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As winter approaches, outside workers in the UK may well be reaching for an extra layer. However, events in Canada come at the right time for firms eager to keep their employees safe and secure on site – with one industry boss recently giving a thumbs down to the iconic clothing.

Many outside workers on construction sites will wear a hoodie to keep the wind and freezing temperatures at bay. However, as all over the world have found, the clothing poses a real safety concern.

From the hood slipping and blocking workers’ vision to the draw strings of the garment becoming caught in machinery, there have been horrific consequences in the past.

It has led to many oilfield workers being banned from wearing the item of clothing.

Cameron MacGillivray, president of the Canadian main safety body, Enform, said recently:

"Rotating equipment and loose clothing are not a good combination.

"With younger people coming in to fill some of the jobs of workers that are leaving, you could have more of these clothing issues."

To tackle the growing issue, many firms have amended their personal protective equipment (PPE) policies to prohibit the wearing of hooded sweatshirts whilst working.

Firms that are not banning the garment and similar clothes outright have called for them to be made from fire retardant materials.

Other policies strongly discourage the wearing of them, whilst some stipulate that all hoods and other hanging pieces of material be thoroughly tucked into protective clothing.

For one company, hoodies are covered in a standalone PPE policy entry.

Workers and companies in the UK should ensure that winter wear is safely controlled in much the same way.

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