High visibility clothing is a great invention that has massively improved safety, especially for workers in high-risk environments. However, there is such a huge range of different products now available, it can be confusing to understand what level of hi-vis is required for the work activities that are involved.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 were introduced to improve safety by providing more guidance and making the wearing of PPE a requirement in the specified environments.
There are three classes of high visibility:
Class 1 – The lowest level of hi-vis protection
Class 2 – The intermediate level of hi-vis protection
Class 3 – The highest level of hi-vis protection
Factors to consider when buying hi-vis
When deciding which type of hi-vis clothing is required, there are several factors to consider, particularly regarding the ambient and artificial lighting in the working environment. Weather conditions should also be considered, such as whether there is fog or rain that will impair vision and make people less visible.
People who are working in high-risk occupations, such as those who are in danger of moving vehicles require the highest level of full-body hi-visibility clothing. Workers in darker workplaces and working in adverse weather conditions should also be wearing the highest level of hi-vis for protection.
One of the additional factors to consider is whether the clothing is suitable for the work that is being completed. There may be other safety requirements that need to be considered, if working with machinery, for example. You must make sure that PPE is compatible with other types of PPE, and consider that some clothing, such as coats, can be too hot to wear in summer, or hotter working environments.
Hi-vis clothing should meet the EN ISO 20471 standard.
Requirements for employers
Employers must pay for and provide hi-vis clothing to employees doing jobs where there are risks to their safety. They must also ensure hi-vis clothing is in good condition and checked regularly. Storage facilities must be available for hi-vis clothing when not in use.
Employees should be provided with information and training on how to properly use hi-vis clothing, including an explanation of the risks and when the clothing must be worn. Checks should be carried out to make sure employees are wearing the hi-vis clothing as required.
Hivis.net is a leading supplier of quality hi-vis clothing that is manufactured to the required standards, with a range of clothing that covers the different classes of hi-vis that may be required for your working environment.
View our range of hi-vis clothing.