Winter has arrived… bringing the cold, damp weather - whilst it’s nice to think of sitting by a cosy fire with a mug of hot chocolate and some fluffy socks, there’s a more sinister side to winter which needs to be addressed, especially for those who continue to work outside from November through to February/March.
Being prepared in advance of the cold winter months is vital, especially as illnesses often occur in the acclimatisation period (it takes 10 days for your body to adjust to new weather conditions). But it’s often hard to find a safety glove that allows you to continue your job effectively, yet keeps your hands protected from the adverse weather conditions.
We’ll take you through the consequences of heading out into the cold with inadequate thermal protection, and how to be better prepared and make intelligent choices.
This list is not exhaustive as we’re covering the aspects that can be addressed through wearing better PPE, but especially thermal safety gloves. We’re starting from the less severe, through to can-be fatal illnesses…
Chilblains are small, very itchy swellings on the skin. They most often affect your extremities, such as your fingers, and are caused by bad circulation in the skin due to exposure to cold, damp conditions.
In the unfortunate case of chilblains: rewarm the skin slowly, without applying direct heat or rubbing the skin. Apply a corticosteroid cream to ease the itching and clean skin with an antiseptic to reduce the risk of infection. Don’t scratch the affected area as this could leave scarring!
Frostnip is a mild condition where the outer layers of skin tissue freeze. This can be reversed, but you should take caution not to rewarm your hands too quickly.