High Visibility Clothing: Then and Now

high visibility button down shirtsEvery day, millions of men and women put on their high visibility button down shirts, hi vis cargo pants, or an orange safety vest and head off to work. It’s no secret that high visibility clothing has had a massively positive impact on worker safety in a variety of fields, but how did we get here?

The first high-visibility fabric paint was created in the 1930s by Bob Switzer. The neon paint was created by mixing wood varnish and fluorescent minerals, which Switzer called Day-Glo. Soon after its creation, Day-Glo made its way into the toy sector and even the military. Around the same time, neon panels were used to send signals to planes and buoys were covered in fluorescent paint to indicate which areas were cleared of mines.

Over the next few decades, Day-Glo made its way into fabric and material to be used for clothing. It became a major part of workwear around the world. By 1999, the United States issued a set of standards that would be used to decide which types of workers needed to wear high visibility clothing. The standards were as follows:

  • Class 1: when workers are in an environment with low risk of hazards due to slow-moving vehicles, they are required to wear a high visibility vest with one-inch-wide reflective strips, with a minimum of 217 square inches of hi vis material.
  • Class 2: when workers are in an environment where vehicles are moving up to 25 MPH, they are required to wear high visibility workwear with over 755 square inches of hi vis material.
  • Class 3: when workers are in an environment with fast moving vehicles, they are required to have 1,240 square inches of hi vis fabric with two-inch reflective bands.

 
Throughout the years, changes have been made to these standards to clarify which colors certain types of employees should wear and to allow for modifications to be made to the workwear.

There is a large variety of high visibility workwear available today such as:

 
There’s no denying that high visibility clothing, warning signs, and safety gear help reduce the risk of workplace injuries and deaths. As of 2015, 4,836 employees were killed each year on the job, and that averages out to 13 deaths every day. All companies have a duty to keep their employees as safe as possible and ensure that workplace safety is always a priority. To find high quality, high visibility clothing that helps keep employees safe, contact Transportation Safety Apparel today.

4 Fall-Friendly Jogging Essentials

hi vis waistcoats

Just because summer is ending doesn’t mean the jogging season is over! Experienced joggers are generally accustomed to jogging in almost any type of weather. The key, however, lies in dressing appropriately and equipping yourself with the proper fall gear to put some spring in your step. Here are just a few pieces of essential fall jogging gear to remember during each of your autumn runs.

Safety Clothing
Jogging in the fall isn’t inherently more dangerous, but the shorter days and longer nights mean you’re bound to find yourself running after dark eventually. Suit up with high visibility clothing that will also keep you warm, such as hi vis waistcoats and hi vis jackets. If it’s raining or exceptionally chilly, consider investing in a hi vis hoodie to protect your head without sacrificing safety. When you’re jogging at night, it’s absolutely critical to wear apparel that allows other drivers and pedestrians to spot you immediately.

Headband
Just because the weather is getting cooler doesn’t mean you won’t sweat after a brisk jog. Sweating in cold weather is nothing but uncomfortable and sticky, so keep yourself warmer and dryer by investing in a headband that covers your ears as well. Your ears will stay warm, but the top of your head will stay cool, making for a more pleasant and weather-appropriate jogging experience.

Shoes
Approximately $70 is spent per employee on foot protection per year, but those who exercise frequently should also invest in high quality footwear. Having the right shoes is essential when jogging in any type of weather or on any surface. But in autumn, fallen leaves can make sidewalks and blacktops slippery. Suit up with a pair of sneakers that has a bit more traction than your summer kicks; the increased traction allows for a better non-slip grip, reducing your chance of injury. It’s best if they’re at least mildly insulated as well — the last thing you want during an autumn jog is to get cold feet.

Tights
Finally, investing in a pair of unisex tights can help keep temperature levels at bay during your fall jog. They’re insulated yet breathable, allowing you to jog even on a warmer fall day without getting overheated. Some even have pockets to store your valuables.

Ultimately, investing in these fall-friendly jogging essentials can help you get better workouts and stay safe in the process. For more information about safety clothing such as hi vis waistcoats, contact Transportation Safety Apparel.

How Safety Uniforms Can Improve Workplace Safety Beyond High-Visibility

safety uniformsWearing safety uniforms in a construction site or in a work area with heavy equipment may seem like a no-brainer. No one wants to see their employees get hurt, after all. Injured employees also mean lost productivity for the business; injured workers were out for an average of four days in 2014.

However, safety uniforms including cotton safety shirts, high visibility fleece jackets, high visibility pants, and high visibility long sleeve shirts can do more for your workers than protect them from heavy operating equipment and vehicles on the work site.

Safety uniforms can also increase your brand’s recognition, make your employees feel great, and most importantly they can promote safety in the workplace. Here are four ways safety uniforms can improve the safety among your workers, not just for your workers:

  1. Visibility
    Visibility is incredibly important when it comes to safety appeal. This is because workplace vehicles and those operating heavy machinery may not be able to see their other workers on the ground. Therefore, safety apparel should be brightly colored and reflective depending on the work environment.
  2. Cleanliness
    Wearing a work uniform can make you feel important as a representation of your workplace. Therefore, workers who are in work apparel are more likely to wash their hands and keep the area clean. Safety work apparel, which is also worn on the regular, is also important to clean on a regular basis to keep up with the sweat and grime of the workplace.
  3. Protection against the work environment
    Safety apparel and uniforms are used for more than just visibility and keeping your employees clothed. They can also help to protect your employees from the dangers of the work environment. For instance, earplugs are a common accessory of safety apparel. This is because when a person hears noises over 85 decibels over a long period of time it can result in hearing loss.
  4. Identification
    When your employees wear safety apparel, they’re able to easily identify who’s another employee and who it is that may be trespassing or a visitor. This can also help security’s job become far easier.

 
Protecting your employees is your number one priority. However, it’s also necessary for your workers to understand the importance of their own safety. To increase the protection and cleanliness of your workplace, contact Transportation Safety Apparel today.

By the Numbers: Proven Ways To Reduce Construction Workplace Accidents

We depend on construction workers to build our roads, bridges, schools, and homes, yet this is the deadliest line of work in the country right now. The Occupational Health And Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that there were approximately 4,836 workplace deaths in 2015, and about one in five of those deaths occurred on a construction site. Even worse, fatal injuries are actually becoming more common in the construction industry.

Despite the leaps and bounds made recently to improve workplace safety, accidents still happen. And while new technology and safety equipment helps protect construction workers from harm, there are also new hazards on the modern job site.

Cell phones, lack of sleep, and incomplete training are just some of the dangers that put construction workers at risk today. Fortunately, there are also proven ways to reduce the risk of workplace accidents, injuries, and deaths. However, first it’s important to understand the most common construction site mistakes that lead to injury and death.

Keep reading to learn more about the most deadly hazards faced by construction workers, and simple steps for protecting the workers that so many of us depend on:

While understanding common causes of construction workplace injuries is important, so too is implementing strategies to prevent fatal accidents in the future.

Here are some more simple ways to improve the safety of any construction job site.

  • Make PPE (personal protective equipment) mandatory
    It may sound surprising, but about half of all workplace deaths from falls occur from altitudes of just 25 feet or lower. That’s because workers don’t exhibit full caution unless they’re working at higher altitudes. Similarly, 84% of workers with head injuries weren’t wearing one of the most essential pieces of safety equipment: a hard hat. Do your company and your workers a favor by making protection mandatory!
  • Limit distractions
    Although OSHA does not yet provide specific guidelines regarding cellphone use in construction sites, it’s a known fact that cellphones can be a major distraction when driving any vehicle. Studies have even shown that listening to one sentence through a cellphone can decrease driving-related brain activity by 37%, so it’s a good idea to restrict their use when operating machinery.
  • Optimize Training
    A recent study shows that more than two-thirds of construction worker deaths in New York were attributed to employers without state-approved training programs. If you want to optimize the training your workers receive, make sure the curriculum aligns with guidelines set by the state.
  • Ultimately, these are just a few ways to keep construction workers safer throughout day-to-day operations. If you want to reduce fatal construction accidents, then encourage employee feedback, communication, and always be there to provide support for your employees.

Safety Clothing for a Hot, Wet Summmer

reflective vest

There is a popular saying: April showers bring May flowers. If we were judging only by this year, however, we would have no way of knowing how effective the April showers have been, for any flowers that might have grown were quickly drowned in the showers of May, June, and July. And from the looks of it, August looks to be a rainy month as well.

While a wet summer may be an inconvenience to most people, it is especially challenging for those who work in road construction and other labor intensive and outdoor jobs. You must constantly be negotiating between the heat, the rain, and the need for high visibility clothing such as reflective vests and high visibility pants.

In order to help you better weather the elements in safety and comfort, we’ve put together this guide to the ideal soaking summer wardrobe.

Steel Toe Boat Shoe
Finding the right footwear that maximizes your comfort and safety is important. With a steel toe boat shoe, you have the same great protection of other safety shoes but built in a way to allow for breathability, unlike rubber work boots.

Additionally, these shoes have a moisture-wicking lining made of nylon mesh that helps to keep your feet dry even during a torrential downpour.

High Visibility Rain Jacket
It can be hard on a scorcher of a day to put on a jacket rather than a reflective vest, but when the rain is coming down in sheets, you will be grateful for the gear. The best thing to do is find equipment that will satisfy both your need to stay cool and your need to stay dry.

Look for a jacket that is made from a lighter material and that incorporates features that facilitate breathability: by-swing back and underarm grommet holes are handy for this purpose.

A Visored Hat
New employees are significantly more likely to be hurt on the job than more experienced workers. According to Institute for Work and Health in Canada, in the first month of employment, you are over three times as likely to receive a lost-time injury. The reason for that is because more experienced employees know what to look out for.

Of course, you won’t be able to see any impending danger with rain in your eyes. That is why you need to have a hat with a visor that can stand up against the weather and keep rain from interfering with your vision.

Rain and heat are an unwelcome duo. While reflective vests are essential, there are a number of additional clothing items that can help to keep you cool and dry. Hopefully, this guide has made you aware of what safety clothing will best arm you from this unusual combination.

Hi Vis FAQs: What You Need To Know About High Visibility Clothing

hi vis work jackets

Whether you’re a civil servant, work in construction, or make our transportation systems more streamlined, you need to stay safe no matter the conditions. This is especially true if your job is performed using heavy equipment or in highly trafficked areas, or if you’re relatively new to a hazardous position. After all, nearly one-third of nonfatal work injuries in 2013 that required time off were sustained by employees who had completed less than a year of service. Therefore, the importance of high visibility workwear and other safety equipment can’t be understated. But if you want to learn a bit more about one of the most essential types of safety clothing — which include the hi vis work jackets, pants, vests, and shirts you may need to wear — we’ve compiled some FAQs below.

What exactly is high visibility clothing?
Like the name suggests, hi vis work jackets, vests, shirts, pants, and other apparel are garments workers can wear to alert drivers and other personnel of their presence in low-light or dark environments. To meet the high visibility standards in the U.S., garments must be labeled as ANSI/SEA 107 or ANSI-SEA 207. To work on or near roadways, performance Class 2 or 3 is required.

Is enhanced visibility the same as high visibility?
They may sound similar, but they are not the same. “Enhanced visibility” is a term that’s used to describe any kind or color of garment that has added reflective stripes. The difference here is that while those stripes might be visible at night, they can’t be seen during the day. ANSI regulations state that high visibility garments have to be of a certain color (lime green, orange, or red) and have specific reflective configurations so they can be seen during the day, too. The bottom line is that adding reflective tape won’t meet ANSI standards and won’t keep you safe in all situations.

What should I keep in mind when looking for my high visibility work apparel?
Firstly, you need to ensure it meets ANSI standards. Then, consider the coverage of the garment, the contrast of the colors and reflective materials, the fit of the apparel (i.e., no baggy or dangling components), and other features like water and flame resistance, comfort, aeration, and overall performance.

If you aren’t certain whether your current workwear meets ANSI regulations or you’re in need of higher quality hi vis work jackets, pants, vests, or other garments, don’t wait to take action. At Transportation Safety Apparel, our mission is to keep you safe while you’re on the job. To find out more, contact us today.

Caring For Your High Visibility Clothing: Helpful Laundering Tips To Follow

reflective button up shirts

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 4,836 workers were killed on the job in 2015, and even though workplace fatalities are going down, accidents will inevitably happen. High visibility clothing plays an important role in keeping workers safe. But keeping your high visibility workwear clean can be a bit of a challenge, especially because safety shirts, pants, and vests are used in industries that are prone to tough messes. These reflective materials do require special care, so keep these helpful tips in mind when cleaning your reflective button up shirts, jackets, vests, and more.

  • Always wash in cold water
    While using warm or hot water might make stain removal seem more effective, it can actually compromise the quality of your reflective button up shirts and other clothing. If these materials fade, they can present a safety hazard and may violate official regulations. Virtually all hi vis clothing should be washed in cold water and with like colors.
  • Turn them inside out
    Before you throw your high visibility pants and reflective button up shirts in the washing machine, be sure to turn them inside out first! If you forget to do this, reflective tape can more easily tear or fade, even on the gentle cycle. This is also why you should also line-dry whenever possible. Absolutely need to throw it in the dryer? Be sure to tumble dry low and remove it immediately.
  • Don’t use bleach or fabric softener
    Even just one cycle using fabric softener or bleach can completely ruin these reflective materials. Resist the urge to add these to the wash and stick with mild detergent instead. If you wash your high visibility clothing with non-workwear, make sure there are no rough textures that could damage your work gear.
  • Don’t iron or dry clean
    Remember that hi vis workwear should be laundered at home, rather than at your dry cleaner’s. Ultimately, washing in a machine will get your garments way cleaner, and the dry cleaning process has the potential to damage certain fabrics. You should also refrain from ironing these garments, as the heat will likely damage the reflective materials. You may be able to cool iron certain fabrics (which involves setting your iron to the lowest setting) or steam to remove wrinkles.

 
While your work may never be totally straightforward, the cleaning of your work garments should be. By following these laundering tips, you’ll be able to extend the life of your workwear and ensure that you remain safe while on the job.

Water Resistancy and Breathability: Two Essential Factors To Consider When Purchasing Hi Vis Gear

breathable reflective rain gearFor many of those who enjoy outdoor activities that require them to stay visible, it can sometimes be a challenge to find clothing that’s visible enough while providing protection from the elements as well. If you’re considering investing in hi vis hoodies, hi vis jackets, or any other type of hi vis rain gear, here’s what you should know.

Water-Resistant VS. Waterproof:
First, when choosing hi vis rain gear, it’s important to understand the difference between water-resistant and waterproof. While water-resistant gear is lightweight and ideal for short term or less intense outings and activities, it isn’t meant to handle the true elements like wind and pouring rain. Waterproof gear, on the other hand, is fully reinforced with the durability to protect you from even the most severe weather conditions. The best way to choose between water-resistant and waterproof clothing is to consider what activities you’ll be using it for. If you’ll be doing mostly high-intensity or long-term activities, or if you have doubts about the weather conditions and want the best protection possible, waterproof gear is always the better option.

Breathability:
Another major factor to consider when selecting hi vis rain gear is breathability. For doing strenuous activities in warmer weather conditions, sweat is almost inevitable, and if you want to stay as cool and dry as possibly, breathability is essential. Even in dark and rainy weather conditions, breathable reflective rain gear is perfect for keeping you as cool and dry as possible while making sure you can always be seen by other pedestrians and drivers. If you’re planning on doing activities in mostly warmer weather conditions, breathable clothing is the key to staying comfortable.

Ultimately, water resistancy and breathability are two significant factors you should consider before investing in hi vis clothing of any kind. It’s also important to note that hi vis gear isn’t just for everyday leisure activities — it’s considered a safety precaution in the workplace as well, particularly in the construction industry. While the average person may walk 10,000 steps a day, a construction worker or laborer may walk more than 30,000, and it’s important for anyone near public streets and high-traffic areas to stay visible to stay safe. For more information about breathable reflective rain gear and safety rain apparel, contact Transportation Safety Apparel.

3 Common Mistakes That Will Compromise Your Workplace Safety

work shirts with reflective stripes

Staying safe while on the job, no matter what career field you’re in, is the most important aspect of work. If you aren’t careful before, during, and after any job that requires manual labor, you run the risk of seriously injuring yourself or potentially harming someone else.

Especially for brand new employees, it’s essential that you focus on your safety right from the start of your new job. According to the Institute for Work and Health in Canada, new employees in their first month at work have more than three times the risk for an injury that results in a loss of time than other employees.

Here are some common workplace mistakes that are made that often lead to injuries. Be sure to stay on top of your safety in the workplace and have an injury free career.

Not wearing high validity safety jackets or high visibility pants
If you’re working at night or even in the daylight with difficult to see conditions, it’s absolutely essential that you wear the correct gear and safety equipment throughout your time on the job. You should make sure that you purchase plenty of durable work shirts with reflective stripes, cargo work pants with reflective tape, and other high visibility clothing before you work any type of outdoor manual labor job. Whether you’re working construction on the side of the road or on an industrial job site, make sure that you and your team is donned in work shirts with reflective stripes so you can be easily identified and protected.

Going into a job without the proper training
If you don’t possess the necessary skills and knowledge going into a a new job, you run the risk of seriously harming yourself or others once you arrive. Whether it’s up to your supervisor or not, it’s your responsibility to get the necessary training so you can effectively accomplish any task.

Working on an empty stomach or being overly tired
If you are full of energy going into a manual labor job, you will be alert and thinking clearly enough to take care of yourself on the job. If you are functioning on only a few hours of sleep, however, or haven’t had a sufficient meal in a few hours, you’re not going to be at your best and you’ll run the risk of injuring yourself.

Be careful everyday and before every single job to ensure your safety. If you want to check out some quality work shirts with reflective stripes or safety pants, contact Transportation Safety Apparel today.

4 Biggest Tips For Bicycling On The Road

high visibility hooded pullover sweatshirtIf you’re an avid bicycler, you probably understand that there are many rules of the road that must be followed. But if you’re a newbie, you’re likely to make a couple mistakes that could compromise your safety. Here are some basic ways to keep yourself safe when biking on the road.

1. Helmet:

This should be obvious, but wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle is at the top of almost every safety list. Sure, they may not be the most fashionable accessory, but they could end up saving your life someday. Forget the helmet haters and always buckle up before getting on the road.

2. Visibility:

If you’re biking at night, drivers will definitely have a hard time spotting you. That’s why it’s important to layer on the high visibility clothing (let’s take it as a given that you’re already using bicycle lights). If it’s exceptionally cold, you may want to consider layering a high visibility jacket on top of a high visibility hooded pullover sweatshirt for added warmth and visibility. And if it’s raining, it’s ideal to invest in high vis rain gear such as high visibility rain jackets. Whatever mother nature has in store for the weather, you can rest assured that there is a high vis piece of clothing that’s designed for just such an occasion.

3. Laws:

Many inexperienced road cyclists tend to ignore or neglect traffic laws when cycling. But cyclists who ride in the streets are expected to follow the same laws as drivers. At the most basic level, that means traveling on the right side of the street (literally), understanding right of way, and signalling before turns. Always bike in a straight line, signal your intentions clearly to other drivers, and yield to traffic and pedestrians when appropriate.

4. Alertness:

Needless to say, you should always be as alert as possible when riding your bike. This means keeping your eyes on the road and your hands on the handlebars. Always look both ways before turning and keep an eye out for parked cars. You should also make sure to limit distractions. While listening to music while biking is certainly enjoyable, permanent hearing loss can be caused by sounds that are louder than 85 decibels, not to mention, you won’t be able to listen for oncoming traffic or emergency sirens.

Ultimately, staying safe should be your number one priority when riding your bike. Always wear a helmet, follow the law, and stay alert. For more information about high visibility hooded pullover sweatshirts, contact Transportation Safety Apparel.