. Correct dimensions are key to clothing that’s both protective and cool in the summer.
You should also consider the amount of coverage your FR clothing options give you in the summertime, especially if you’re operating outdoors. Exposed skin can develop burns, rashes, and various types of cancer. The good news is that covering your extremities with FR materials can keep you safe while reducing the temperature around your skin.
Long-sleeve flame-resistant work shirts and pants can help prevent direct exposure and keep you cool. You must appropriately protect any areas not covered by FR clothing or other materials. Hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses are essential during the summer.
Most workers move around quite a bit while doing physical labor. These motions only increase the amount of heat your body generates, making it harder to stay cool if you don’t have the correct gear. Manufacturers design the best FR clothing and accessories with worker mobility in mind.
Restrictive FR clothing can impede your work, especially if you do a lot of walking, stretching, or bending. Treated fabrics should offer a range of motion, giving you enough freedom to complete tasks without overexerting yourself and increasing your body’s temperature to unsafe levels. Knitted fabrics are an excellent choice for situations where you must be active in the heat.
The Fabric Color
The color of your chosen FR clothing can also help keep you cool in the summer. A general rule of thumb is that darker colors absorb more heat, while lighter colors reflect it. While it isn’t always the case, avoiding certain spectrums should help improve overall comfort. Purchasing lighter-colored FR clothing will reduce threats from common hazards without warming your body.
White clothing is the most reflective, but it can make it harder for others to see you during the day. Wearing yellow or blue will allow others to see you while reducing your heat exposure. If your clothing feels as though it’s warming up in hot weather, you may need to purchase some lighter-colored FR clothing to reduce the amount of heat they absorb.
Expected Weather Conditions
The type of weather you’re working in will play an essential role in deciding which FR clothing to wear. It’s important to be extra careful when operating in extremely hot temperatures. It’s good practice to start with a base layer and add items as needed, depending on your situation.
Lightweight FR coveralls, shirts, and hoods give workers highly durable solutions for their everyday needs. Try to find garments designed with vents and openings to improve airflow. You can get more done without risking heat exhaustion by utilizing your body’s innate cooling capabilities.
The Amount of Shade
If you’re working outdoors, the amount of available shade will play a massive role in how cool your clothing is throughout the day. Direct sunlight will cause clothing of any color to heat up if exposed for too long. The best thing to do in such situations is to stay in the shade as much as possible.
Employers must manage their worksites appropriately to ensure there’s adequate shade for workers when they need it. If someone is overheating, they need a place to cool off immediately. Umbrellas, tents, and movable shelters are essential for giving workers reprieve on hot days. Providing such facilities can help reduce the amount of heat absorbed through clothing.
Hydration Is Key
Dehydration can pose a severe threat to your health and well-being. No matter what type of FR clothing workers wear, they’re still susceptible to heat strokes, seizures, and other negative health effects. Ensuring they consume enough water throughout the day should be a priority, especially in the summertime.
Employees must drink around eight ounces of water for every 20 minutes of work. Staying hydrated is even more critical on extremely hot days that cause constant perspiration. Setting up drinking stations, providing sports drinks containing electrolytes, and allowing workers to take regular breaks will complement any FR gear they wear and ensure they don’t overheat.
Watch Out for Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is one of the most common problems workers face on hot days. Heavy sweating, weak muscles, and dizziness can occur if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion can last multiple days, affecting employee health and making it more challenging to complete projects. Having a few FR clothing options to stay cool in the summer will keep workers safe while doing their jobs.