One of the items of workwear that we get a lot of questions around is coats. Knowing which ones to select for your uniform kit isn’t always as simple as which one looks best or which is the most budget friendly.
Different roles have different needs and will require a range of waterproofing levels. If you’re stationed outside all day in torrential rain, then you’ll need much more protection than someone who works in a role where they’re called back inside as soon as a downpour starts.
So if you’re in the market for a new coat for your uniform kit then here’s what you should consider…
What conditions do your team work in?
Rescuing a stranded driver during a snow drift requires a different type of protection to a person who works at height in windy conditions. Also, knowing how long they will be exposed to the elements will dictate the non-negotiables in your coat. Consider the external situations, health and safety essentials and comfort before looking at elements like branding, fashion trends and non-essential nice to haves.
Working in snow
Having a thick insulation to keep your team warm as well as ensuring the external layer is waterproof to keep them dry. For extra comfort, having a fleece lining is great and you can find coats with fleeces that are detachable so can be used for different purposes. Mobility and visibility is also important so choosing fabrics that are reflective but breathable and people can still complete the tasks of their role is important.
Working in rain
When working in the rain, waterproofing is essential. You may not want as much insulation as a full on winter coat so a waterproof shell may be a better option with room to layer up underneath as necessary. Check particularly around the zips and seams when you are looking for full waterproofing as these areas can be make or break in terms of keeping you dry. Material breathability is also important as you want to be comfortable but not overheat.
Working in windy conditions
Windbreakers are essential for working at heights and out in the elements. Not only can the wind cause a chill, but even the slightest of breeze can throw you off balance. Having extra accessories like long cuffs and higher collars to provide protection is essential to keeping chills away. Additional thought into material could help as breathability is important as well as keeping cool or having the option of a detachable insulated layer inside.
The material you use will dictate the style of branding and individualisation of each of the pieces. For some materials, having sewn on logos won’t be possible as they could damage the waterproofing exterior. Also, for coats which require high visibility, you may be restricted to certain colours for reflectivity.