Outdoor Workwear Essentials for Construction Workers


With summer right around the corner, it’s time to reconsider what contractors wear on the job.

Construction workwear needs to be comfortable, functional, and safe. You also have to consider changes in the weather and how that can impact what you wear. For example, in Colorado, you can go from heavy rainfall in the morning to a sun-drenched afternoon within the same day. In other parts of the country, like California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.

Outdoor construction workwear should allow for ease of mobility. Pants shouldn’t be so loose or long that they can get caught in or on equipment.

Be sure to wear breathable work shirts in hot weather to protect against long stretches of sun exposure. Natural materials like cotton are recommended for hot climates. Also, choose bright-colored shirts, as they reflect most of the light and heat away. Wear lightweight, breathable gloves.

New technology has made more air-permeable clothing 10% to 20% lighter than previous models while providing an adequate barrier to job site hazards. Moisture-wicking socks and summer boots are more breathable and lightweight than winter socks and boots.

Dressing in layers during the summer can help keep body temperatures regulated.

Wear protective glasses at all times. Not only does protective eyewear safeguard you from construction-related hazards; it also protects your eyes from glaring sun and harmful UV rays.

During summer construction projects, keep cooling accessories on hand, such as towels, bandanas, neck-shade attachments, and sweat liners.

Also, keep hydrated at all times. Be sure the entire crew is educated on recognizing the symptoms of heat-related illnesses (e.g., headaches, dizziness, confusion, cramps, and vomiting). If anyone experiences any of these symptoms, they should seek a shaded or air-conditioned area. If symptoms worsen, call 911 and get to a hospital.