Winterproof your workwear: maintaining protective garments in winter

Heavy rain, ice, snow, and dark conditions… there are many things that industrial workers have to face when working in the winter months, and all of these can pose a serious threat to their health, safety and well-being in the forms of slips and falls, accidents on the road, and workers being hit by moving objects due to not being seen in low light levels. However, as well as providing your employees with suitable protective workwear to protect them in the conditions they’re working in, caring for such garments is also an essential part of your business’s Health and Safety processes.


As the winter months bring a range of adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain, strong winds, ice and snow, workwear often needs laundering more frequently. Dirt and road salt is among the most common impurities in bad weather – particularly for outdoor workers, such as those that work in construction and the general industrial sector. So, cleaning thoroughly not only improves comfort levels, it ensures high visibility clothing retains optimum visibility for those working in dark environments.

Frequent laundering can have adverse effects on protective clothing. The fabric will degrade faster, and high-visibility elements may tarnish and no longer provide adequate protection. Protective garments often have a recommended number of wash cycles before they need to be replaced, and in the winter, increased laundering will speed up this process.

 So, what can you do to ensure your protective workwear lasts over the winter months?

 Regular inspections

As protective clothing is used in a variety of working environments, damage to the garment in inevitable over the period of wear. Small rips, broken zips and missing hardware can affect the comfort and ultimate use of the item. Regular inspection of your employees’ garments will highlight any repair work that needs to be completed, as well as any garments that need to be replaced entirely. Additionally, any on-the-job issues that occur should be reported as soon as possible to ensure staff have adequate protection. 

Use a professional laundering service 

Protective garments are designed for maximum comfort and performance. However, if they are not laundered correctly, this decreases their effectiveness dramatically. Using a service such as phs Besafe’s Industrial Laundry Service, ensures you have a professional and gentle cleaning service that’s tailored to your requirements.

The unique washing process is equipped to remove tough stains while maintaining the integrity and colour of the material. The organic detergent used is also gentler to skin and better for the environment than standard laundry detergents.

Included in a full laundry service, phs Besafe will also check for damage and carry out repairs before returning the garments to your employees. Plus, you can have protective clothing collected with comprehensive service reports detailing work carried out, expected garment life and laundry history.

Disposing contaminated garments responsibly

In some instances, garments may be beyond repair and will need to be disposed of. For commercial businesses, it is essential to destroy or dispose of these items responsibly. Garments may have been exposed to chemicals and impurities that are harmful to people or the environment. Additionally, branded garments could be used for fraudulent activities.

At phs Besafe, the Uniform Destruction Service is at hand to get rid of any of your unwanted protective clothing both safely and securely. This can also be disposed as part of the laundry service and provides a convenient way to manage your workwear laundering requirements.

For more information on our services including workwear supply and rental, and industrial laundry options and disposal processes, contact us today for a free quote.

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