Why is it important to wear high vis clothing

Personal protection equipment (PPE) has become a term we are all very familiar with during the last 18 months. Pre-covid we understood PPE to mean aspects of workwear such as high viz clothing. There are many reasons for high visibility workwear but arguably the most critical reason is that it is a legal requirement. This was something that was part of European legislation that dictated safety workwear had to be reflective and as the name suggests highly visible. Another reason for this clothing is to ensure certain people in specific roles are easily identifiable. High visibility clothing is quite often worn in settings where there are members of the public or perhaps different industries and therefore it’s important that the correct person can be identified quickly. There is a certain amount of reassurance that you gain from spotting somebody who is clearly marked out. It’s not just about the ability to spot the right person, for the wearer of the high viz clothing, there is also a huge safety aspect. Often there will be vehicles moving around on construction sites or manufacturing environments and it is critical for their safety that people can be spotted. Quite often high visibility clothing has other elements to it such as waterproofing or additional layers for warmth so that is another aspect of protection it affords the wearer.

When do you need to wear hi vis?

We’ve established that certain jobs really do depend on being seen for safety reasons. An employer also may implement their own workwear policy regardless of whether our clothing is high visibility. So if you are an employee you are expected to comply with the workwear policy. But when it comes to safety, if you are carrying out a task that requires high visibility then your employer is obliged to provide you with the correct clothing and equipment. There is a certain amount of responsibility put on to the employee to make safe and sensible decisions. For example you might work in the office of a location that manufactures so if you are moving from the office environment into either production or the warehouse then the onus is on you to don the right hi vis clothing as you enter these zones.

Professions that wear hi viz clothing

We all have one or two occupations that immediately spring to mind when thinking about hi vis clothing but there are far more than you first realise:

  • truckdrivers, 

  • airport ground crew 

  • waste disposal employees

  • firefighters 

  • police personnel 

  • emergency responders 

  • dockworkers working attendance 

  • railway workers 

  • construction workers

  • tree surgeons 

  • security 

  • traffic control personnel 

  • heavy equipment workers 

  • military

It’s fair to say therefore that people working in a variety of industries and sectors have a need for high visibility workwear.

So whether it’s a hat, t-shirt, fleece, hoodie or jacket there are plenty of options to ensure you are both safe and seen.

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