Jun 27th 2022
You should replace your hi visibility clothing when it is no longer fit for use. That includes when it is faded, torn, excessively worn or no longer visible from 1,000 ft during the day or night.
An essential part of the PPE package, hi visibility work clothing is quite literally a matter of life or death. In a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it was found that workers getting struck by vehicles and mobile equipment is the most common cause of fatal injuries at road construction sites. You need to be safe and seen.
A good guideline is to check your hi-visibility workwear for general wear and tear every few months. Certified ANSI compliant retro-reflective garments use reflective tape products, meaning they are of the highest quality.
When it comes to how long hi visibility clothing will last, unpredictable factors such as laundering, exposure to wear and tear and length of usage come into play.
What are the ANSI guidelines?
The ANSI/ISEA 107 guidelines, also known as the American National Standard for Hi-Visibility Safety and Headwear, is a consensus standard of safety from the International Safety Equipment Association and American National Standards Institute.
These guidelines are set out in a paid downloadable document on the ISEA website.
Who needs to wear hi visibility clothing at work?
It’s not just road construction sites that demand the need for Hi Visibility Safety Apparel (HVSA). A necessity for hazardous occupations, as per ANSI/ISEA 107, you’ll need some form of hi visibility workwear in the following environments:
- Off-road (type O)
- Roadway & temporary traffic control (type R)
- Public safety activities (type P)
Examples of occupations that need hi visibility clothing, such as a hi vis jacket, include event security personnel, construction workers, warehouse workers, rail workers, road workers and military forces.
Be safe, be seen with reflective clothing
While the ANSI/ISEA guidelines are only voluntary, the risks of working without adequate PPE and hi visibility work clothing are grave.
According to OSHA, worker deaths in 2019 were at 15 per day - some of which may have been avoided with adequate protective workwear.
While everything from our hi vis jacket to mesh vests carry an ANSI class rating, it’s ultimately your responsibility to ensure all your reflective clothing is kept up to standard. Check your HVSA regularly and speak to your HSE officer if you think you’re in need of an upgrade.