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How Do I Stay Warm While Working in Meat Processing?

Gearing Up to Stay Protected While Working with Protein

Working with a perishable product like meat you spend your days in temperatures most take vacations to get away from. If your days are spent processing protein in low temps, you need to stay warm but also not get slowed down by the gear you are wearing. Things to consider: 

Temperature

The temps you work in as you process chicken, beef and other meats might not be as cold as the temps your buddies in the freezer face—but it’s no day at the beach either! The temps that keep your products fresh aren’t ideal for spending a full shift in, so you need the right gear to stay warm and still get the job done.

Our Cooler Wear™ Frock Liner (rated to 10°F) and Econo-Tuff® Frock Liner (rated to 15°F) are lightweight options for staying warm working in a cooler that give you the most bang for your buck. They are perfect for wearing under a frock or lab coat (heck, it’s built right into the names). Any of the jackets, bib overalls or pants from our Cooler Wear™ or Econo-Tuff® collections will offer lightweight protection without any bulk so you can stay warm without distraction or disruption.

If your lower body tends to get cold, think about adding a pair of our Softshell Pants to your gear. If you tend to feel colder than most (reaching for a hoodie when it is 60° and sunny) you may want to look at our Frostline® Jacket which is rated to -25°F and features our lightweight AirBlaze® insulation that provides all the warmth with 40% less weight.

To protect your head and ears, choose a knit cap or one of our stretchy Flex-Wear Skull Caps.

If you work in the freezer for a protein company, check out our other articles for suggestions on the right gear for pickers and forklift drivers

Getting a Handle on Warmth

Once you’ve got your head and body protected you need to make sure your most important tools are treated right. You work with your hands all shift long, so you need to keep them protected from the cold and any hazards that come from the job. Our glove liners, like the Wool Glove Liner or the thicker Heavyweight Knit Glove Liner, fit snuggly against the hand and under nitrile gloves to keep you warm while you work. For added protection against hazards, the Permaknit Cut Resistant Glove offers lightweight protection that has CE 5 / ANSI 3 certification for blades. 

Moisture

The moisture that surrounds you at work—and that you can build up by sweating—makes it much harder to stay warm. Fight against the cold with a moisture-wicking base layer, like our Flex-Wear Top. Moisture-wicking socks with special construction that includes breathable vents, such as our PolarForce™ Sock, will help keep your feet dry and comfortable. The soft, thick bottoms make it easier to stay on your feet all shift long.

Everyone feels cold differently and has preferences for how they can move in insulated gear. Deciding what works best for you might come from trial-and-error, but these are good jumping off points to figure out how to stay warm and working in protein processing.