If you are an employer who has workers that require safety clothing, this article was written with you in mind. The type of work that requires high visibility clothing includes construction, roadworks and those who work in loading bays also need to be highly visible, but having said that, there are many designs of jackets and over trousers, and choosing the right items can be tricky.
- Workplace Assessment – When thinking of safety wear, the first thing to do is evaluate the working environment. Colours are critical, and your choice would depend on the primary colours at the workplace. Fluorescent orange is usually a good colour for the reflective strips, providing this colour is not evident in the working area, and with the right number of strips – on both jacket and trousers – will ensure a high level of visibility, which is the objective. There are, for example, online safety assessment forms and these can be used as a template, allowing you to make an accurate assessment of the working environment.
- Employee Training – For many employers, getting their workers to actually wear the safety clothing is an issue, especially in the hot summer, when people like to cool down. There are training videos that clearly demonstrate how low visibility can cause accidents, and it is also a good idea to hold discussions on ways to minimise risk while working. It might be an idea to elicit from your staff, the various causes of accidents, and things like incorrect wearing – or removing outer garments – will no doubt arise during the session, making everyone aware of the risks. For those who do not like bulky garments, there are hi vis safety bomber jackets that are covered in reflective strips and they actually are very comfortable to wear.
- Consider Comfort – Perhaps the main reason for neglecting to wear safety apparel is lack of comfort, and by choosing garments that do provide a high level of comfort, your staff are much more likely to wear them. There have been advances in safety clothing design – with comfort in mind – and correctly fitting items are also more comfortable for the wearer. There is a very informative article on several work safety sites that highlights factors to take into account when selecting safety apparel for the workplace.
- Lighting – Choosing the right safety clothing does very much depend on the lighting conditions, and let’s not forget that in the winter, the early mornings and late afternoons are darker. It is essential to select reflective strip colours that contrast well with the background, and that is best done by actually visiting the site and taking a look at what colours would stand out.
As an employer, it is your duty to provide safety clothing when required, and by choosing the right design, your staff will be highly visible at all times. Modern designs not only make the wearer extremely visible, they are also comfortable and are stylish enough to encourage people to wear them, and with everybody aware of the dangers, it is hoped that your employees understand – and follow – safety guidelines.