In the hot, humid summer months, the seemingly only concern on the mind of lineman and industrial workers is “how can I stay cool?”
The answer is simple. One of the most effective ways to combat heat stress is to modify your workwear.
But modifying workwear goes beyond just picking new FR clothing; it means finding FR clothing that is designed with permanent moisture wicking fibers that will help keep you cool by pulling moisture away from your skin.
How Does Moisture Wicking Work?
Wicking fabrics are designed to pull moisture from the body, through the fabric to the outer surface where it can evaporate. This process is what helps keep you cool, even as you sweat.
As a result, FR clothing that has been created using a blend of wicking fibers is your best chance at staying cool in hot weather. But the key here is to look at your garment tag. You must ensure that the garment you select has permanent moisture wicking capabilities, meaning, it’s not just a “finish’ that will wash out over time.
As you look at the tag, make sure it is a blend of hydrophobic and hydrophilic fibers, typically close to a 60/40 blend. This will show that the garment has permanent moisture wicking capabilities.
Looking for more information how your FR garment selection can help you stay cool in hot weather? Download a free ebook: eBook: How to Combat Heat Stress with FR Apparel.
Stay Cool with Lightweight Fabrics and Functional Design
As you seek to stay comfortable in hot weather, choosing an FR garment with a lightweight, functional design can make a big difference. But don’t always opt for what might be touted as ‘lightweight’ apparel. Just because a garment is Category 1 and deemed ‘lightweight’ doesn't mean it will actually keep you cooler. The Category or Cat level of protection has nothing to do with how well a garment wicks moisture or keeps you cool. A garment with moisture wicking fibers can provide greater benefits than those deemed ‘lightweight’, because it will help you stay cooler by pulling sweat away from your body.
Moreover, opt for an FR shirt that focuses on functionality, in addition to comfort. A properly constructed FR garment should offer a balance of safety, protection and fabric quality, without compromise. Look for things like, seamless underarm gussets, to eliminate seam pull and shirt rise; flat seam construction, so the seams are smooth and comfortable against your skin; an athletic cut for improved safety, and lastly, sharp contrast elements to be both functional and stylish at the same time.
Choosing an FR garment that lets you stay focused on the job is critical to help prevent heat stress and associated occupational hazards. To learn more about combating heat stress by modifying your FR apparel, download our eBook: How to Combat Heat Stress with FR Apparel.
Take a look at our other articles that dive into the topic in detail:
- 3 Important Reasons Why Reducing Heat Stress is Vital for Lineman Workers
- Moisture Wicking FR Apparel: Improving Lineman Safety, Maintaining Body Temperature
- How Moisture Wicking Protects Against Heat Stress
Lakeland set out to create the industry’s only moisture management layering system that offers superior protection, performance and comfort. Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design with maneuverability and comfort in mind. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.