Why High Visibility Clothing?
The debate goes on, but many companies are quickly recognizing why high visibility clothing is so important. Preventing injuries or loss of life is the primary reason high visibility apparel is so important. Any company that has employees working in industrial environments and or near moving vehicles and equipment will need to thoroughly evaluate the safety aspects of hi-vis clothing.
Because safety apparel is designed for the purpose of keeping the wearer clearly in view, they make use of hi-vis colors or reflective material. These materials have standards of visibility ratings and wash ability ratings. For instance, fluorescent colors such as green, yellow and orange make it easier for workers to see and locate one another. Yet, clothing that has been worn longer then 6 months to a year should be evaluated for effectiveness. Always replace safety clothing that does not work to the full effectiveness of the original design.
Reducing injury and death is the key benefit of high-visibility (HV) clothing.
Personal protective equipment (PPE), includes clothing worn that has highly reflective properties or a color that is easily discernible from any background.
High Visibility Life Saving and More!
High visibility is a central feature of safety apparel.
- Identification. Safety vests and apparel help distinguish unauthorized individuals at your workplace! With the right safety clothing, employees (and employers as well) are better protected against many hazards such as moving vehicles and heavy equipment. Equipment operators can distinguish employees wearing high visibility and reflective clothing. Many shops and job sights are still filled with employees wearing drab colors like blue, gray or dark green. The risk of these employees being struck by an equipment operator is far higher then if the proper protective equipment is being worn.
- The Law. Supervisors, managers and owners must check their industry ANSI and OSHA regulations to assure they are not breaking safety laws. Even a lawn maintenance professional operating a lawn mower within four feet of the road may be required to be wearing high visibility apparel. One such standard is the ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 standard. This regulation is implemented in order to protect emergency responders by increasing their visibility to coworkers, as well as other individuals who are in their work area. It details basic requirements necessary for various safety features, such as design and high visibility. High-visibility safety vests often serve as a first line of defense against certain work hazards, allowing employees to carry out their duties safely. Federal standards are in place to ensure that safety gear uniforms are designed in the most optimal way to keep employees safe. In this way, accidents are significantly reduced, and workplace safety is effectively maintained.
- Marketing. High-visibility apparel can come with logos printed on them. The marked clothing help individual crew members distinguish themselves from employees of other companies. In some cases departments will use colors that distinguish labor and activity. Decorated safety apparel can increase the public awareness of the company as well as their presence in the market. You may receive your next job from a phone number prominently displayed on a safety jacket or hi-vis t-shirt!
- Productivity. Increase your ability to track, view and supervise employees wearing high visibility. Increased visibility makes it harder for slackers to avoid their job duties!
In conclusion you have a responsibility to your employees to ensure the safest work environment possible. Know the safety gear necessary to keep personnel visible to other people especially when working along roads. Federal agencies, such as the American National Standards Institute/International Safety Equipment Association (ANSI/ISEA) has time and again enacted requirements to promote high standards for protective clothing. One of the most important questions to consider on any jobsite is “how well can others see me?” Wearing the proper amount of high-visibility apparel and, in many cases, the proper color can mean the difference in going home – or not.