Workwear that works: planning for hot weather

The health hazards caused by a period of dangerously high temperatures are well documented. And when you factor in a workforce that requires PPE and workwear to operate safely, comfortably and efficiently, then procurement managers have a problem to solve. However, once resilient and dynamic mitigation strategies have been put in place, there are several longer-term benefits of planning for hot weather.  

Climate change is having a profound impact on the workwear industry and balancing PPE and workwear comfort in the UK summer is an ongoing issue. From heat exhaustion and dehydration through to reduced productivity and absence through illness, the effects on a workforce can be debilitating. Supply chains can be disrupted as logistical networks also feel the strain, resulting in fulfilment failures, revenue losses and reputational damage. 

The priority, as always, is the safety and wellbeing of your workforce. But here are five additional benefits to planning – and allocating appropriate resource – for the hot months ahead: 

1. Cost savings 

It may seem counter-intuitive but by spending more on high quality PPE and workwear designed to be effective in hot conditions you’re likely to save money in the long term. The clothing and equipment will perform better and last longer. Colleagues will benefit from PPE that is comfortable and helps them complete tasks more efficiently. 

2. Sustainability credentials 

It’s simpler than ever to put sustainability front and centre when choosing PPE solutions that will protect your workforce in summer temperatures. Equipment and workwear that incorporates recycled materials, reduces waste and that’s manufactured considerately is becoming increasingly popular as businesses examine and strive to reduce their impact on the planet and improve their supply chains. 

Furthermore, improvements can potentially be made to the micro-environment of the workplace. For example, green spaces can be incorporated that reduce the urban heat island effect. If improvements like these are rolled out in conjunction with other sustainability initiatives such as utilising renewable power and reducing waste, then the difference will be apparent – and appreciated – by everyone on site. 

3. Resilience planning 

Hot weather is not the only consequence of climate change: unpredictable and severe weather conditions are common throughout the year. By embedding a culture of developing and encouraging dynamic response strategies, the business will benefit from having the ability and agility to proactively mitigate against future extreme weather events. And if company-wide contributions are encouraged and nurtured, employees will appreciate that their lived experiences are making a real impact on helping keep others safe too.  

4. Compliance 

Futureproofing is not a new business concept but it can be tempting to assume that a PPE and workwear strategy that’s right for today will be fit for purpose tomorrow. This year’s compliance and health and safety standards may be suitable for the summer of 2024 but the climate is changing and regulations will likely shift with it too. By staying ahead of the curve and anticipating demand and requirements, costs and compromises will be saved later down the line. 

5. Corporate reputation 

It won’t take long for word to spread about the business that looks after its workforce during the hot summer months. Not only will this lend credibility to the organisation’s mission statement, it will also elevate its reputation in the industry amongst clients and peers. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on business development as well as talent recruitment and retention: a business that lives its values and invests in its people will naturally appeal more to jobseekers. 

Contego has been helping businesses anticipate their PPE and workwear needs for 30 years and our friendly and knowledgeable experts are always on hand to talk you through your procurement options. Give them a call on 0800 122 3323 or to discuss your requirements.  

Published on 19 April 2024


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