This article is a guide for anyone who has or is pursuing a job working outdoors. While a job working outside has many benefits, such as fresh air, sunshine, and exercise, it also carries some risks that need to be addressed. If you work outdoors or are about to start a job working outdoors, you need to be concerned with safety and protection from the environment.
If your job takes you anywhere around traffic, visibility is crucial. Wear brightly colored clothes, preferably day-glow articles. Bright orange vests are very inexpensive and readily available. Day-glow hats and gloves are also good choices. If you are working in colder climates the hat and gloves can double as the protection from the environment. In addition, since your hands are likely in motion, the bright orange gloves will make you more visible to traffic. Even if your work takes you away from traffic and into the wilderness, you want to be visible to hunters and wildlife.
You also need to consider the proper footwear for the job you are doing. Work boots aren’t just for show; they provide a lot of functionality and protection. If you are working in muddy, wet, or slippery conditions, the proper tread can keep you from falling. In addition, the extra protection they provide to your feet and ankles are important. They can help keep you from twisting an ankle or getting injured from sharp materials or animal bites. Finally, they will keep your feet warm. Keeping your feet, hands, and head warm are important in cold weather.
Speaking of hats, in addition to visibility, protecting your head from the cold is vital. Most of your body’s heat loss is through the head. Keep it warm and you will be well protected. Gloves to protect your fingers from frostbite are also important. The proper glove can also help grip your tools and prevent fatigue in your hands from repetitive tasks. In extreme cold conditions, wear thermal underwear for maximum protection. Modern materials provide warmth without all the weight old fashioned cotton underwear had and also wick moisture away from the body to prevent hypothermia.
And last, don’t forget about protection from the sun itself. Skin cancer is a growing concern in today’s world, but is easily protected against. Apply a good sun screen any time you are going to be exposed to the elements for a long period of time, even on cloudy days. This simple procedure can save a lot of grief as you get older. Also, don’t forget your eyes. Wear adequate UV protection in the form of a quality pair of sunglasses.
Working outdoors can be enjoyable and healthy if you take a few precautions.