One essential part of making sure all of the workers on a work site are safe is ensuring that all workers can be seen. All of the safety protocol in the world serve no purpose if the operators of heavy equipment don’t know there is a person present to follow the safety protocol for. This is why brightly colored workwear, such as hi vis waistcoats, cargo work pants with reflective tape, and fluorescent vests play such an essential part in work site safety.
When choosing the right hi vis waistcoats and hoodies, construction safety vests, and other workwear for your staff, it’s a good idea to keep the following factors in mind:
Three Important Factors While Choosing High Visibility Safety Clothing
- Think Camouflage… and Then Take the Opposite Direction
The most important factor when selecting hi vis waistcoats and other safety gear is standing out against your surroundings. You might notice there is wide range of colors when it comes to high visibility safety gear, and the reason for that is that is that there is a wide range of environments that you’ll need high visibility safety gear in, and a wide range of colors that you need to stand out against.
When you go hunting, you want to blend into your surroundings so you can go unseen by the prey you’re hunting. For this reason, you’ll wear natural colors that match your surroundings (but you also might wear hi vis waistcoats or vests, so that another unassuming hunter doesn’t mistake you for an elk). When you’re in a work environment, you want to wear the opposite of the color of your surroundings. If you are in an urban setting, you might wear neon yellow or neon greens, (yes, you’ll match the color of the street signs in your work area… they are the color that they are to garner the highest visibility). If your work site is in the middle of nature, yellows and greens (even florescent) might not properly standout against the backdrop. In this case, you’ll want to look for high visibility gear in neon oranges. If you work in a neon orange, yellow, and green paint factory, you might be out of luck.
- High Visibility Work Wear Ain’t Just for Looking Pretty.
Okay, we’ve talked about the visual aspect of hi vis work wear. Some hi vis items only serve that purpose. For example, if you put your workers in hi vis mesh vests, it doesn’t provide much functionality outside of increasing your workers visibility (which serves an important purpose, mind you!).
However, if your work site has additional environmental conditions that your workers need to be protected from, you can double up on functionality. In cold work environments, you can provide your workers with warmth and safety with high visibility winter jackets or fleece hoodies. In rainy conditions, you could suit them up with hi vis rain gear (which no only keeps them dry, it makes them more visibly in low visibility conditions, plus it might prevent slip and fall risks.) The point is, consider the other work conditions your staff will be working under, and plan their high vis gear accordingly.
- Deal Shopping is a Plus, But Should Not be Your Priority Numero Uno.
We all like getting a great deal. However, when it comes to safety gear, it is important you don’t cut corners. If you want to reduce overhead, think about switching to single-ply toilet paper, or cutting back on complimentary coffee. What you should not do is use cut-rate safety gear to save a nickel or two.
If the high visibility gear isn’t coated with to proper sealant and reflective paint, your workers might think they are more visible than they really are, which fosters a false sense of confidence, and is actually more dangerous than not using safety gear altogether. Even if the reflective part of your high red gear is up to par, if you use cheap hi res clothing, it will wear out twice as fast, leaving you back at square one. You aren’t saving any money if you buy slightly cheaper hi res gear, but after to replace it twice as often. Instead, spend a little more on quality that lasts longer and protects your workers better!