Tag: Safety workwear
Hi-Vis clothing is of critical importance for any construction worker, police officer, or anyone who works in the outdoors. Hi-Vis clothes are not just to make you more visible; they also help protect you from accidents and injuries that can come about due to your visibility being impaired. This safety clothing is essential not just for you but for everyone around you too. However, there a lot of things that you must know before buying it.
In this article, we’ll break down all the things you should know about Hi-Vis clothing.
What is High Visibility Clothing & How Does it Work?
Hi-Vis clothing is designed with bright colors and reflective materials to make the wearer more visible in low light or nighttime conditions. Hi-Vis safety gear helps protect workers from accidents that might otherwise go unnoticed, providing a critical first line of defense when working outdoors. These garments also serve as effective tools for maintaining safety during construction projects, traffic incidents, public events like parades, protests, and sporting activities.
Hi-Vis clothes are usually made of fluorescent colors or reflective materials that stand out against backgrounds, making them easier for others to see. The main purpose of Hi-Vis Clothing is simply to make the wearer visible. The brighter you can appear from all angles, the greater your chances will be spotted before something happens, causing an accident or injury.
Safety Benefits and Features of High Visibility Clothing
The most significant benefits & features of high visibility clothing are:
- Hi-Vis clothing is highly functional and used in a variety of industries for different purposes. Some examples where this safety clothing is used are firefighting, construction work, highway maintenance, and traffic control. Hi-Vis garments often show up on the job sites as they offer important safety features that protect employees from injury due to falls, slips, or collisions with other objects;
- Hi-visibility garments also help workers to be seen by others in their environment, which can avoid accidents involving pedestrians on foot or those using vehicles such as cars and trucks;
- Hi-Vis Clothing offers protection against heat stress through its ability to reflect sunlight off the material onto the wearer’s skin, so s/he does not get burnt. This type of garment may also have air vents within it designed to release heat and sweat from the body and have moisture-wicking capabilities, which can help maintain a comfortable skin temperature. Hi-Vis Clothing has been shown to significantly improve visibility in certain environments such as nighttime construction work or roadwork zones.
What Must be Kept in Mind While Buying Hi-Vis Clothing?
Key factors that you must keep in mind while buying HI-Vis clothing are:
- The material used for Hi-Vis clothing
- Hi-Vis rating (signifies the level of visibility)
- Type & size (with regard to comfort, convenience, etc.)
One of the first things to consider when buying Hi-Vis Clothing is what type of garment is suited for your needs. Hi-Vis Jackets are perfect if you want protection from rain, snow, and wind, while Hi-Vis work trousers or Hi-vis shorts provide optimal visibility in work environments such as road construction zones where traffic may be moving at high speeds. Hi-Vis Vests which come with a reflective strip around the stomach and chest area, offer an excellent alternative to jackets, too, since they can keep your whole body warm in cold weather with their insulation properties.
Furthermore, hi-vis clothing is made from a number of materials, including nylon, polyester, or cotton, with reflective strips sewn into it, which makes it more visible when worn during daytime hours. It also comes in different types, such as workwear that can be dressier and tailored or casual wear that might have elastic at the waistband, so they don’t need a belt. These days hi-vis is even seen on t-shirts! Hi-vis clothes come in various sizes too – small/medium /large/extra-large.
Hi-vis clothing is a crucial safety measure for those who work in high-risk occupations. It should be worn by workers who are on the road, at construction sites, and even those who work indoors near machinery or chemicals that could cause harm if not seen properly. All of these environments require different qualities for hi-vis garments, so it’s important you know the risk involved in your job and the type you need before making the final choice of any high visibility clothing.
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.
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.
Working on a construction site can be both challenging & dangerous. Construction workers sometimes need to work hundreds of feet above the ground and are often exposed to dangers from acids, radiant heat, naked flames, sparks, and heavy objects such as bricks & beams. Even the workers who are not atop a building can be exposed to dangers from traffic on the road. Thus, keeping them protected from dangerous materials and flames is very crucial for their safety. One of the most crucial things that play a major role in protecting workers at construction sites is safety clothing.
Safety Clothing’s Role in Construction Sites
As workers at a construction site are usually surrounded by heavy objects, flames, and hazardous chemicals, their safety is paramount. In fact, no safety equipment is more important at such worksites than protective workwear clothing. Overalls are usually the most common attire worn on construction sites & are ubiquitous at well-managed sites.
Just like skilled employees in different vocations have a certain dress code, there is a dress code for skilled construction workers as well. A well-maintained piece of safety workwear clothing is a reason for pride for many workers; as a matter of fact, the most efficient & dedicated workers feel confident and tend to perform well at their jobs when they are wearing protective clothing.
As stated above, protective clothing serves as an unofficial uniform for workers at a construction site, yet it implies, and does, provides excellent utility too. Hence workers typically wear overalls not just because it protects them from a wide range of hazards but also it helps them to do their job well. Basically, overalls that protect workers from hazards such as flames or fire are often required at construction sites. Such clothing is made from flame-resistant fabrics, which work as a self extinguisher most of the time.
While safety is paramount at construction sites, working at such sites also requires using several different tools such as pliers, screwdrivers, spanners, etc. Overalls and safety work jackets, workwear pants have pockets in them that allow workers to carry every kind of small tool they’ll need.
Other Benefits of Safety Clothing on Construction Sites
While worker’s safety is important when it comes to working on a construction site, comfort plays a major role as well. Workers that feel safe while working are able to carry out their duties better. This is why specifically designed safety clothing is ideal for wearing at a construction site because they sit well on the wearer’s frame and make them feel comfortable & safe.
To See & Be Seen
On any busy construction site, when groups of people are working together surrounded by dangerous equipment or extreme environmental hazards, it is imperative that everyone should be able to clearly see everyone else. Knowing where someone is working, even in the poor light, is very crucial for safety at a construction site. This is where high visibility safety clothing works best as it brightly reflects any light that shines on it, making the wearer visible even in poor lighting. And a remarkable quality of this hi-vis clothing is it does not get degraded even when washed frequently.
Safety Clothing in Different Roles
Just as there are various types of work environments, there’s also more than just one variety of protective clothing. Plain safety clothing may be made from cotton or a flame-resistant material, which makes it suitable to wear at many construction sites. Other kinds of safety clothing may be used by firemen or by people working in some of the most extreme work environments, such as nuclear power plants or chemical plants, or chemical laboratories.
A lot has been said about the importance of wearing safety workwear, yet many people & companies fail to understand the need for such. Safety workwear plays an important role for people working in a hazardous work environment as it protects users against any health & safety risks. These safety workwear clothing lessens the likelihood of injury, illness & legal issues and ensures a safe & happy work environment for all.
In most instances, employers reject the idea of investing in high-quality safety workwear for their workers and tend to settle for cheaper options. This, unfortunately, brings more expenses for them in the future, especially when it comes to law suits for not complying with the safety standards. In this article, we will see why there’s a need to wear safety workwear in the workplace.
To avoid contact with chemicals
Among other things, chemicals are most popular that poses some serious risks within the work environment. If certain chemicals get in contact with your skin, it will not only cause irritation to your skin but may even lead to some serious health problems. It can also impair your vision if a splash gets on your eyes. Keeping all these things in mind, you need to wear gloves, safety work jackets, pants, and goggles, among others, to ensure that harmful chemicals don’t touch your body.
To avoid foot & head injuries
Workers who usually work in wet areas are more likely to face injury by slipping or falling. Typically, in construction sites, there are hazards posed by falling debris & hard equipment. In some cases, workplace accidents not only cause injury to the body but may even lead to death. Such situations make it even more important to have prescribed safety workwear for all employees.
For being recognized
On any busy work site where groups of people work together surrounded by various dangerous materials/equipment, it’s imperative that everyone should be able to see everyone else clearly. Thus, it is important to wear high visibility safety clothing as they come with reflective tape. These reflective tapes brightly reflect any light that shines on them, which makes the wearer visible even in poor lighting. A remarkable quality of these reflective tapes is that it’s not degraded even after frequent wash.
To stay compliant with regulatory requirements
Lastly, the right safety clothing is also important in order to demonstrate adherence to various laws set by the government. There are various regulatory authorities that have specified the recommended clothing in various industrial work sites wherein the welfare of the workers are put at risk. If the employer fails to abide by these laws, it may lead them to pay hefty fines and even cancellation of their permits. Therefore, it is important to wear safety clothing not just for safety but also to stay compliant with the regulatory requirements.