Winter protection from BUFF® Safety

April 28, 2023

Winter protection from BUFF® Safety

Cold risks at work may not seem that important at first glance. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, however. A lapse in concentration and a higher likelihood of accidents, hypothermia, or even cardiovascular problems are just some of the potential consequences for workers exposed to the cold. As such, adopting protection measures is vital. These include using clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) against the cold.

Cold risks at work

Although body temperature varies slightly from person to person due to factors such as age, gender, time of day, and food consumption, it normally remains constant around 37ºC. 

Cold-induced stress at work arises due to a combination of environmental conditions, physical activity, and unsuitable clothing, which lead to an employee excessively losing heat, leading to a drop in body temperate and its negative effects. According to the INSST (National Institute for Safety and Health at Work) cold-induced stress prevention technical note, ambient temperatures below 15ºC can lead to thermal discomfort, with immediate risks when below 5ºC. More local information at SafeWork NSW.

Cold risks at work include:

  1. Reduced operating ability: a loss of manual and mental dexterity (increasing the likelihood to have an accident), and the feeling of exhaustion.
  2. Health effects: breathing problems like bronchospasms, and cardiovascular problems, due to higher blood pressure. Furthermore, injuries such as frozen extremities or hypothermia may occur. The latter occurs when body temperature drops below 35ºC.

Jobs most exposed to the risks of cold

Although practically all workers suffer from a drop in temperature to some extent in winter, cold represents a real risk with certain jobs.  

Indoor jobs are mainly found in the food industry where employees are exposed to the rigours of low temperatures in cold stores and during cooling system maintenance. 

With outdoor jobs, however, many professions involve dealing with cold risks at work: farmers, building workers, and motorway maintenance workers are just a few examples.

The same goes for those working at heights, such as ski resorts or rescue teams, who are also exposed to cold risks at work.

There is evidence that constant exposure to the cold can lead to a range of occupational and health issues. So, how to protect yourself from the cold at work?

Protection measures against the cold at work

Preventing cold risks at work involves adopting technical, organizational, and personal measures. The latter include selecting suitable clothing, essential for reducing body heat loss. Personal Protective Equipment against risks from the cold is certified in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/425.

Evaluating risks at work will establish whether PPE is needed to protect employees against cold risks at work.

Characteristics of PPE for preventing cold at work

PPE against the cold are known for providing heat insulation, humidity protection, and being highly breathable.

They also need to be ergonomic, ensuring that an employee remains agile and free to move.

When it comes to cold risks at work, protective accessories for the head and neck are just as essential as footwear and body protection with boiler suits, trousers, jackets, and coats.

In fact, let’s not forget that a large amount of body heat is lost through the head. This happens because the head accounts for 10% of the body’s surface. The larger the body area exposed to the cold, the more heat will be lost. This explains why more heat is lost from the head than the hands or feet. The same reason explains why covering up the trunk and legs is also vital. Areas such as ears and nose also need consideration as less blood flow means they become colder faster. As such, it is equally important to protect them from freezing. 

The most recommended accessories for protecting the neck, head, and face are balaclavas, hats, and tubulars. What does each one do?

  1. Balaclavas: also known as balaclava helmets or ski masks, are single piece accessories that provide total protection for the neck and head against cold risks at work. They also have the advantage of being able to be worn under a safety helmet. 
  2. Beanies: they protect the head, essential when preventing body heat loss. What’s more, some lighter models are suitable for wearing under a safety helmet.
  3. Neck Gaiters: very versatile one piece accessories that can be used in many ways and positions. For example, to protect the neck and head (like a balaclava), the head (like a hat), the neck alone, etc.   

BUFF® Safety cold protection PPE

As we have seen, protecting the neck and head to prevent body heat loss and counteract cold risks at work is essential. Need to protect your employees from low temperatures? Then you simply must check out the BUFF® Safety products against the cold, which include PPE and other equipment for protecting the head and neck. Specifically, BUFF® balaclavas, hats, and tubulars.

BUFF® Safety products against the cold are notable for their functional nature and for being made from quality materials. Every product in the cold range has been tested and certified as a Personal Protective Equipment against cold-induced risks, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/425. What’s more, every BUFF® product against the cold can be customised.

The BUFF® Polar collection: unparalleled sustainability and performance

The BUFF® Polar collection is notable for being made with PrimaLoft® Bio™, the world’s first 100% recycled insulating synthetic fabric, designed to return to nature. A breakthrough that offers an unparalleled level of performance and sustainability, while drastically reducing the amount of microplastics in our dumps and oceans.



Neck Gaiters and Beanies made entirely from the best merino wool

Are you looking for a naturally-sourced material to prevent cold risks at work? BUFF® Safety also have tubulars and hats made entirely from merino wool, known for its excellent capacity for protecting against the cold and humidity control. Our merino wool comes from the best merino sheep, which are raised, cared for, and shorn with respect, without applying the mulesing procedure and in accordance with IWTO (International Wool Textile Organisation) procedure.


The highest level of comfort and performance with ThermoNet® Neckwear

Looking for the highest level of comfort? ThermoNet® tubulars are made with PrimaLoft®, the market-leading synthetic fibre with a high level of insulation and damp-proof properties that helps to maintain a worker’s body heat while still removing humidity, making it the ideal accessory for high intensity work, particularly when outdoors. What’s more, the seamless design offers the highest level of comfort for the skin.



Check out the BUFF® Safety PPE for wind range too. Designed for wind protection in cool environments, thanks to the addition of the Gore-Tex® Infinium Windstopper™ membrane.

Don’t run the risk, choose BUFF® Safety for the best protection against cold risks at work!