hi vis clothing

High Visibility Clothing

High Visibility Clothing is used in work, sport and recreation as a means of being seen in poor lighting or hazardous conditions. Hi-vis was invented by American Bob Switzer in the 1930s after his dream of becoming a doctor was ended in an industrial accident. Whilst he was recovering, he invented a fluorescent paint, called Day-Glo, before turning his wife’s wedding dress into the very first hi-vis item. Since then hi-vis clothing has been developed as a means of keeping people safe and an essential part of work gear PPE.

In the UK high-visibility clothing was introduced in the mid-sixties when it was first used for railway workers for Scottish railway workers. Then he became associated with many types of hazardous working conditions, including emergency services, as well as road maintenance, and the construction industry, where it is necessary to see it in any circumstances. Consequently, clothing with high visibility has become a symbol of authority, as well as in situations requiring special care.

Now its use has developed so much that we see it wherever we go. We see various items of high visibility clothing used by warehouse staff, parking lot personnel, event marshals, and these are just a few of them.

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American Standard of High Visibility Clothing

Here in the USA, ANSI (American National Standards Institute) issued their standard on what workers involved in construction and factory environments, road workers had to wear. This involves the brightness, material and how much clothing is required.

ANSI developed different classes of Hi-vis standards, ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 is the current standard.

Class 1 High Vis

This standard is for areas where there is a low risk from a hazard. Slow Moving vehicles in a parking lot. Employees would have to wear a hi-vis vest with reflective straps. The straps should be 1 inch wide and the vest should have a minimum of 217 square inches of high visibility material.

Class 2 High Vis

Where vehicles are travelling at speeds up to 25 mph, employees should wear clothing with wider reflective bands and the item of clothing should have a minimum of 755 sq inches of hi-vis fabric.

Class 3 High Vis

Highway maintenance workers. Where the vehicle is moving faster the employees should wear at least 1240 square inches of high-visibility fabric and two-inch, reflective bands. The specified amount of fabric is likely to exceed the amount normally worn on the vest so the item would generally have to include sleeves like a sweater or jacket.

Updates to these standards happen periodically and in 2006 the standards included the colors that different first responders should wear. Fire Fighters should wear red vests and police blue vests. The last update was in 2015.

There is no doubt that the use of high-quality clothing and accessories has reduced the number of accidents and saved lives, as well as having a positive effect on making the work of thousands of people much safer.

Therefore, it is a requirement that these synthetic and bright clothes are relatively cheap, affordable, but effective. Available in bulk and easily available in an assortment of outlets throughout the country, this once-specialized form of clothing has become a necessity for everyone in the dark, for example, children going to and from school in winter. now protective parents wear them in high visibility vests with reflective stripes. Cyclists and motorcyclists are constantly encouraged to “wear something bright at night.”

This may not be the top of fashion, it was not designed to be flattering, but its effectiveness in retaining its owners means that it will always be accessible. But efforts are being made to make it more attractive to some, now women’s clothing with high visibility is available in pink for women, as well as standard yellow, which we all know so well in orange, blue and green. A range of different styles of vests, jackets, and trousers are also available.

We can be a country that is committed to health and safety and is entirely at risk but can deny the role that clothing with excellent visibility plays in ensuring our safety.

Man working in High Visibility Clothing

Benefits of High Visibility Clothing.

There are many reasons to use high-visibility clothing. The world in which we live today is revolutionary, and much happens in terms of technology, industry, and scientific discoveries. This makes the safety of the modern employee a top priority at work. For example, in an industrial setting, no employee will feel safe without protective equipment, reflective clothing, and formal clothing.

Without the precautions taken, the worker will not feel safe, and accidents occur at the common workplace, especially in sectors such as construction, railways, engineering, and manufacturing. In any case, security settings and protocols are a priority and are used to ensure the safety of all participants.

There is no safe operation in the industrial sector. Therefore, appropriate procedures are applied to ensure the safety of the main assets of any company; For example, roadside workers who repair and repair damaged roads face significant risks, such as speed in cars, bicycles, trucks, and buses. If the clothes are not high visibility, the employee may lose his life at work. In addition to the suffering and despair of the employee’s family, the government dealt a heavy blow to the company because it did not take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the employee in the first place. The protection needed at work is not just a good idea; it is law!

In warm weather, many workers will complain that this is unbearable in a reflective jacket. For them, there are all kinds of alternatives, such as shirts and shirts, which make them noticeable during work, so they do not get tired of the heat and work. For those who work outdoors, it is always recommended to drink plenty of water, and if it is a hazardous environment, never compromise with reflective clothing that prevents distress or injury due to poor vision.

High-visibilty clothing can save lives and can go a long way in hazardous work situations. This may be the only thing in the workplace that protects professionals from harm or injury.

Importance Of High Visibility Clothing.

For people who work in hazardous conditions, their safety usually depends on the choice of clothing. The goal of high visibility clothing is to allow the wearer to be seen in situations that are likely to save their lives. In places such as transport companies, factories, construction sites, and warehouses, workers are required to wear such clothing. High visibility clothing will protect workers from static electricity, high voltage, chemical, and biological hazards and cuts.

As industry developed as a result of the industrial revolution, employers began to understand better the dangers faced by their employees when faced with dangerous situations. For example, firefighters should wear appropriate clothing. Without exaggeration, this is a work that hangs between life and death. See history of PPE

Therefore, to make it safer, fireproof and fireproof forms of high vis were introduced to protect the life of firefighters.

Another area where clothing with high visibility is essential in the field of medicine. This is primarily important for identifying health workers in an emergency. It also helps police stand out during crisis situations, such as gunfights or raids.

This type of clothing is usually used for both day and night work. The fabric also protects workers in situations where it is too hot. The material helps protect the body from exposure to heat. The use of high visibility clothing helps reduce the risk of accidents and safety. Clothing includes pants, hats, jackets, t-shirts, and vests. Workplace clothing should be appropriate for the lighting and environment of the workplace.

There are jobs that a person needs only to wear a vest. On the other hand, some require full-body clothing with high visibility. If a person is in any dangerous area, such as a repairman or builder, you need to get a full set of clothing for the body.

Other people who are required to wear high visibility clothing are listed below:

Traffic controller. Although most traffic controllers work on the roads, many of them work as airline controllers. The latter wear such clothing to warn the pilot of their presence and act accordingly.

Security officers – These people usually work in places that attract a large number of people, such as movie theaters or discos.

Why High Visibility Clothes are necessary to avoid Risk.

Many workplaces have an increased risk factor and are prone to frequent hazards, because of which they prefer their employees to wear clothing with high visibility to ensure their safety. Workplaces, such as construction sites, warehouses, transport companies, factories, and road works, require clothing with high visibility, necessary for the safety of their workers. The main feature of wearing clothes with high visibility is the prevention of cuts, chemicals, biohazards, static electricity, and high voltage.

Man wearing Hi Vis on site

Features of Hi-Vis Clothing

· What makes this type of clothing necessary is that it is better visible at night, and you can wear clothing with excellent visibility to protect yourself from extreme heat. Therefore, it protects you from many external dangers.

· Many employees are seriously injured and die in many vehicle incidents. Accidents occur mainly when a pedestrian is hit by a forklift or a truck that reverses. In this case, the driver, for some reason, does not see the person if he does not wear high visibility clothing.

· Clothing with high visibility improves the visibility of a person, which helps to reduce the risk of accidents and increases safety. In some places, companies must comply with laws that ensure the safety and health of their employees.


· High visibility clothing includes vests, t-shirts, trousers, jackets, hats, and also overalls. This type of clothing is also essential for places covered with fog and snow, and vibrant colors make it easy to identify you.

· It depends on what job you are doing. In some jobs, you only need to wear a vest, while in other jobs with a high-risk factor, you should wear clothes with full visibility of the whole body. For a maintenance worker working in the field of moving vehicles, high visibility clothing must be worn throughout the body.

· Some jobs require its employees to work in adverse weather conditions, and in such situations, you must wear high visibility clothing. Also, it can be dark and potentially dangerous in some workplaces, so wearing clothing with excellent visibility becomes critical. People who work as civil engineers and traffic police should wear high visibility clothing to reduce the risk of accidents. This helps drivers find people at a distance, even if the weather is foggy or snowing.

Therefore, high visibility clothing is essential in the workplace to avoid any dangers or accidents. Vests and other clothes will protect you and keep you safe in low light conditions.

This is especially necessary for those who work in construction and industry. Sometimes it is also put on by traffic police so that drivers can see their visibility.

Ten Reasons For Wearing High Visibility Clothing.

If you spend a lot of time outdoors or work in the dark or under any conditions, you probably have a wide range of high visibility clothing, so you can always be seen. If you’re not sure why you need high visibility clothing, here’s what you need to know.

1. If you work on the street, possibly in any weather, then you will understand how important it is to see. You cannot stop working if it starts to rain, or as soon as it gets dark. You may be involved in roadside assistance or, for example, in the maintenance of electrical poles.

2. You can also work in dangerous situations, for example, on the roadway of a motorway or on an oil rig, and therefore you will always need to remain in sight.

3. If you work in emergency services, such as a firefighter or police officer, you need to stay visible and make sure others are visible too. You may need extra clothing, such as jackets, in case of an emergency.

4. In your profession, there may be a requirement that you have and continuously use high-visibility equipment. Perhaps you work in construction or in other industries where there are many safety regulations.

5. You might want to keep high visibility clothing in your car in case you break down at night.

6. If you work as a fireguard, you will probably want to make sure that you will be seen in case of fire.

7. If you are an employee of the door department, in a pub or club, then you might want to stand out among other employees or clients in your place. Parking personnel must remain clearly visible to minimize the risk of a collision with motorists.

8. If you work in the railway industry, you need to make sure that you have the right clothes that you wear, regardless of whether you are riding on a train or watching rails and signals.

9. If you are working on a ferry or other commercial boat or even have your own boat, you must make sure that you have suitable high visibility clothing so that in case of problems, you can be easily seen and saved.

10. Cyclists and runners can use their clothes so that they can be seen in the dark and in bad weather. In addition to using lights, cyclists may also need reflective clothing to make it easier for motorists to detect.

Now you know why this is important to be visible and why you need it, maybe now is the time to make sure that you have the right high visibility clothing.

Further Reading:

5 things about ANSI 107-2015