The Four Layers You Need to Work Construction this Winter

What you need to know to stay safe and warm

Winter clothing is the key to staying safe while working outdoors – it is the most efficient method to keep you warm. Dress in roomy layers to ensure that heat is contained and to allow you the ability to easily adjust clothing to suit the variety of activities at work. It’s important to not overdress as well, because throughout the day you’ll begin to work up a sweat. The general recommendation is to avoid cotton fabric and goose-down materials because when they get wet the fabrics draw heat from the body.

A layering system will keep you secure and comfortable while working outside. Layers should remove moisture, be durable and also offer a heavier form of protection.

Wicking layer
The wicking layer is the fabric directly in contact with your skin. It works to remove moisture from the skin and move it to the next layer. Synthetic fabrics are the most recommended; cotton is the worst choice for this layer.

Agile Insulating layer
Light wool and fleece fabrics are recommended for the second layer of protection, this insulation is located directly above the wicking layer.

Thick Insulating Layer
This is the layer that begins to trap heat within the body. The recommended fabrics are wool and fleece, it is meant to be a more substantial fabric than that of the agile insulating layer.

Weather-proof Layer
The final outside layer needs to be made of water and wind proof material. It protects your body from weather conditions like rain, snow and sleet.


A warm toque is also a key component to winter dress as it adds as much warmth to your body as proper layering. Make sure to find a proper fitting toque that can be worn with your hardhat and other PPE.

Mitts and gloves are another way to prevent harm from the cold. When practical, mitts should be worn on top of gloves to secure extra heat.   

A double layering of socks can help secure warmth within your boots, but make sure that the socks are allowing for proper circulation. A thin layer followed by a thicker, wool fabric is the best approach. 

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