CSM logo - horizontal

Proper Attire for Working in Winter Weather

Cold-weather protective clothing and equipment is recommended for workers when cold environments or temperatures cannot be avoided. Below are some clothing recommendations to help keep you safe while working in winter weather:  

  • Clothing: Wear at least three layers of loose-fitting clothing. Layering provides better insulation. 
    • It keeps moisture away from the body with wool, silk, or synthetics (polypropylene). Clothing that holds more body heat than cotton, such as thermal wear made of wool, silk, or polypropylene. 
    • The middle layer is made of wool or synthetic material that provides insulation even when wet. 
    • The outer layer of the jacket provides wind and rain protection while allowing some ventilation to prevent overheating. 
    • Clothing (Loose fitting) – Tight clothing reduces blood circulation. It is important to circulate warm blood to the extremities. 
  • Face Covering: Knit mask to cover face and mouth (if needed). 
  • Head Covering: When it’s cold out, protecting your head is very important. The purpose of a hat is to shield your ears from the cold and retain heat. As workers move around, hats can easily rise up off their ears, so a combination of a hat and a headband or earmuff will often be more effective than just a hat alone. 
  • Gloves: When working outdoors in cold weather, no matter what your job is, you should wear gloves to protect your hands from cold-related ailments, such as frostbite, if not from your work. 
  • Socks: It is recommended that you wear one or two pairs of thick socks when you want to protect your shoes. During the day, socks tend to get damp, so having extra socks is a good idea. The outer sock should be a larger size than the inner sock to avoid additional compression. 
  • Footwear: Workers in cold weather also need to wear proper footwear protection. It is necessary to wear waterproof boots when walking in water. Special products can be used to treat and waterproof leather boots without blocking their pores. An ideal shoe would be leather-topped boots with removable felt insoles. 
  • Worker Visibility: During the winter months, due to the shorter daylight hours, you should wear reflective gear to stay visible. Consider investing in reflective gear with an electronic light-up feature since you will likely be working in the dark. Turn them on to ensure you’re always visible. 



This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

Meet Our Safety Team

Related Safety Resources