When working day-in, day-out in the bitter chill of a cold storage facility, you could be forgiven for thinking that more will always be better when it comes to clothing; in fact, this is a surprisingly common misconception. Many just assume that a jacket designed for use at temperatures of around -15°C for example will be even better in slightly warmer temperatures, ensuring they are kept snug and comfortable, but this is often far from the case. There are various ways in which excessive clothing can prove more of a hindrance than a help, some more obvious that others, but all carrying a cost in their own right.
The primary way in which excessive clothing proves to be a hindrance is by making the wearer susceptible to overheating. This may not even strike you as a possibility in a cold storage environment, but insulation is rated as it is for a reason and too much of it will cause problems. The discomfort which stems from overheating will have a damaging effect on productivity as fatigue sets in, concentration is lost, and safety risks are increased as a result.
Overheating can also lead to sweating, and moisture promotes cold. This can create a situation in which an initial period of overheating then leads to a serious chill as your now sodden clothing draws heat away from your body. This is far from ideal in an environment where temperatures already drop far below that which most individuals will experience, and creates a substantial health risk alongside any resulting drops in productivity.
Bulky clothing can also hinder movement, which will create problems for workers who require a certain level of manoeuvrability, such as those working in a cold storage warehouse facility. Reaching for products stored up high or even turning your torso can be made difficult by excessive levels of clothing, which can result in a serious health and safety hazard when employees try to access such goods.
When selecting garments for use in cold storage environments it is important to remember that such facilities are not identical across the board, and you should select clothing based upon both the level of required manoeuvrability and the average temperature in which you will be working. Excessive insulation can be just as hazardous as insufficient insulation, and it’s really not worth the risk.