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.