How to protect your hands in winter

How to protect your hands in winter

Safety and PPE specialist, uvex emphasises the importance of choosing the right hand protection in winter 

Working in cold weather can be challenging and potentially dangerous. As temperatures drop, the risk of cold-related injuries increases, making it crucial to invest in proper hand protection for the winter months. When it comes to selecting the right gloves for winter work, several key factors come into play, such as comfort, fit, and grip. Here, Clair Weston, Marketing Manager at uvex, discusses the significance of choosing the right hand protection in winter, the potential hazards of neglecting proper protection and offers some advice on how to make informed choices to ensure safety and productivity. 

Feeling the cold 

Working in cold weather can lead to various cold temperature related issues. Workers in cold climates are at risk of skin rashes, frostnip, frostbite, loss of motor skills, and even hypothermia, which can result in severe injuries, including the loss of extremities. One of the most common cold-weather hazards is the loss of sensation in the hands, leading to an increased risk of accidents, such as dropped tools, impact injuries, cuts, and pinch injuries. 

The danger multiplies when a cold environment combines with moisture. Water draws heat away from the body 25 times faster than air, making wet hands more susceptible to freezing and severe injury. Not only does this pose a significant risk to workers, but it also reduces productivity and morale as employees struggle to perform tasks with numb fingers. 

Cold weather hazards: Stiffness and reduced grip 

In cold weather, one of the first things affected is your range of motion. As your body prioritises keeping your core warm, it redirects blood away from your limbs, which can hinder flexibility, dexterity, and agility in your hands and feet. This limitation reduces a worker’s ability to grip objects, carry loads, or respond to dangerous situations effectively.

Glove coatings play a crucial role in maintaining a strong grip, and manufacturers are constantly innovating to enhance this feature. A secure grip prevents materials from slipping in the first place, reduces the risk of early fatigue, and minimises the need for overexertion, which can lead to injuries. 

The pitfalls of over-protection 

It’s important to note that overprotection is not the answer when it comes to hand safety. For example, there is often a strong focus on cut protection when specifying gloves. Indeed, high levels of cut protection are essential for some tasks, and changes to the way gloves are evaluated for cut protection have made it easier for specifiers and users of gloves to choose the most appropriate products for their needs but it’s equally crucial to consider other factors, such as grip, flexibility, and durability. Sometimes, excessively protective gloves sacrifice grip and may not be suitable for all tasks. To choose the right hand protection, assess the specific risks and tasks involved to ensure both safety and performance. 

uvex offers a range of gloves that are suited to the variety of challenges faced by those working on building sites in winter.  

The HexArmor Rig Lizard Thin Lizzie Thermal 2099 seamless cold weather safety glove with impact, for example, keeps hands warm and protected with a fleece interior liner, 360-degree ANSI/ISEA level A6 cut resistance and an IR-X Impact Exoskeleton that protects hands from smash and pinch hazards. 

Meanwhile, the uvex unilite thermo safety gloves, which are also EN 511 certified, feature a durable polymer coating that remains highly flexible even at low temperatures, making them an ideal choice for working in the cold. It also repels liquids and has a good oil grip. The coating has a high abrasion resistance helping it to last longer and is ideal for more challenging environments. The dual-layer material composition inside of acrylic and new wool is soft, warm, comfortable and absorbs perspiration.  

Comfort is key 

When selecting winter hand protection, comfort is a key consideration. Gloves that offer high comfort levels and support freedom of movement are essential. They should provide natural touch dexterity, contour to the hand without restricting movement, and allow workers to perform tasks with ease. Additionally, maintaining hand hygiene is vital to avoid issues like dermatitis or aggravated eczema. Choose gloves made from materials that offer breathability and wicking properties to keep hands dry and comfortable, preventing moisture-related skin problems. 

Ensuring that your gloves meet safety and environmental standards is equally important. Look for gloves that comply with REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals), proDERM standards, and OKEO-TEX 100 certification to provide reassurance about safety and sustainability. uvex’s gloves meet all of these standards and go above and beyond to comply with uvex’s additional banned substances list. 

When working in cold weather, choosing the right hand protection is not just a matter of comfort, but a fundamental aspect of safety and productivity. Neglecting proper protection can lead to cold-related injuries, reduced dexterity, and compromised grip; ultimately impacting your ability to perform tasks effectively. By selecting gloves that offer comfort, a secure grip, and the necessary level of protection, you can ensure a safer and more productive winter work environment. Don’t be left out in the cold without proper cold weather work gloves – prioritise safety and choose the right hand protection for the job at hand.

For more information on the range of hand protection from uvex visit Work Gloves and Safety Gloves | uvex Protective Gloves (

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