High visibility clothing is a must in so many industries and jobs where the ability to see someone means they can go home at the end of the day. Workers, moving vehicles, and other hazards can be made visible with reflecting tapes, fluorescent materials, and better lighting conditions. Hi-vis clothing is an easy way for workers to see each other and be seen, which reduces the number of accidents and injuries at work. But how do you select your hi-vis workwear?
Reflective Material for the Light Level
Your worksite’s lighting conditions impact the types of high visibility materials you’re likely to wear—a construction worker who is around moving equipment and traffic in the daytime will have different requirements than a first responder tending to an emergency on a dark road at night. Fluorescent materials work best in bright or natural lighting conditions, whereas dark conditions require reflective materials.
High visibility apparel wraps around the body and ideally has high visibility or reflective material stripes on a contrasting color. Generally, bright colors are important qualities for a high-visibility garment. Your color choices will generally be yellow-green, orange, or red in bright or fluorescent variations, as these are the most visible in the greatest number of situations and conditions. Regardless of your color choice, your high visibility workwear should be visible from at least 1,000 feet away. Taking proper care of your high visibility safety gear will ensure that it doesn’t get dirty or contaminated, which helps the garments last longer and keeps the worker wearing them safer and more visible.Suitability for the Weather
For construction, oil and gas, and other industries where a lot of work is done outside, you’ll want high visibility safety rainwear that makes it easier to see you while staying dry during wetter seasons like fall and winter. Waterproof or water-resistant safety gear will be much more comfortable during a long shift. During these colder months, thicker and insulated hi-vis gear will keep you warm. A breathable and lightweight garment will be better for summertime or hot weather work, although if you’re going to be around extreme heat or flames, hi-vis equipment and workwear with FR properties may be necessary.
Classes and Types
Your high visibility clothing should be designed for the type of work you’re doing, the environment you’re working in, and the industry you work in. There are specific safety standards for certain industries, but for high visibility safety gear in general, ANSI/ISEA 107 is the requirement for American National Standards and further divides hi-vis workwear into classes and types for different industries and jobs.
If you’re part of a construction company or other crew looking for a cohesive look and branding, customization options might be a nice feature to look into. Putting your company’s name or logo on your safety equipment is a sharp way to look great while staying safe. Be sure to go with a reputable company that won’t damage the safety properties of your garment.Dealer Reputation
When you buy any PPE, you’re trusting that the equipment will be an effective part of your workplace’s safety culture. To ensure this is the case, you’ll want to buy your safety apparel from a dealer that knows the industry and carries reputable brands. PK Safety has been in the safety supply business for over 75 years. Our safety experts personally vet everything we sell to ensure that it meets our standards. If you have questions, contact us online or by phone at 800.829.9580.