Understanding the Critical Requirements for Hi-Vis Clothing
Hi-vis clothing is high visibility clothing that has been designed to make you more visible in high-risk and low-light circumstances. The high visibility of the clothes enables you to stand out and get noticed; this means that people can see your presence from a much greater distance, reducing the chances of an accident. However, for hi-vis clothes to be effective, they need to meet certain requirements. Below we have mentioned the critical requirements for hi-Vis clothing that you must understand.
How does Hi-Vis Clothing Works?
Hi-vis clothing often uses high-intensity reflective materials to produce a bright, checkered pattern – these can be seen by drivers from over 300 feet away in the day and up to 500 at night. These garments have reflective tape that is sewn to the back and sleeves of high-visibility garments or is impregnated into the material. This reflective tape can contain retroreflective sheeting or prismatic film. In both cases, they are made up of laminated layers with high-index plastic films on either side, which reflect light when a beam strikes from an angle.
Which Colors are Considered for Hi-Vis Clothing?
Hi-Vis clothing will come in a variety of colors. The most common high visibility colors are fluorescent green, orange and yellow. However, red is also considered high visibility because it stands out against typical traffic signs, which are dark or light blue backgrounds with white lettering. It should not take long for an observer’s eyes to find the high visibility color.
Fluorescent colors are the most common high visibility colors because they can be seen from a distance more easily than other bright, solid-colored garments and materials. The brighter the color is, generally the better it will stand out to oncoming traffic or passersby in low light conditions.
Laws & Standards that Govern Hi-Vis Clothing Requirements
High visibility clothing regulations fall under several jurisdictions. Standards & regulations that apply to Hi-Vis clothing are:
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) high visibility standards
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) high visibility regulations for motor vehicle operators and passengers
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) high visibility clothing requirements for workers in construction, utilities, transportation, mining, shipyard operations, chemical manufacturing, and processing plants.
The purpose of these safety standards and regulations is to provide high visibility protection that will help reduce the risk of accidents, injuries & fatalities.
Performance Classes of Hi-Vis Clothing
There are three main types of high visibility clothing: Class I, II, and III. The performance class is determined by the amount of fabric used in a garment with an increased level of high-visibility yarns.
– Class I garments have bright colors that provide high contrast to dark backgrounds such as asphalt or concrete construction sites or other areas where there might not be much light around. This type of high vis clothing can also be incorporated into other applications like medical facilities for staff who need to wear it during work hours but may change out into regular clothes when they get off work for the day. Class I garments are not intended to be worn in any other environment besides where high contrast is needed, like a working high-vis area or medical facility.
– Class II garments use fluorescent colors that provide high daytime conspicuity against green backgrounds, such as grassy areas outdoors during daylight hours or inside work environments with high windows that let in plenty of natural light. These pieces include long sleeve shirts, tee shirts, rain jackets, and slickers but should never be mixed with bright colors such as red or orange.
– Class III garments use high visibility colors that provide high nighttime conspicuity against dark backgrounds and are often used for work environments with little natural light. This includes jackets, safety vests, and high visibility windbreakers worn by construction workers who need to be seen at night when they’re working on the side of a road or in an unlit parking lot. These pieces should never be mixed with bright colors like yellow either – instead, opt for darker hues like purple, pink, browns, or greens if possible.
We hope this information helps you find the right Hi-Vis clothing for your workers that keeps them safe and meets your industry’s standards.