Month: January 2021
As the name suggests, high visibility clothing is the garments that make you visible in certain lighting conditions to keep you safe on the job. These clothing types protect you from collisions involving vehicles passing by the work site as well as from the on-site equipment. It is essential to understand the definition of high visibility (Hi-Vis) clothing and the relevant regulations to stay safe & compliant. Whether you’re working on a construction site, in a warehouse or any other job that requires you to be near vehicles or heavy equipment, hi-vis clothing may be both a requirement & a way to stay safe.
In this article, we will talk about the important things that you should know about high visibility clothing.
Why do we wear Hi-Vis Clothing?
Workers from a variety of fields wear hi-vis clothing which makes them easier to see. Various situations, such as working on the roadside or at night, make wearing this type of clothing an essential requirement. Depending upon your job location & work conditions, you may have to follow the mandatory guidelines from your state and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to wear Hi-Vis clothing that makes you easy to spot from a distance.
How do Hi-Vis Clothing works?
Hi-Vis clothing is made with bright fabric; it has a tape that reflects lights. The fluorescent-colored background highlights the wearer’s general location. The reflective tape surrounds the arms & torso of the wearer. These tapes ensure that even if a driver is unable to see the color of your clothing, they can still see your reflection by any nearby lighting sources. The tape on this clothing type distinguishes you from other brightly colored objects in that area, such as construction barrels & safety cones.
What are the safety benefits & features of Hi-Vis Clothing?
The main aspects of high visibility clothing are reflective tape & bright background coloring. The fabrics come in fluorescent shades of green, red, yellow, and orange-red. To ensure that your garment has the appropriate safety features that you need for your particular job, you must look for the ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 or ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 label. These labels indicate that workwear clothing adheres to the ANSI/ISEA standards. The ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 standard is the most recent standard that was adopted in 2015, while the latter refers to the guidelines from the year 2004.
(ANSI) American National Standards Institute and (ISEA) the International Safety Equipment Association. These two groups have set out the standards for high visibility safety apparel (HVSA).
In 2015, the standards were changed to allow for a better fit of hi-vis clothing for smaller workers. These standards also include information on using armbands & gloves to fit into the requirements. Labels on the Hi-Vis clothing that adhere to the most recent standards should have information about the clothing type, performance class & flame resistance.
When is Hi-Vis Clothing required?
High Visibility Safety Apparel (HVSA) is a requirement for specific jobs & circumstances. Hi-vis OSHA requirements include the following situations:
Flagging: Workers who job is to flag traffic along roadways need hi-vis clothing
Excavation: Workers who work near holes or pits & have exposure to vehicular traffic must wear Hi-Vis safety clothing.
Struck-By Dangers: A worker who is in work zones near traffic & is at risk of having vehicles hit them needs HVSA.
These were some of the important factors about Hi-Vis Clothing that you must know about to keep your employees safe.
There are a lot of nuances & requirements when it comes to FR clothing. Do you what “FR” really means? Maybe you’ve just been told that you need to wear FR clothing at your new job. Whatever the case is, it is important for you to understand the meaning of FR clothing. In this article, we will talk about what is flame resistant clothing and what does “FR” here really means.
What is Flame Resistant Clothing?
Flame-resistant clothing — commonly abbreviated as FR clothing — refers to any clothing items that are designed & specifically manufactured to protect wearers from potential intermittent flames & thermal exposure. These clothing items are engineered to protect the wearer from injury due to flames as they do not easily catch fire, and even when they do, they are designed to self-extinguish. If the wearer gets exposed to a brief, intermittent flame while wearing FR clothing and the clothing catches fire, it will self extinguish itself. FR clothing’s ability causes the wearer’s risk of burn injury to plummet & can often provide the wearer with enough time to escape the unsafe environment.
All these attributes work together to provide the wearer with a far greater chance of escape & survival if they find themselves suddenly in the middle of a flash fire, an electric arc, or any other unexpected thermal problem that can cause injury. In situations like these, FR clothing can be the difference between being severely injured or escaping unscathed.
Moreover, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), delineates specific guidelines. Any FR clothing required by a workplace will need to fall within their guidelines. OSHA stipulates any worker working in conditions where they may be exposed to flames, electric arcs or any similar hazards must not wear clothing that “could potentially increase the extent of the injury.” In addition to this, OSHA’s clothing requirements then go on to prohibit clothing made of nylon, rayon, polyester or acetate, unless the employer can prove they’ve been appropriately treated to withstand the conditions the workers may encounter during their work.
“FR”- Flame-Resistant or Fire-Resistant or Fire-Retardant
People often confuse FR for Flame-Resistant or Fire-Resistant or Fire-Retardant as they usually assume these three terms are synonyms. However, the confusion is understandable, given the similarities of these terms. But actually, two of the terms are interchangeable, but another one of them is quite a bit different. So, here are the major differences between these terms.
Flame-Resistant: Flame-resistant clothing is typically made from inherently non-flammable fabrics & materials. The materials used for making this clothing have a chemical structure which is naturally resistant to flames. This fabric type may catch fire, but it will either self-extinguish or burn very slowly, which gives wearer enough time to escape. The most important function of these fabrics is to prevent any further spread of fire.
Fire-Resistant: This term can be taken as a synonym for flame-resistant. If you find this term as a replacement of flame-resistant, don’t be confused. Both these terms mean exactly the same thing, and it is correct to use them interchangeably.
Fire-Retardant: Fire-retardant fabrics are quite different from the other two. These fabrics are those that have undergone chemical treatment to acquire some of the similar properties that flame-resistant fabrics inherently have. As a result of these chemical procedures, flame/fire-retardant fabrics become self-extinguishing & slow-burning. Any type of fabric can be used, but it must undergo this chemical treatment before it can be considered as flame/fire retardant.
These definitions clearly state the meaning & significance of these terms. So make sure you understand the requirements & guidelines of your industry & work type and choose your “FR” clothing accordingly.
A good, productive workplace is the one where employees are safe, despite the hazards, they’re exposed to. Workplace safety encompasses the broad spectrum of aspects ranging from identifying all the potential hazards & training all the employees to procure, acquainting & enforcing the use of all necessary personal protective equipment. Since protective workwear plays the most crucial role in ensuring employees’ safety below, we have stated the most significant reasons why protective workwear is imperative for employees’ safety.
To protect the body from extremes of heat & cold
It is imperative to keep workers safe & comfortable, especially when they are working in uncomfortable & dangerous situations. Protective workwear clothing such as flame-resistant clothing is one of the great examples of how protective clothing can keep you safe from extreme heat when you’re welding or using electrical equipment.
To protect against head injuries
Head injuries are very common in a workplace that involves the use of heavy equipment. For instance, workers working in mines or at a construction site often end up injuring their head by accidentally hitting or being hit by a heavy object. These head injuries often cause irreparable damage to the brain & result in fatalities. Thus using safety helmets for such jobs can provide the right protection to the workers’ heads & help in reducing the impact of the blow greatly.
To protect against foot & leg injuries
Any heavy object that can inflict head injuries can also cause injuries to the feet & legs. This makes using the right safety shoes essential for safety. Safety shoes & boots can protect the worker’s feet and legs against injuries resulting from punctures. The punctures are usually caused by sharp objects & protrusions that can pierce through the soles of the shoes & tear the feet’ skin. Furthermore, various safety boots rise above the ankle & extend up to the calves, which protect the major part of the legs.
To protect against eye injuries
Tasks such as welding often expose workers to sparks & spatter, which can cause heavy damage to the worker’s vision. Also, many woodworking & metalworking activities expose workers to the risk of being injured by the projectiles. Safety glasses, face masks/shields must be a part of safety workwear clothing while performing tasks, which can lead to the risk of causing damage of such nature to the eyes.
To protect against respiratory ailments
Many worksites expose workers to toxic fumes & gases that can lead to various respiratory ailments. A respiratory mask works as the best rescue for workers working in such settings. It is, in fact, not just the presence of toxic gases that demand respiratory protection for workers, but the presence of dust particles suspended in the air can also enter the respiratory tracts of the workers, which make respiratory protection a necessity for them.
Employers need to take adequate safety measures and ensure that all workers are provided with the right personal protective equipment because it’s very ethical to do so. All employers ought to be ethical in their operational practices.