The Tradie’s Survival Guide to Winter


Winter is well and truly here. And no matter where you live in Australia, you’re likely shivering through the days out on the worksite.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, June temperatures in Canberra reach a minimum of just 1ºC on average. And the maximums don’t give us much hope either, with Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra all coming in at under 15ºC. But the good news is that there are ways to mitigate the frosty conditions and keep warm at work.

How do you get through the winter? If you really can’t stand the cold, the secret could be a qualification like a Diploma of Building and Construction to move into a management role. Read more about our top health and wellness tips for winter tradies.

1. Layer Up

Tip number one is to rethink your work wardrobe as the temperature plummets. The obvious choices are to swap the singlets for long sleeves, and maybe add putting on a beanie and some gloves to your morning routine. Depending on your role and working conditions, just be sure to check that your new workwear meets safety codes and doesn’t get in the way of you doing your work.

Some surprisingly effective other methods can be adding a light undershirt and thicker socks. Just don’t opt for the full thermals—because after a couple of hours of labour, you’ll struggle to cool down. Choose layers that you can peel on and off as needed, and you’ll be grateful for the t-shirt underneath when you have to spend extended periods of time indoors.

Showerproof hoodies are an excellent choice to keep the wind out and to protect you from a light drizzle, and you can’t go past a sturdy pair of weatherproof boots. Make sure the grip is good enough to withstand even the harshest slick or icy conditions. Not only will they last you for years, but they’ll more than likely be tax deductible too. It’s a win–win.

building and construction courses

2. Eat Well

Your diet might not be an obvious factor for keeping you cosy (although there’s nothing to say a thermos of coffee or hot lunch won’t help), but it can be really important when it comes to protecting yourself from getting sick.

You might want to consider upping your veggie intake, for example, to help ward off those nasty bugs that spread like wildfire on a worksite. Because as well as being annoying, sick days can translate for lost income for a lot of tradespeople in non-permanent roles.

It’s also worth mentioning that rapid, extreme changes in temperature can seem to play a part in making you sick and feverish. So those extra layers discussed above are about more than just comfort; they’re also protecting you from getting sick.

Whether you’re employed full-time, studying building and construction courses, or working contract jobs, there’s no excuse to put your health last.

3. Develop a Thicker Skin

Anyone who’s ever worn pants to a worksite knows that it comes with one downfall—a few comments from your workmates. But you’ll be the one laughing when they’re shivering through those 6.00am starts in their summer shorts. What’s the harm of the odd comment if it means a few more precious degrees of warmth?

diploma of building and construction

4. Study Up

Perhaps the best tip for any tradesperson looking to get out of the cold long term, is to invest in yourself and upskill by studying building and construction courses, like the popular Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). This is the critical certification that’s going to be the difference between shivering through a lifetime of winters on the worksite, or climbing the career ladder from the comfort of a warm office.

And in the short term, there are perks too. Talk to your employer about whether you could take a day a week or more to begin your training part-time. It means that you don’t have to wait to start bettering your career prospects, and it means they benefit from the skills that you learn throughout your Diploma of Building and Construction (Building). Plus with the option to study our building courses online, you can even learn from the comfort of home.

Just think—with a qualification such as a Diploma of building, like the one taught at Builders Academy Australia across three different delivery modes, this could be one of the last winters you have to shiver through!

5. Know When Enough Is Enough

And it should go without saying that extreme weather is reason enough for anyone to stop work until the storm passes. Whether it’s hurricane winds, hail or icy conditions, your workplace should no doubt have a weather policy in place that will inform when it’s necessary to put down the tools, turn off the machinery and head indoors.