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What Hi-vis Clothing is Required for My Workplace?

High visibility clothing saves lives and has significantly improved safety in high-risk working environments. However, the type of hi-vis clothing that is suitable for one workplace, may not be right for another, so several factors must be considered when choosing the hi-vis clothing for the type of work tasks that are carried out and the environmental conditions.

For high risk working environments, for example, where the person is at risk of being hit by a moving vehicle, the highest level Class 3 hi-vis should be worn and a whole-body hi-vis is required. For medium risk work, at least Class 2 hi-vis should be worn.

Another factor to be considered is the lighting of the workplace, as orange hi-vis could stand out more in some lighting, while Day-Glo or fluorescent yellow might be more suitable for other workplaces.

What work is being done?

You also need to consider the type of work that is being done to decide which type of hi-vis clothing is suitable depending on any other dangers i.e. loose fitting hi-vis vest may be dangerous to wear if operating machinery and tools. You also need to consider the comfort of employees, as some hi-vis clothing could be too uncomfortable to do certain types of jobs.

For workers who are based outside, warm and waterproof hi-vis clothing should be provided, while this is not required for working indoors unless working in a cold workplace. You should also consider whether things like knee pads are required for the work that is involved, or pockets are required.

If employees are working at night and in the dark, hi-vis clothing that has reflective strips are required to provide extra visibility, especially if working near moving vehicles. For example, emergency service workers, road maintenance, people working on or near train lines etc.

Why size is important

Choosing the right size is really important, as a hi-vis that is too loose can be a safety hazard. If you are ordering hi-vis for several employees, you should take measurements before placing the order and make sure the clothing fits each employee or is exchanged for clothing that does fit.

You should make sure that any hi-vis clothing meets the EN ISO 20471 standard (previously EN 471) and employers are responsible for supplying hi-vis clothing to high-risk workers, free of charge.

All of these factors should be considered when you are deciding which type of hi-vis clothing to order for employees and you can get advice from hivis.net on what is required depending on your specific workplace situation.

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Written by Beccayellow at 19/10/2021

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