In busy environments with a lot of traffic, accidents due to non-visibility still happen daily. It’s not any different on construction sites, working areas close to roadways, in the transportation industry and manufacturing and production environments. Those accidents are easy to avoid. By simply wearing high visibility protective clothing, you and your co-workers will remain visible at all times.
Why wearing hi-vis work clothing is always a good idea
When you want to alert drivers and other equipment operators of your location, especially in dangerous conditions, it’s essential to wear high visibility clothing. Regular clothing easily blends into the background, while hi-vis work clothing doesn’t. Examples of those dangerous conditions are proximity to roadways, bad weather conditions, areas where the visibility is blocked, etc.
Increased visibility benefits people in a large range of industries: transportation, construction, gas and electrical utility, emergency services, among others. High visibility garments should be worn in all situations where workers might not always see each other or they might not be seen by nearby drivers.
Your hi-vis personal protective equipment
To help you stand out from all possible environments you are working in, your hi-vis clothing includes two very important components: coloured fluorescent areas and reflective striping. The pigments in the fluorescent areas reflect uv light from the sun, using the existing sunlight to make sure that you are visible in low light conditions. Thanks to the positioning of the reflective striping and fluorescent areas, your visibility is 360°, which is of major importance for your safety.
You might wonder which colours are considered high visibility? Well, yellow, red and orange are. Of course, not all garments in those colours comply with the standards. Those fluorescent colours need to comply with specific chromaticity coordinates and luminance factors in order to be used in hi-vis clothing. When choosing the best option for your work clothing, make sure, that if you, f.ex., have a lot of red equipment, you use either yellow or orange PPE.
In dark conditions and under the illumination of headlights, the reflective striping will improve your visibility. They are less effective during the day, as they don’t provide much contrast.
EN ISO 20471: Three classes hi vis clothing
EN ISO 20471 specifies the requirements for high visibility clothing. The high visibility clothing can be divided into three classes that each indicate for which protection level those garments can be used. For each of the classes, a specific minimum fluorescent surface and reflective surface is specified.