If your job entails working in low light, you would be wise to wear safety vests and garments. This attire is also known as personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE has reflective properties and comes in colors that stand out against dark backgrounds. A prime cause of nighttime accidents is lack of visibility. By wearing high visibility PPE, you are alerting motorists and others of your presence. Garments worn by individuals typically come in bright orange or yellow, although some emergency personnel may wear red or blue. Sportspersons and recreationalists also benefit from wearing safety vests.
United Kingdom Rail Workers
In 1964, the Scottish Region of British Railways began to experiment with reflective garments. They had their rail workers wear fluorescent orange jackets, which led to them being called “fire-flies.” Because trains were moving at higher speeds along certain routes, additional safety precautions were deemed necessary. These early versions were:
Visible for half a mile in clear weather
Improved on in later years
In several occupations, employers depend on high visibility garments, also referred to as hi-viz PPE, to protect their employees. These workers include:
- Airport runway workers
- Highway crew
- Railroad workers
- Bicycle Messengers
- Police Officers
- Fire Fighters
- Ambulance Drivers
- Emergency medical technicians
Motorcyclists and Cyclists
Motorcyclists and bicyclists can be challenging to spot on the road, especially after dark. High contrast garments with reflective properties make a big difference in terms of safety. Studies related motorcycles and bicycles found:
One-third fewer accidents would occur if riders wore high visibility clothing.
Reflective strips are more effective when attached to ankles and knees.
There were 42 studies with results that pointed to increased safety with PPE.
Regional laws in areas around the country require hunters to wear blaze-orange garments for protection. Hunting attire is also available in blaze-orange camouflage. This pattern of camouflage can be seen by humans, but not by deer.
American National Standards
High visibility clothing has become a staple at many job sites in America. In order to further protect workers, The American National Standards Institute has come up with specific requirements to decrease risk. These standards categorize levels of danger by class number and specify what kind of gear will protect them. For example:
Class 1: Garments worn in this relatively low hazard class must have reflective strips that are one inch wide and have 217 square inches of fluorescent fabric.
Class 2: For slightly more dangerous situations, luminescent material is used with wider bands of fluorescent tape.
Class 3: This class is designated for the most hazardous occupations and speeds so have more protective qualities.
There are also European standards for protective clothing, which specifies safety details on different types of garments. For example:
Class 1: Trousers must have reflective bands around each leg.
Class 2: Vests have reflective materials in bright colors, plus braces around the shoulders.
Class 3: In this class, high visibility jackets and coveralls must be worn.
To keep workers, sportspersons, motorcyclists, and bicyclists safe in the dark, a variety of high visibility clothing and equipment has been developed. There are sizes, colors, and styles to suit a variety of situations. MagidGlove.com offers a variety of affordable PPE equipment