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How to Layer Your Winter Workwear to Maximise Warmth and Safety

layer winter workwear for warmth safety

As the cold weather creeps through the UK, now is the time to ensure staff are fully protected this winter. In colder months, severe implications on staff health can arise, including the development of hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and chilblains.


Once someone’s body temperature is affected by damp or windchill, an active heat source is the only effective way to recover. Essentially, this means removing them from their work, resulting in lost productivity. One simple trick to help keep your team warm during work is to encourage the layering of workwear. This simple process helps maximise warmth and protection while providing flexibility and comfort. Learning how to layer for your job role helps avoid staff being weighed down or constricted by several thick layers. Selecting the suitable material for each layer is key to staying warm, dry and comfortable all winter long.

How does layering workwear prevent risks like Cold Stress?

Air temperature, wind chill, and exposure to wetness can contribute to Cold Stress exposure while at work. Cold Stress occurs when the body is unable to warm itself, driving down the skin and internal body temperature. Therefore, limiting exposed skin and layering your hi-vis clothing are two vital steps that you can take to maintain a warmer internal core temperature.


It’s crucial to choose the proper material when layering. Tight-fitting clothing can restrict blood flow to your extremities and, as a result, put you at greater risk for Cold Stress, which is why OSHA suggests layering up with a series of loose-fitting clothing. In addition, tight-fitting clothing can be physically restricting and hazardous on the job site. Therefore, we recommend the below method to incorporate a layering system and prepare for the colder days while maintaining flexibility and reducing exposure to Cold Stress.

How to Layer Workwear

Choose a base layer to keep moisture away:

The base layer’s role is to regulate your body temperature while removing moisture. Selecting an underlayer of clothing that is soft on your skin, absorbent, and light will help keep moisture away as you work because your innermost layer will soak up the sweat, maintaining your existing body temperature by not letting your body heat escape. The base layer also prevents chilling air from seeping in. Therefore, we recommend selecting either a thermal or coolviz base layer as the anti-bacterial moisture-wicking fabric will be breathable, keeping you dry and warm.


It’s best to avoid hi-vis base layers made of cotton. When cotton becomes wet, it loses the ability to provide insulation because 100% cotton absorbs moisture without drying out, causing you to feel colder.

Select a middle layer to insulate:

The primary function of the mid-layer is to provide insulation and block cold air from passing through your body. Depending on your working conditions, mid-layer options could range from soft-shell jackets, fleeced sweatshirts, long-sleeve sweatshirts, or body warmer.

Your top outer layer is for max protection:

The primary purpose of your external layer is to protect from wind, rain and snow. We recommend choosing a high-vis outer layer that is waterproof and wind resistant. A bomber jacket or long traffic jacket with either quilt or fleece lining will withstand the elements while keeping the wearer warm and visible.

Don’t forget the extras:

Using a layering process for your workwear is a clever way to self-regulate your body; however, it’s important not to forget the other necessities for staying warm!

How can Stronghold Global help?

At Stronghold Global, we offer a wide range of winter products perfect for layering and offering multiple levels of warmth. So you can get your team kitted out and ready for the winter season, from thermal trousers to bomber jackets, from beanies to waterproof gloves – we can provide it all. Give us a call at 01793 484237 or email [email protected], and we can have a discussion to find your perfect winter solution!


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