Are you a security or crossing guard? Are you a police officer or first responder? Do you work in the construction industry? Whatever your job is, if it requires you to be outside when there’s inclement in the forecast, you would know how challenging it can be. Rain & snow are not only uncomfortable elements to work in, but they can also lead to some serious hazards if you’re working outside.
Fortunately, there’s a way to stay comfortable, dry & safe, and that is by wearing high-visibility rain gear.
In this article, we’ll see why hi-vis rain gear is crucial for outdoor workers.
What Is High-Visibility Clothing?
First, high-visibility safety clothing is an article of safety clothing made from retro-reflective materials. The main purpose is that the person is visible in low daylight or in the dark when illuminated by a vehicle’s headlights. Hi-vis equipment has a high contrast to the background, so you can quickly see the wearer.
What to Wear in the Rain? Why Is Hi-Vis Rain Gear Essential?
Rainy weather can be chaotic for both employees & pedestrians, so your workers must stand out to prevent accidents. Such weather also makes it difficult for co-workers to see each other, which makes it an unsafe environment to work. Whether it’s a rainy or a sunny day on the road, safety is a top priority. Since rain reduces visibility, invest in ANSI Class hi vis rain gears. The most effective rain gears are in yellow, lime, or orange color with silver reflective striping to ensure your workers are safe. Make sure you take all the precautions to ensure your employees are wearing the right class of high visibility safety clothing to prevent any injuries. Thus, investing in the right high-visibility rain gear ensures your team stays dry and continues working efficiently.
The only way to protect your workers when they are working outdoors in rainy weather is by investing in hi-vis rain gears. Make sure your workers are equipped with hi-vis rain jackets/coats & pants, so they’re covered head to toe & properly visible. If you’re unsure what class the hi-vis safety clothes should be, double-check with the three performance classes. Type O performance class is the least extreme, whereas Type P is when workers are very less visible & could be more at risk.
Benefits of Hi-Vis Rain Gear for Outdoor Workers
Here are some of the significant benefits of wearing hi-vis rain gear when you’re working outdoors.
Undoubtedly, the biggest advantage of hi-vis rain gears is the increased visibility that they provide. These clothing items are made of bright colors, and they have reflective striping. Wearing them, you can be sure that you’ll be seen when you are working outdoors, despite decrease invisibility.
Another significant benefit of these rain gears is the fabric that they’re made out of. They remade with durable & waterproof yet lightweight & breathable fabrics; you will be well protected yet comfortable when you are wearing them for work.
You may need various types of hi-vis rain gears to keep yourself protected & safe in inclement weather. There are several different options available for you, which include hi-vis jackets, hi-vis vests, hi-vis pants & heavy coats. Apart from these, there are even gloves & hats as well.
If you’re a professional who works outdoor and regularly encounters snow & rain while working, keeping yourself safe & protected are exceptionally important. Thanks to hi-vis rain gears, you don’t need to worry about wearing big, bulky waterproof clothing or risk yourself from not being seen when the visibility decreases due to rain or snow. Therefore, for your safety, comfort & security, you must wear high-visibility rain gear.
High visibility (Hi-Vis) clothing is apparel that has fluorescent/highly reflective elements. All these elements make the most of any available light source, which helps the workers wearing this clothing item to be visible against any background & in any conditions, including low light & even darkness.
Ensuring your employees have the right Hi-Vis clothing they need for their unique roles doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. These requirements can vary depending upon its types & performance class.
Hi-Vis clothing standards established by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) helps safety directors in any industry select the right high visibility safety vest for their team.
In this article, we will walk through the types & high visibility clothing performance class.
Types of High Visibility Clothing
The three types of HI-Vis clothing corresponding to the several types of worksite environments are:
Type O, or Off-Road
It is defined as Hi-Vis clothing that provides daytime & nighttime visual conspicuity enhancement for workers working in occupational environments. The working environment involves hazards from moving vehicles, equipment & machinery, but it does not include exposure to traffic on public access highway or rights-of-way or roadway temporary traffic control (TTC) zones.
Types of workers who need Type O hi-vis clothing includes:
- Workers responsible for outdoor maintenance & cart collection in parking lots
- Workers working in warehouses or factories where they work directly with equipment traffic
- Workers in oil & gas industry locations where visibility is a concern
Type R, or Roadway
This type of Hi-Vis clothing “provides daytime & night time visual conspicuity enhancement for workers working in occupational environments that include exposure to traffic (where vehicles use the highway for travel purposes) from public access highway rights-of-way, or the roadway TTC zones or from work vehicles & construction equipment within the roadway TTC zone.”
Types of workers who need Type R Hi-Vis clothing includes:
- Road construction workers
- Airport ground crew members
- Crossing guards
- Towing operators
- Parking & toll workers
Type P, or Public Safety
This type of Hi-Vis clothing “provides daytime & nighttime visual conspicuity enhancement for emergency & incident responders & law enforcement personnel working in occupational environments. These work environments include exposure to traffic (where vehicles use the highway for travel purposes) from public access highway rights-of-way or roadway TTC zones, or from work vehicles & construction equipment within the roadway TTC zone or from equipment & vehicles; within the activity area.”
Type P high visibility safety clothing is a crucial element of protective clothing for first responders who may encounter multiple hazardous sources while performing their jobs.
Workers who need Type P Hi-Vis clothing includes:
- Emergency medical response personnel
- Law enforcement officers
Performance Classes of High Visibility Clothing
In addition to the types of Hi-Vis clothing, ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 also details four performance classes this clothing. Each of these performance classes has specific minimum design requirements specifying the background materials, performance materials, reflective elements, and size of reflective elements used in the Hi-Vis clothing.
The four performance classes of Hi-Vis clothing are:
Performance Class 1
This is the lowest level. Hi-Vis clothing in this performance class provides a minimum amount of high visibility elements that enable workers to stand out visually from a non-complex work environment. Performance Class 1 Hi-Vis clothing is only appropriate for Type O or off-road environments.
Performance Class 2
This performance class has an additional amount of high visibility material which provides better visibility for your workers. Performance Class 2 Hi-Vis clothing is the minimum level of protection for workers that are exposed to roadway or Type R environments.
Performance Class 3
This performance class provides an even higher percentage of high-visibility material than the above two. Performance class 3 Hi-Vis clothing increases the visibility of a worker’s entire body in extremely complex work environments. Examples of performance class 3 design elements typically include requirements on the placement of fluorescent backgrounds along with reflective & combined performance materials on the workers’ sleeves & pant legs.
Supplemental Class E
The Supplemental Class E Hi-Vis clothing is used for increasing the visibility of workers, and it must always be used with other Hi-Vis clothing. However, class E clothing on its own does not need to meet the ANSI safety standards. This Hi-Vis clothing increases the visibility of the lower body & can be used in combination with Performance Class 2 clothing to reach a combined Performance class 3 visibility level or in combination with Class 3 Hi-Vis clothing to increase worker visibility even further.
High visibility safety clothing is a powerful part of your workers’ safety plan. Keeping your workers visible while they are working can prevent accidents before they happen; thus, ensure a safe & well-functioning team. Make sure that you choose the right Hi-Vis clothing type that will protect your workers & ensure that you’re meeting all of the safety standards that impact your industry.
Whether you represent electrical, oil & gas, utilities, or other manufacturing industries, being a safety & production manager, you may face many challenges concerning personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance.
While various decisions are made to ensure the health & safety of personnel, it is important for safety representatives to also develop programs focusing on productivity & efficiency. However, achieving this balance can be difficult. Creating a safe work environment involves the development of necessary procedures, communication & execution of training & inspection programs. So, here we bring you key tips that will help you improve your workplace safety with proper safety wear that works as the first line of defense to decrease worker incidents & injuries:
Know when you need to use PPE
It is important to follow the guidelines by OSHA while deciding what PPE should be used and when it is required. In any area where workers may face airborne debris, safety glasses must be used. Similarly, hard hats are required for construction sites and any work environment where a worker may face the hazard of falling objects. Safety work shirts, jackets, pants, gloves, boots, and masks are required in various operations, including chemicals & flame/burn hazards.
Design a PPE Program
Employers must provide their workers with the tools & safety equipment required to perform their jobs. Training requirements typically include knowing when PPE is needed & what type is required.
Additionally, employees must understand how to use or wear safety clothing & equipment. If these are not worn or used correctly, they’ll not provide the necessary protection.
These PPE training programs should also include how to inspect equipment & when new a PPE should be requested. It is always better than supervisors or any individual assigned to maintain training records & assurance programs to make a checklist so that they don’t miss out on anything.
Choose the appropriate PPE for your work environment
For a PPE to provide the right protection, it must match the quality standards. If it is of substandard quality, it will not provide you the protection that it should. While choosing safety clothing, you must pay attention to the manufacturer’s ratings & test results. Testing, which is conducted in situations that simulate how the clothing item or other PPE is to be worn in actual workplace scenarios, provides the most accurate performance ratings. Make sure that each piece of your safety clothing meets OSHA or NFPA guidelines.
Check out with the products’ manufacturer and what compliance ratings this equipment is designed to meet. Additionally, read the labels for further details about the garment. Often the fabrics designed to protect against a chemical spill are not always the same to provide flame resistance. The items you choose as PPE must meet the hazards of your workplace.
Perform regular maintenance inspections
Like most equipment, these garments will also wear out over time. Many PPE items also have expiration dates, and they must be removed from service after this date. For instance, a hard hat should be in use for not more than five years, and the date on which it is first placed in service must be recorded inside the hat. In addition, some safety clothing items are required to be replaced after an incident or if they become soiled to ensure protection for the wearer is not compromised in any case.
While safety clothing protects you in the event of an accident, it does not prevent the accident itself. By establishing safety guidelines & training your workers on how to correctly use PPE, your workplace will be safer & any accidents will be less likely to end in injury.
With every changing season, there are new inherent hazards that directly affect a worker’s health & safety.
In the winter season, decreasing temperatures & wind chill tend to put outdoor workers at risk for hypothermia & frostbite; other dangers could be decreased mobility, slower response times & slippery surfaces. Additionally, it has been observed that diligence with wearing flame-resistance clothing over warmer winter wear may diminish the effect & potential risk during the winter months.
For these reasons, it is crucial that a winter Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plan must be established for workers working in areas where they may be exposed to arc flash, hazardous materials, or other conditions that require flame resistance clothing.
Here are four tips that will help you choose the right FR safety clothing for winters:
Avoid Loss of Body Heat & Injuries Associated with Potential Arc Flash
In addition to being uncomfortable, wet clothes will lead you to lose more body heat. You may also face a greater risk from moisture seeping through the layers. Once the clothing directly touching your skin becomes moist, it gives a path for an arc flash to travel. Make sure to use appropriate rain gear & have a change of FR clothing available for emergencies. Workers who’re exposed to electrical hazards must not wear synthetic materials as they can melt.
FR clothing items with moisture-wicking fibers pull the moisture away from your body, which helps in keeping you warmer, drier & more protected. The balance of insulation, warmth & breathability should not be overlooked while you’re working outdoors in winters. Choosing the right safety clothing for your application & environment can make a big difference in both safety & performance.
Protect Your Eyes
Eye protection in winter is a lot more important than just keeping debris or chemicals out of your eyes. Icy blasts from harsh winds in winters can irritate eyes & cause decreased visibility. So make sure your eyes are well-protected. Moreover, in certain hazardous work environments, the use of face covers along with protective eyewear may be needed.
Cover Your Head, Hands & Feet
Your body loses about 10-percent of your heat through your head. While it is important to keep your head warm, you must also ensure that your hard hat is properly fitted and those hats or liners do not cause slippage. Choose a hat or liner that can cover the back of your neck as well as your head. It is better to get a slightly larger hard hat for winters to accommodate the necessary head coverings.
In addition to this, protecting your arms & hands is also critically important for job effectiveness & worker safety. Frostbite to your hands & feet can occur rapidly. Thus, you should consider getting additional liners for gloves & boots. These liners will provide you with extra warmth & you can change them if they become damp. If your job requires you to wear protective gloves, liners should be made with suitable material that’ll not melt in case of arc flash.
It is always better to look for reusable and washable products while looking for hand & arm protection. These products offer anti-microbial & cut resistance designs and heat & chemical resistance in a lightweight & heavyweight options.
Keep your PPE Well Maintained
Your flame-resistance clothing is designed to keep you safe. For it to perform properly & provide you enough safety, you must take care of it as well.
You must follow the use & care instructions provided by the FR clothing manufacturer on the garment in order to get the full-service life from your FR products. During winters, you may need to change your garments frequently if you’re working in snowy or muddy conditions.
The most crucial factor for choosing appropriate PPE for the winter season is selecting clothing items that are not only suitable for the temperature in which you’ll be working, but it is also functional for the kind of work you’ll be performing and the physical exertion you’ll go through. Make sure to always follow the legal requirements for your trade & consult relevant sections of NFPA codes & standards to make the right choice.
Protective or safety clothing is any garment designed to increase the safety & well-being of the wearer. The right personal protective clothing will reduce the risk of accident & employee injury. For any clothing item to be considered PPE, it must first correctly fit to protect a certain body part. And next, the garment should be selected for its ability to protect against the type of hazards present, such as electrical, chemical, biological, heat/fire, or physical. And finally, the protective workwear clothing must be strong enough to act in one of the three ways:
- Acting as a total barrier against infiltration of harmful substances
- If infiltration does occur, it should reduce the extent of injuries from serious to minor
- Protecting workers long enough for them to escape the area or the hazard
Read on to understand more about protective clothing and why it is so crucial.
Protection from Chemical Processes
Many organizations use strong chemicals during their manufacturing processes that require chemical protective suits to minimize the risk of exposure. Manufacturers of detergents, fertilizer, dyes, light bulbs, metals refining & plastics processing are just a few of the many industries that use some very strong & toxic chemicals. Protection from these chemical processes can be complex. Moreover, these chemicals are sometimes in solid or liquid form and also release toxic gases, which can affect workers in multiple ways such as inhalation, ingestion, direct skin contact, or by way of splashing into the mouth or eyes. For these reasons, workers working with them will require full protection from chemicals. Whenever workers are around harmful chemicals, an employer must provide eye protection such as face shields or goggles, along with chemical protective suits to protect the worker’s skin.
Disposable FR Clothing for Burn Hazards
Flame-resistant (FR) clothing plays an important role in protecting employees working under conditions where there are chances of sparks, embers, flame, or flash fire. Welders, cooks & grill masters, iron & steel mills, electrical utilities, and certain manufacturing processes that use furnaces or boilers typically present a heat or fire hazard to workers.
Disposable flame-resistant clothing can provide layered protection of primary FR garments for certain industries, while in other cases, the FR clothing coverall is worn with the normal workwear uniform. FR clothing is designed in such a manner that it self-extinguishes once it has been removed from the source of the fire. Instead of catching fire & bursting into flames, it gives the worker enough time to recognize the fire & make a quick escape.
PPE for Remediation Service Workers
Biological & health hazards are the main concerns for workers that work at removing lead paint, asbestos, mold, waste & clean-up, and for restoration workers that help to rebuild communities after heavy storms or floods. It is impossible to control the hazards that may exist in such types of conditions. Any biological or chemical exposure at these contaminated sites can cause various health issues.
Therefore, to keep workers safe from dangerous particles or waste material, it is important to use protective workwear clothing designed to put a barrier between the worker & substances that can lead to health problems. These PPE clothing will provide physical protection against toxic chemicals, mold spores, liquids, and particulates.
Moreover, OSHA’s safety standards make it imperative for companies working under various industries to follow the safety guidelines to keep their employees safe. Any organization that fails to do so may land up in legal trouble and heavy fines. Therefore, it is important to understand the safety requirements for your industry and make sure that your employees are well protected against potential risks.
Various work conditions require workers to wear high visibility clothing. Maybe you’ve just got a new job that requires you to wear high visibility clothing. Whatever the case is, you suddenly have reason to be curious & ask — what exactly is high visibility workwear clothing?
In this article, we will discuss the most frequently asked questions about high visibility workwear clothing.
What is Hi-Vis?
Hi-Vis is a term used for high visibility referring to the clothing that has reflective properties & is made up of fluorescent materials & colors, which makes them easily noticeable from any background. Hi-vis clothing is typically worn by workers working at construction sites, on roadways & other industrial sites to avoid incidents that involve the use of large vehicles or equipment.
What is the difference between Class 2 & Class 3 Hi-Vis safety vests?
Class Hi-Vis vests are for workers working in heavier traffic where driver’s visibility is poor due to weather. A minimum of 201 sq inches of reflective tape, which is 2 inches in diameter, is required for a Class 2 Hi-Vis safety vest. Reflective strips should be over the shoulders & round in the middle with horizontal stripes. If we talk about the Class 3 vests, they are for high traffic incidents & often first or emergency responders. When you’re working in a condition where traffic is over 50 miles per hour, you will need a Class 3 Hi-Vis vest with a minimum of 310 sq inches of reflective tape, which is 2 inches thick. Class 3 Hi-Vis safety vest also provides more arm & leg visibility coverage.
What are the Benefits of Hi-Vis Clothes?
There are many benefits of Hi-Vis safety clothing, some of them are:
They make employees highly visible: Hi-Vis clothing differentiates wearers from the environment & gives them more opportunity to see them. This protects workers from oncoming traffic.
They promote a safe environment: Nowadays, providing a safe work environment should be the priority of any business firm. When a worker feels safe at their workplace, they tend to be more productive. Investing in Hi-Vis workwear clothing would benefit any business tremendously.
They reduce the risk of an accident: Most workplace accidents occur because of the incapability of drivers to properly see the onsite workers due to improper lighting & similar reasons. Hi-Vis clothing provides great visibility to vehicle operators. Thus, the chances of accidents decrease automatically.
Other than the transportation industry, Hi-Vis clothing is used by construction workers, emergency service providers, school crossing guards, parking lot attendants, utility workers, warehouse workers, shipyard workers & many more.
What should you keep in mind while using Hi-Vis Safety Clothing?
Those who wear Hi-Vis safety clothing at work must know the following points:
- Fluorescent clothes are most appropriate for dark conditions
- For maximum visibility, use full-body coverage clothes
- To enhance the visibility of the wearer in motion, using contrast stripes on arms & legs will be helpful
- Don’t wear any other garments on these Hi-Vis clothes
- Wear Hi-Vis clothes that are specific for your work site & the type of work.
How to take care of Hi-Vis Clothing?
- It is always better to wash them inside out in cold water with similar colors. This helps to preserve the reflective material on the outside. Washing them with a reflective side outside can cause the reflective tape to wear out more easily, leading to fading & eventual tears in the material.
- Hi-Vis safety vests are a bit different. The mesh material of this apparel can wear out in the washer, so it is better to soak them in neutral laundry detergent dissolved in cold water. Let your vest stand in the dissolved detergent for about half an hour. This will help stains & other particularly soiled spots to brush out.
- Remember, if you are not seen, you are not safe! That’s why it is important to keep replacing your hi-vis clothing regularly. If your apparel isn’t visible from 1,000 feet away at any time of the day or night, it’s time to replace it!
- When worn daily, most Hi-Vis clothing will last for about six months before becoming ineffective. When worn less often than that, these clothing items can last up to one year.
We hope this information will help you make an educated choice when it comes to Hi-Vis clothing!
High-visibility (Hi-Vis) clothing is the most common type of personal protection equipment (PPE) that is used for a wide range of roles. This safety clothing has reflective properties & is made up of fluorescent materials & colors, making them easily noticeable from any background. As the popularity of high visibility clothing rises, so does some people’s mocking of health & safety ‘gone mad.’ However, this topic is not about making a fashion statement. For many reasons, in so many industries, this type of workwear clothing is of great importance.
In this article, we will see why Hi-Vis Clothing is of great importance but before that, let’s take a quick look at the three main components of Hi-Vis clothing.
Main Components of Hi-Vis Clothing
There are usually three main components:
- Fluorescent material– This especially boosts visibility during the daylight hours but can also improve visibility at night.
- Reflective stripes– They are designed for visibility during the darker hours; reflective stripes typically require a light source to work & create retro-reflection. These are essential for those working at night.
- Contrast material– This is a darker-colored part of the garment that is less sensitive to dirt than the fluorescent material & reflective strips, without which the functionality of some hi-vis clothing would diminish—the areas covered with the contrast fabric typically where the dirt is most likely to build up.
Why is Hi-Vis Clothing Important?
The main purpose for wearing hi-vis workwear clothing is the safety it provides to its wearers. This safety clothing is proven to prevent accidents & fatalities in a potentially dangerous environment, such as construction & industrial areas, where there are large vehicles moving around. This is exactly where the legal requirements come in.
The most significant reason for wearing HI-VIS workwear apart from safety is that it is a legal requirement for most industries. Regulating authority states that safety workwear must be conspicuous in form & reflective in nature.
Hi-Vis clothing sends a message to the world not just about the employees within a company but also about the organization. It portrays that they are professional, reliable, and respectful of the rules & safety standards of their employees. Therefore, people are more likely to trust a company that fully equips its staff with all the necessary workwear.
An especially significant note for workers working in larger companies having a big workforce, or in areas where there might be a mixture of people from different sectors, or when they are working within settings where the general public are present. Hi Vis clothing helps to identify staff & authorized personnel at any location. This enables the public & any outside visitors to identify staff members that can be important at goods inwards or security gates. Moreover, it can also create a sense of unity within the team & broadly promote the company’s identity, where hi-vis vests and jackets should be worn, at the very least.
People working in jobs that require high visibility solutions come rain or shine. For cold weather, they need to wear hi-vis jackets that give them confidence that they will be fully visible & warm; thus, they can focus better on the job at hand. Additionally, there are also hi-vis waterproofs, including both jackets & trousers, that prevent workers from getting wet during rains.
Contact for Best Quality High Visibility Clothing
If you’re looking for the best quality high visibility clothing or have any further questions on the hi-visibility clothing range, please get in touch with Workwear USA right now!
If you belong to the construction industry where your employees need to work under challenging conditions, you must ensure they are wearing the right kind of safety clothing required for their job. For instance, if your employees need to perform duties in inclement weather, buying a weather-proof garment for safety is crucial. Or if they are doing something, where they should be identifiable by others from a distance, they must wear something which is bright & reflective. It won’t be wrong to say that ignoring such assessments can lead an employer into some major legal troubles.
Read on to understand everything you should know about choosing safety clothing for construction workers.
Choosing High-Visibility Garments
There are a lot of factors such as size, fit, color & design that can influence the choice as you need to consider different aspects in detail while making a choice. For instance, choosing large-size bright clothing, especially the one covering the body from all directions, can be better than a small one. And for colors, your focus should be on the stripes featuring on arms, waist & legs. These can be excellent visual clues for the other person on the same premises. The industry experts often tell employers to choose workwear clothing with contrasting colors & stripes for more visibility.
Other than these, features like comfort, flame resistance, water resistance, breathability & flexibility are also important. The clothes need to fit the employee so that they can perform their duties safely without any interruption. When it comes to fitting, you need to ensure it’s comfortable to wear. Roughness, sharp edges & dangling items often lead to irritation & injuries.
Furthermore, the brightness of the safety clothing is also critical. While making a choice, you must be aware that bright colors are more suitable for the daylight, and fluorescent tones work better in low light conditions, such as dawn & dusk.
Apart from this, the safety standard about the use of stripes & bands is also apparent. The garment should include a horizontal line or band around the waist covering the full body. It should have two stripes running vertically from the shoulders to the trunk in the front & a symmetric “X” design on the backside of the cloth. It should also cover shoulder & waist areas.
Among these things, make sure to check the color of the background material as well. It has to be either fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent red, or fluorescent red-orange. If it uses bright tones, the choice of colors can be between orange-red & yellow-green.
Other Important Point to Consider
Some companies can also use retro-reflective material in garments. This material is well-known for sending back the light from where it comes. If the wearers are exposed to the light beam, drivers can quickly notice them. This material is usually more functional in low-light conditions. However, you should not expect it to reflect light by itself; thus, you cannot depend on it in sunny or daytime. Instead, you can choose reflective materials that can quickly reflect the light from its surface & provide better visibility.
There are many online & offline stores that offer high-visibility workwear. So, it won’t be difficult for you to get the right deal. But your primary focus while shopping should be on your workers’ safety. Thus, investing in high-quality clothing is critical. When you take utmost care of your workers’ safety, it will not just keep them safe but will project your company in good light. Consequently, you’ll experience improved workers’ productivity & output.
Moreover, if you cannot visit a physical store for this, you can also check the online stores for extensive collection & reasonable pricing. It will be convenient also!
A safety vest or high visibility jacket is an essential supplement for anyone taking part in industrial activities. Hi-vis vests/jackets are the safety gear necessary to make personnel visible to other people, especially when they are working along roads or other places.
For workers who work in the construction environment, activity-specific safety vests provide the highest levels of safety. Since high visibility work jackets are designed to keep the wearer clearly in view, the manufacturers make abundant use of colors while making these jackets so that they can always be seen & glow in the dark. For example, fluorescent colors such as orange, green, and yellow make it easier for workers to see & locate one another even in dim lighting conditions. Also, for workers working at night (which significantly increases the potential hazards), these hi-vis jackets act as light sources that make their vest or the stripes on the vest glow for higher visibility.
Here’s why wearing a high visibility jacket at work is of paramount importance to worker’s safety.
At the construction worksites, the visibility of workers is pertinent to their safety. Construction workers typically wear clothing items with a variety of fluorescent colors such as orange, yellow or green. These clothing can be construction safety vests, shirts or work jackets. These garments provide an easy way to identify workers & their location within a construction site.
Safety work jackets used around traffic signals are all reflective in nature. These traffic safety hi-vis vests commonly have a zippered front closure & are available in a solid material. These hi-vis vests/jackets are massively put to use in congested areas that have high traffic volume.
A safety jacket also provides high visibility during water activities that may even have lifesaving capabilities. During rainfall, when the normal visibility usually drops, wearing highway safety vests/jackets designed for high visibility are considered to be essential in rainy conditions.
Useful in Extreme Weather Conditions
If you work in a climate that gets extremely cold during winters yet very warm in summers, a hi-vis safety jacket expands when you are required to wear heavy outer clothing & contracts for lightweight summer workwear. And if in case you need to work in a situation that poses a potential fire risk, you’re safer with a heavy-duty safety jacket.
Last but most important, High-visibility work jackets/vests are often the first & the only thing that can keep a worker visible in working conditions with less than pre-requisite lighting. For instance, drivers & equipment operators may not always have the time to stop & check for other workers in that area. Wearing a high-visibility jacket/vest enables them to remain aware of personnel that may be in the vicinity & in imminent danger of being hit by the vehicles or equipment. Thus, they’re able to avoid running over other co-workers, preventing potential accidents & saving lives. These days many hi-vis jackets come with logos printed on the back. These logos help individual crew members distinguish themselves or their identity from workers of other companies. Additionally, they increase the public awareness of the company as well as their presence in the market. Therefore, an employer should educate & inform their employees about the various tips of using high visibility safety jackets to cultivate protective safety wear usage.
High visibility safety jacket acts as the first line of defense for employees against certain work hazards, enabling them to carry out their duties diligently & securely. In this way, accidents are significantly reduced & workplace safety is effectively maintained!
There has always been a lot of nuances & requirements when it comes to FR clothing. Maybe you’re about to start a new job & you’ve been told you’ll need to wear flame-resistant (FR) clothing. Whatever the case is, you suddenly have reason to be curious & ask — what exactly is flame-resistant workwear clothing?
In this article, we’ll discuss the most frequently asked questions about flame-resistant workwear clothing.
What is flame-resistant clothing?
Flame-resistant clothing, also known as FR clothing, refers to any clothing item which is designed & specifically manufactured to protect wearers from the potential intermittent flames & thermal exposure. FR workwear clothing is engineered to protect the wearer from injuries due to flames. These clothing items don’t easily catch fire, and even if they do, they are designed to self-extinguish.
Who needs to wear flame-resistant clothing?
Any employee who works in environments where there are possibilities of heat, fire or electrical injuries, the odds are good they should be wearing FR clothing. Typically, there are three broad categories of workers who should wear FR clothing for protection. These categories are based on the type of hazard the worker will be exposed to while working. The three primary hazards are:
Electric arc: People exposed to this hazard include electricians and certain utility workers & others.
Flashfire: This category includes pharmaceutical & chemical workers and those working in refineries & more.
Combustible dust: This category covers workers in food processing plants, the paper & pulp industry, etc.
What is the difference between “flame resistant” clothing & “fire retardant” clothing?
Flame resistant materials & clothing doesn’t melt or drip when exposed directly to flames or extreme heat. The vertical flame test is the official test method that determines whether a fabric is flame resistant or not. For a fabric to be classified as flame resistant, it must self-extinguish in 2 seconds or less after exposure to direct flame. Flame resistant fabric gains its self-extinguishing properties either from the use of inherently flame-resistant fibres or from flame resistant treatments.
Flame retardant material, on the other hand, stops or slows down the process of catching fire or reduces its intensity. These fabrics or clothing can be made from any material, but they must be treated with a special chemical to qualify as a flame retardant. Fabrics used for making this clothing are not made with non-flammable fibres.
What makes FR clothing flame resistant?
Flame resistant refers to FR clothing, which is made to self-extinguish when the flame source is removed from the clothing article. FR clothing is typically manufactured with fabrics with unique properties that prevent the clothing from melting, igniting, or dripping when exposed to an open flame; this reduces burn injuries to its wearers.
How to choose the right FR clothing?
The “best practice” for selecting FR clothing include:
- Your FR workwear clothing selection must be based on the probable worst-case exposure for the job/task.
- FR clothing should provide a good functional fit for protection as well as comfort.
- Sleeve cuffs of your clothing should be fully rolled down & secured.
- All garments, including outerwear, need to be fully fastened.
- FR clothing should be free from flammable contaminants such as oil or grease that can ignite & increase burn injury.
- Appropriate protective face, head, neck, eye, hand, & foot coverings should be worn.
Do we really need FR clothing?
OSHA mandates FR clothing & its usage, and the organization won’t hesitate to hand out fines to any company it finds to be outside of compliance with the regulations.
In addition to protecting workers, FR clothing also serves as a handy insurance policy for your business if in case an accident occurs. While it is certainly expensive for your company to outfit its workers in appropriate gears, it will be even more expensive for them if a worker is severely injured/burned. The cost of things such as workers’ compensation, training temporary replacement workers & other related expenses typically far outweigh the cost of protecting workers in the first place.
Therefore, all this goes to prove even if it weren’t for OSHA regulations, it is better for businesses to rather outfit their employees correctly than be forced to deal with onsite accidents or injuries!
We hope this information will help you make an educated choice when it comes to FR clothing!