Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to Beat the Cold with Promotional Gifts

By Kim Vermaak Corporate Blankets When I used to be a reading mom at my daughter’s school, we had to sit outside the class and in winter this was terrible. Small children in skirts and long socks. Where designed that style of uniforms obviously did not have any nerve endings in their bodies, Nevertheless, I used to pitch up with a trusty blanket which we draped over our legs and reading became a lot more pleasurable. Headwear When I first found about some of the real culprits of heat loss, I was amazed. But because the brain is a vital organ, heat gets transferred to it to keep you alive. If you are do not have a head covering like a beanie, or hat, and then you will lose heat far more easily. Knitted beanies have a great classical look. But a fleece beanie is soft and really warm. Both the fleece beanie and the knitted beanie are excellent choices; it just boils down to personal preferences. Jackets The natural choice is the winter jackets when temperatures plummet. In the past we would opt for a great padded and heavyweight jacket, but the move these days is towards performance tested soft shell jackets. My personal favourite brand is the First accent jacket. What I like about the First Ascent Jacket is that while there are many soft shell jackets on the market, the First ascent range of jackets are performance tested in the field. The brand specialises in extreme conditions and so their jackets are designed with top materials in mind, Another first favourite is the 3 in 1 jacket. What makes this a great jacket is the versatility of the jackets. It is an end winter garment featuring removable fleece inner jacket. Outer jacket features concealed zip off hood with nylon aertex lining throughout zippered storm flap, welted outer pockets, inner pockets and phone pouch. Available in four colour way options When the days begin to warm up, many people like to wear a body warmer. These are fashionable and versatile garments, ideal for outdoor or casual wear. Water resistant outer jacket. Fully lined. Features include two side pockets, quilted padding, and polar fleece collar trim and top stitched panels. A cost effective jacket is the Hi-Tech Bomber Jackets, which is Also available in a stylish ladies fit with curved side panels. Best value in a classic bomber jacket. Zip away lining panel for embroidery access. Water resistant outer fabric. Available in four colour ways. for more information visit

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Beat Cold Stress

By Kim Vermaak 09 July 2014 At the moment, the weather is getting extremely cold in the morning. Personally I would like to be a bear and spend my time hibernating for the next few months, but alas, we have to work through these cold times and that can produce cold stress. Cold employees aren’t just uncomfortable, they are distracted. It is estimated that a drop in performance costs employers 10% more per hour, per employee. When our body’s temperature drops, we expend energy keeping ourselves warm, making less energy available for concentration, inspiration, and insight. In regions relatively unaccustomed to winter weather, like South Africa near freezing temperatures are considered factors for "cold stress." Whenever temperatures drop decidedly below normal and as wind speed increases, heat can more rapidly leave your body. These weather-related conditions may lead to serious health problems. Employees should avoid exposure to extremely cold temperatures when possible. When cold environments or temperatures cannot be avoided, employees should follow these recommendations to protect themselves from cold stress: Wear appropriate clothing. You can assist staff by providing a warm winter jacket. Although many businesses are concerned about cash flow, loss of productivity through staff who are suffering from cold is a factor that needs to be seriously considered. Cold stress is not just for outdoor workers. Many factories and warehouse environments are very cold. I can attest to this as in the very early weeks of if winter, I was in the new branding sections, which is in fact a warehouse and I just could not get out of there fast enough. The high ceilings and poor insulation make warehouses terrible to work in. Wear several layers of loose clothing. Layering provides better insulation. Tight clothing reduces blood circulation. Warm blood needs to be circulated to the extremities. So recommend to your staff to get a jacket that is one size bigger than they would normally take, so that they can put other layers under the jacket. When choosing clothing, be aware that some clothing may restrict movement resulting in a hazardous situation. Make sure to protect the ears, face, hands and feet in extremely cold weather. Boots should be waterproof and insulated. Wear a hat; it will keep your whole body warmer. (Hats reduce the amount of body heat that escapes from your head.) Beanies make an excellent form of protection for staff. Employers can also assist by: Scheduling cold jobs for the warmer part of the day. Reducing the physical demands of workers. Using relief workers or assign extra workers for long, demanding jobs. Providing warm liquids to workers. Giving each staff member a flask and having access to hot water, tea, soup etc. will go a long way in supporting them. But use a brand name like Isosteel that will remain hot for many hours. Warm, non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drinks should be consumed frequently. Caffeine is a diuretic and causes dehydration, which is linked to heat loss. Provide warm areas for use during break periods. Warm-up and Stretch. Working in cold environments may increase the risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal injuries. Workers should perform warm-up stretching exercises before handling heavy equipment and material. In the last stretch towards the end of winter, keep yourself and your employees warm to beat cold stress, improve morale and productivity. It just makes sense.