Tag: high Visibility FR Clothing
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.
When you are at your worksite, every precaution must be taken to ensure your & others’ safety. While proper training & hazard assessments go a long way in this context, there are still chances of accidents & certain unavoidable hazards. Thus, working in a dangerous work environment makes it imperative to take all the necessary precautions to ensure everyones’ safety.
Perhaps most risky are the jobs where workers face several kinds of hazards all at once. For instance, a worker working in a position that involves the risk of flash & fire with poor visibility is prone to multiple dangers. It’s not possible for anyone to look over their shoulders for oncoming motor vehicles while welding or fixing an electrical wire. Instead, these workers need a unique combination of flame-resistant (FR) high-visibility protective clothing that can serve both purposes.
Read on to understand the importance of hi-vis flame resistant clothing and its performance class.
Importance of Hi-Visibility FR Clothing
People working in an environment such as utility and oil & gas industries where there’s a risk of fire and explosion need to follow FR clothing norms to ensure workers’ safety. Flame-resistant clothing is vital as it effectively reduces the risk of injury from flash fire, arc flash, and open flame hazards. Flame-resistant clothing is specifically designed to works as a self-extinguisher when exposed to flame, reducing the extent of burns & providing workers a chance to escape. The material of this clothing doesn’t melt & provides thermal insulation from heat. While no clothing guarantees being entirely fireproof, FR clothing drastically cuts down on the number & severity of burn injuries.
Moreover, a worker working in an environment that involves the risk of flash or fire with potential low-light conditions is exposed to the added danger of not being visible. That’s why high-visibility clothing is a must for many jobs. High-visibility FR clothing is made of brightly colored fabrics & reflective materials, which make the wearer more visible in all conditions and inclement weather. This, in turn, prevents many major accidents. Wearing FR clothing that comes with high visibility, along with other safety precautions & training, prevents many severe injuries and deaths every year.
The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) has established the ANSI/ISEA 107 standard, which provides industries with performance guidance around high-vis safety apparel. Below we have mentioned the breakdown of the two most popular ANSI high-visibility performance classifications:
There are very limited differences between performance Class 1 and general-purpose safety vests; thus, only the manufacturer rated safety vests starting at Class 2 are elected.
Performance Class 2: This is for workers working in low-light environments & heavy traffic. When traffic exceeds 25 mph & below 50 mph, Class 2 rated safety vests are considered ideal. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes highway/road construction work zones as areas where workers are potentially exposed to the risk of being struck by the vehicles operating near them. A worker working as a flagger, laborer, or survey crew in these areas need to wear a Class 2 rated vest.
Performance Class 3: This is for workers working in dangerous, high traffic areas and in poor light conditions, for example, workers working in snowy conditions on a busy road. A worker is operating in an area where a vehicle travels more than 50 mph need to wear a Class 3 rated safety vest. Most heavy traffic areas, as mentioned in Performance Class 2, should consider wearing a Class 3 safety vest, as an additional reflective material will help to identify other workers better.
One more perk of high-vis clothing is these easily recognizable garments & accessories communicate a certain level of authority in situations where an area has restricted access. Everyone recognizes high-vis gear as work clothing & understands that individuals wearing it are there to do a job, which separates the worker from other passersby.