Each of the leading high visibility safety vest is designed perfectly to reflect light but also to your work environment and functional preferences. If you need high visibility (“Hi-Vis”) clothing for a construction task, then you’ll want to get the right “Hi-Vis” vest the first time, to avoid endangering the lives of your workers, colleagues and the public.
Why do you need the right high visibility vest?
Requirements related to the selection of high visibility jackets include environmental conditions, color visibility, fabric, design, materials, and background color. Other reasons to choose the right “Hi-Vis” clothing are:
- To reflect uniqueness – Safety vests are available in radiant colors, different ranks of employees (based on the kind of work they perform) can wear different colors of “Hi-Vis” clothing and vice versa. This will allow companies to easily identify their employees’ rank or department. Companies can also ensure professionalism by providing a workwear solution that unifies all site visitors.
- To work outdoors in all weathers – High visibility jackets are designed in different ways to meet all weather conditions. Some “Hi-Vis” clothing will come with a hood for rainy environments, cold days, or nights. By having waterproof “Hi-Vis” clothing you can stay dry as well as be visible whilst working. Instead of “Hi-Vis” jackets, hi-viz polo shirts can be worn in the warmer months.
- Time of the day – Some of these jackets are designed for daytime use while others are specifically for the night. Wearing these jackets will reduce by far the chance of the occurrence of accidents as other people will be able to notice someone wearing this jacket from a long-distance hence approach with care.
(Suggested Reading: Trouble Selecting Comfortable work boots? This is what you need to know)
A 40-year-old tradesman suffered a horrific burn on his back after wearing a “Hi-Vis” shirt to work in the north of Western Australia. The field engineer took himself to hospital after developing a painful rash, which matched the reflective strip of his shirt, after a day’s work in Pilbara in 2017. The patient also reported that the high visibility tape on his shirt often becomes extremely hot when he works out in the sun, and he has to change position so the shirt does not touch his skin in that area.
Doctor Iona Vlad, who treated the man at Nickol Bay Hospital in Karratha, reported that the patient had suffered from a first-degree burn. The doctor was unsure to what extent the burns increased the risk of skin cancer and if there was ultra-violet radiation getting through to the skin. Nonetheless, the doctor was sure about infrared radiation getting to the skin.
It appeared that the strip material in the hi-vis work gear is made of minute glass beads, which reflect light to increase the wearer’s visibility to others, especially in the dark.
From this scenario, It is apparent that the “Hi-Vis” clothing was not designed to be worn a) on bare skin b) during daylight hours. The bars are highly reflective and are meant for reflecting light at night. The engineer suffered a first-degree burn for not using the right “Hi-Vis” clothing.
- Nature of work – High visibility vests are ideal if you only need high visibility clothing in an emergency. Perhaps you need to keep a first aid kit and vest in your vehicle, or your fire wardens need to be easily identifiable.
- Gender – There are different designs for both genders. There is also a wide range of colors to choose from.
- Comfort – Although It’s important to be safe and seen while executing a job, one also needs to be able to get on with the job effectively. “Hi-Vis” vests shouldn’t hamper employees in anyways, or halt their work. If the clothing doesn’t fit well or doesn’t have the right number or sort of pockets, then one might want to consider buying new high visibility clothing.
- Personal Preference – Yellow and orange are the most popular choices for high visibility vest. Perhaps an employee has a preference for a jacket or trousers that come in only one color, the worker can choose from both colors or make selections due to the weather and lighting conditions.
(Suggested Reading: Fall Protection in the Construction Industry)
You can’t put a price on safety, so even though you want value for money, it is essential that you get the right high visibility clothing, so that your workers and others are not at risk whilst working.