The Benefits of High Visibility Clothing
High-visibility safety apparel can be defined as any garment that improves other’s ability to see them in any situation. From cars on the highway to equipment operators on a job site, the more visible a worker is, the less risk there is of a serious accident taking place.
High visibility clothing is an important component of work safety for many jobs: transportation or construction workers, road maintenance crews, tow truck drivers, railway workers, accident site inspectors, first responders, warehouse or factory workers – virtually any who works in proximity to vehicles or machinery that move under their own power.
If you can be seen easily, your safety is ensured
High visibility safety apparel (HVSA) can include coveralls, vests, jackets, pants, gloves and even headwear. It makes you readily visible to drivers and operators of machinery you are working in proximity to, increasing your safety in the workplace.
HVSA uses fluorescent colors: orange-red, red, or yellow-green, and colors for the work environment are chosen to contrast with the color of the work environment. For instance, yellow-green may not be appropriate for rural areas with a lot of greenery or trees, and red may not be the best choice for a construction site as it would potentially blend in too much with the surroundings and equipment.
The difference between retroreflective and fluorescent materials for HVSA
Fluorescent materials depend on bright light for maximum visibility, and only functions properly when there is a source of sunlight. Fluorescent HVSA is indicated for use in bright light conditions.
Retroreflective returns light back to the source of light that is shining on it and works best in low-light conditions. While the reflective nature of the material is still visible under bright light, there is little contrast, making it largely ineffective for work in bright, sunny conditions.
Many HVSA garments combine fluorescent and retroreflective properties for maximum versatility and visibility. However, not all fluorescent garments are retroreflective, and not all retroreflective garments are fluorescent.
High visibility safety wear can also be waterproof or flame proof as the need demands, allowing your workers to focus on the task at hand with a greatly reduced risk of external hazards.
Important things to consider when outfitting your workers with HVSA
- If you are working in daylight, fluorescent HVSA is most appropriate.
- Full body coverage is important for maximum visibility.
- Contrasting stripes on the arms and legs help to enhance the visibility of a body in motion
- Choose the color and stripe combination that provides the best visibility under the working conditions.
- No other garments or equipment should cover the HVSA
- Garments worn must adhere to ANSI standards, which is specific to the jobsite and type of work being done.