When it comes to matters of safety and security on the job site, being seen is often the first step. Occupational accidents are one of the top causes of workers death and injuries. In 2015, 4,836 workers were killed on the job. That amounts to roughly 13 deaths every single work day.
If you are operating in a low light environment or poor visibility and are not protected with high visibility clothing, you are exposed to various fatal threats from moving vehicles and machines. Protective gloves, safety glasses, boots and ear plugs are some of the basic safety clothing. However, with high visibility garments such as hi vis work jackets, coats, shirts, coveralls, you are assured of maximum visibility and protection against work threats. The American National Standard for High Visibility Clothing(ANSI) offers clear guidelines as to the appropriate protective work wear for Construction workers, utility workers, law enforcement officers, emergency responders, airport crews and railway workers. Essentially, these pieces of clothes will have reflective tapes fitted on arms, necks, waist, back, chest to increase nigh-time visibility. This feature allows drivers and machine operators to spot you more easily and avert accidents.
When looking for the right hi vis work jackets, both the outside and the inside should meet the specific requirements of your job. With different physical and natural threats, you’ll want a workwear that offers not only protection but also comfort. Therefore, you should choose a jacket with good breathability for optimum body temperature control. In areas that experience frequent rainfall and strong winds, choosing high visibility winter jackets that are waterproof and windproof can help protect you from extreme weather conditions. According to the ANSI, there are three performance class definitions for hi vis workwear. The differentiating factors between these classes are based on specified design requirements and the materials used. There are four main types of hi vis jackets for work ideal for different job needs.
Also known as flyer jacket, this is a utility workwear jacket that offers protection against bad weather and poor visibility. Also, they feature numerous reflective strips, and some are made of quality windproof and waterproof fabric.
High visibility rain jackets are specially designed to insulate workers from rain and harsh winter conditions. Rain jackets are often made from two types of materials. which are polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride. These are the main types of imitation leather, and they are made differently. PU is created from leather residues while PVC is manufactured by altering vinyl using chemical reagents. Although PVC is a cheap and commonly used material in making parkas and flying jackets, it’s not an excellent fabric for breathability. This is something to carefully consider when looking to invest in quality hi vis work jackets.
Another functional type of protective workwear is a fleece jacket. Ideal for people working inside in closed locations such as warehouses, manufacturing plants or deliveries, fleece jackets ensures you stay warm in cool conditions. Often, they’ll feature breathable fabric material to regulate the buildup of sweat and moisture around the skin and insulation against cold. Also, some will come fitted with multipockets for extra storage spaces.
Due to the limitation brought by fleece jackets, softshell jackets have continued to increase in popularity among workers in different sectors. They are made from lightweight, breathable and water-resistant woven fabrics in contrast to the rigid waterproof material like the parka. The weight of softshell jackets are relatively high, but they offer remarkable breathability than parkas.
Although the right workwear is an essential for most occupations, not all work environments demand hi vis work jackets. But still, when it’s mandatory it is crucial to consider the environment and factors surrounding your job before choosing a safety gear.
28 Nov 2017