What You Need to Know About Using High Visibility Clothing
High visibility clothing is important for many fields of work. High visibility clothing protects work crews in dangerous areas where visibility may be lacking. It also helps to keep track of workers so everyone on site can avoid accidents. As a safety manager, it is your responsibility to keep your crews as safe as possible, and high visibility clothing is an essential aspect of this. Here is a little more of what you need to know about high-vis clothing, hi-vis colors, and the fields where they are necessary.
What is High Visibility Clothing?
High visibility clothing is a type of worksite protective wear that uses reflective materials and bright neon colors to increase worker visibility. High-vis clothing is often neon orange, yellow, or green in color, as these are the most high-vis colors.
Industries that Need High Vis Clothing
There are several industries where high-vis clothing, custom hi-vis workwear, and high-vis colored clothing are essential to a safe workplace. Oil and gas, construction, and mining are the most popular industries where high-vis clothing is necessary.
Construction crews often require high-visibility clothing to protect the safety of workers. This is especially true when working at night or on a highway or other road because drivers may have impaired visibility. Wearing high-vis vests, hats, pants, and helmets can help all drivers see roadside workers before an accident happens.
Miners often work in dark conditions and handle lots of dangerous equipment. High-vis colors and high-vis clothing are common in mines because they increase visibility for miners and help rescuers find miners in the event of an incident. You will often be required to wear high-vis workwear to enter such workspaces.
Oil and Gas
Oil and gas is another industry that often requires workers to wear high-visibility clothing. Oil and gas workers often work in close proximity with hazardous materials as well as large moving equipment and machinery that can be dangerous. Extra visibility helps everyone on an oil or gas rig stay safe by promoting as much visibility as possible for all workers involved.
Levels of Visibility
When it comes to high-vis colors and clothing, there are three major levels of visibility. These levels are dictated by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute.
The American National Standards Institute sets out standards for three classes of high-vis clothing. Anything that is not ANSI approved is not real high-visibility clothing and should be avoided on worksites. Class one is the least visible option that ANSI approves; it is less reflective than the other classes. As you move from class 2 and then into class 3, the visibility and reflective qualities of the clothing are stricter. As visibility on your worksite decreases, you need to wear clothing with a higher ANSI class level to compensate.
You now have a basic understanding of the importance of high-visibility clothing in the workplace. High-vis clothing is required in most worksites, especially when low visibility is a risk factor. Keep your crews safe and utilize high-vis clothing whenever it makes sense.