In order for a piece of clothing to achieve high visibility, it must be made from fluorescent materials and have reflective strips. Fluorescent materials allow a person to be seen during the day, this is the garment colour. Reflective strips give the wearer visibility during the night.
Besides materials and colour, there are 3 classes that determine the type of clothing required for a particular job, including the number of reflective strips and fluorescent materials needed.
Traffic speeds less than 40 km/h
Occupations: Warehouse operators, traffic directors, shipping operators
Requires the least number of reflective strips and fluorescent materials
Reflective Strip: 0.10m sq
Fluorescent Materials: 0.14m s
Traffic speeds between 40-80 km/h
Occupations: Roadway construction workers, railway workers, forestry workers, crossing guards
Reflective Strip: 0.13m sq
Fluorescent Materials: 0.50m sq
Traffic speeds greater than 80 km/h
Occupations: Roadway construction workers, emergency responders, towing operators
Requires the most number of reflective strips and fluorescent materials
Reflective Strip: 0.20m sq
Fluorescent Materials: 0.80m sq
Understanding this should help you determine the right Class of high-visibility clothing for your workplace.
Additional factors to consider are fit and temperature resistance. You’ll want to ensure your workwear is a good fit and comfortable. Depending on the climate of the workplace you may need to purchase insulated jackets or wicking fabric poloshirts. Never cover the high-visibility garments with extra jackets or other items of clothing.
One final consideration before buying your high-visibility workwear is to make sure it adheres to the required EN standards, these guidelines are there to protect the wearer and passer-by.
High-visibility workwear must protect against rain, snow and fog. It must also be water resistant and water vapour resistant.
High-visibility workwear must be suitable for professional use. The suitability is determined by X and Y performance classes.
X – Surface area of fluorescent and retroreflective materials
Y – Quality of retroreflective materials
High-visibility clothing not suitable for professional use. This means that the visibility level is only suitable for those who are not using it for work, including children and pedestrians.
Colours, sizes, and materials are all factors to how effective high-visibility clothing will be in the workplace. These practical concerns should also be combined with the recognised standards for this type of workwear. With these considerations in place, you’ll be able to know exactly what kind of garment you need for the task at hand.
For more information, contact iSB Group. We have a vast selection of high-visibility gear and outerwear that is fully certified to the recognised standards. We’ll help you find the perfect fit and class for any line of work. View our hi vis range here.