What Body Areas Require High Visibility Gear?

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According to the Institute for Work and Health in Canada, a new employee in their first month of work is three times as likely to suffer an injury on the job. Considering that, it’s crucial for these new employees to know how to protect themselves from the get-go.

Even more importantly, you need to understand how to protect your employees. Do you know the key areas of the body that require high visibility clothing? If you need a refresher, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more!

Head/Neck Protection
When it comes to protection, the best policy is to start at the top. In this case, we’ll be talking about the head. Let’s take a look at some of the most common safety clothing for head protection:

  • Hard Hats: This is likely the most common form of head protection. Aside from preventing head injuries, this gear is highly visible, no matter the conditions.
  • Neck Shields: This piece of protective clothing may not prevent head injuries, but it can help prevent sunburn and scrapes. This is an excellent option for hot, sunny days.

Chest Protection
This is primarily where safety clothing suppliers come into play. While hard hats may protect the head, these garments make sure that no matter the weather or time of day, workers are seen. One example of high visibility safety clothing is an orange safety vest that you might see a crossing guard wear. This is a fairly standard piece of apparel that safety clothing suppliers carry, and it’s worn in a wide variety of industries. Some other items that contribute to chest protection are:

  • High visibility jackets
  • High visibility sweatshirts
  • High visibility rain jackets

Leg/Foot Protection
Legs and feet are too often overlooked when it comes to high visibility gear. Apparel items like coveralls, pants, boots, and overshoes are all incredibly important when it comes to lower body safety. High visibility pants and shoes should both follow ANSI standards, just like any other piece of high visibility clothing.

Before you can enforce safety on the job, you need to understand it yourself. If you have any more questions regarding high visibility clothing or safety clothing suppliers, don’t hesitate to contact Transportation Safety Apparel.

Workplace Safety: Choosing the Best Approach for Your Business

According to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 4,836 employees were killed on the job in 2015. And if workplace safety isn’t prioritized, that number can only grow. Safety and health programs are designed to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Additionally, they avert financial hardships that can be caused by these incidents for employees, their families, and the company.

Many safety programs begin very basic and grow along with the company. According to OSHA, when an employer implements a workplace safety program, it can help their business:

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses
  • Reduce costs, including workers’ compensation premiums
  • Engage workers
  • Enhance social responsibility goals
  • Increase productivity and enhance overall business performance
  • Improve compliance with workplace laws and regulations

The Four Approaches to Workplace Safety

No two businesses are exactly alike, meaning no two workplace safety programs should be exactly alike either. While there is a higher concern for safety in fields like construction and manufacturing due to a higher rate of work-related injuries and illnesses, creating and maintaining a safe work environment should always be on the mind of all employers.

Employers need to use their best judgment when it comes to creating a workplace safety program. A safety program should factor in considerations like the type of work and the number of employers. Luckily, there are a number of ways different approaches that employers can choose from when developing a workplace safety program.

The Reactive Approach

The reactive approach is popular among small, localized companies or those employers who are just getting their business up and running. This approach is often used when employers are unsure of any laws and regulations they need to follow. Because of this, the employer is often only able to respond to a workplace safety incident after it occurs. Companies who practice this approach typically exhibit the following features:

  • Minimally established or nonexistent safety programs
  • Insufficient management participation, which leads employees to thinking they don’t have to follow safety regulations either
  • Lack of value in the program leads to limited funding for an effective safety program

The Static Approach

After the reactive approach, most companies usually move up to the static approach. This approach is used by employers who understand the value of safety in the workplace, but don’t consider it a necessary part of their overall business plan. While they have a workplace safety program in place, it’s often used inconsistently and not fully understood by everybody within the business. The static approach usually includes the following characteristics:

  • Informal safety process, with issues only being discussed regarding a recent accident
  • Management focuses on handling safety incidents as they come up, allocating funds only when necessary
  • Lack of efficiency when it comes to addressing safety concerns

The Active Approach

Unfortunately, it usually takes a history of accidents or surprise OSHA inspections for a company to take a more active approach regarding workplace safety. However, once an employer is invested in workplace safety, it’s usually much easier for them to remain invested and continue to grow their accident prevention program. Employers who take an active approach to workplace safety typically show the following:

  • Expectations that employees will address safety concerns in the workplace
  • Management understands and respects the role of safety and allocates the company budget accordingly
  • Employees are given documentation of safety procedures and are expected to follow the rules and regulations according to the company’s process

The Dynamic Approach

The last, and seemingly most effective, approach exists among companies who are fully invested in creating a safe and productive environment for their employees. Not only do companies who practice the dynamic approach take proper steps to prevent workplace incidents, but also they make workplace safety a priority. These businesses show the following qualities:

  • Safety and accident prevention are considered an essential part of the business, as the employer understands that a safe work environment impacts the overall culture of the company
  • Management makes the discussion of safety issues a regular business practice, along with employee training regarding safety hazards
  • Sufficient funds are allocated to safety initiatives, taking into consideration any needs for safety improvements

What Should My Workplace Safety Program Include?

The effectiveness of workplace safety programs and procedures is indisputable. No matter the approach, any sort of workplace safety program is better than none. But what really makes a health and safety program effective?

Well for starters, the program should show that executive management is truly invested in the program. If employees see management taking proper steps to ensure safety, they’ll be motivated to do the same. Additionally, employees should be involved in the development and growth of workplace safety procedures. Another step to implementing a great safety program is conducting regular, thorough safety inspections of worksites and facilities. Once any hazards or concerns have been identified, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. With that in mind, ongoing monitoring of any hazardous situations is a crucial aspect of safety programs as well. And lastly, continuing to train and educate employees on safety is instrumental in having an effective workplace safety program. In order to have a safe environment, everyone within the company must be committed to creating a hazard-free environment.

So whether you’re just beginning to develop a workplace safety program, or looking to update your current program, it’s important to remember that it all starts with employers. Employers who take action to engage employees and regularly address unsafe conditions will see immense benefits when it comes to decreasing workplace incidents as well as an improvement in the overall culture of the company.

Enhanced Visibility Clothing vs. High Visibility Clothing: What’s the Difference?

safety uniform supplierSafety is a major concern in every industry. If an employee is exposed to loud noise, earplugs can reduce it by 15 to 30 decibels. If a welder is working on a multi-story steel structure, they have fall protection.

But what about those employees working in high traffic areas at night?

For these workers, it’s all about visibility. If a driver can’t see an individual working on the side of the road, there’s a high risk of injury. That’s why enhanced visibility clothing and high visibility clothing are so important. And knowing the difference between the two is equally as crucial to worker safety. Let’s take a look at what differentiates these two types of safety clothing options.

Enhanced Visibility Clothing
If you’ve ever seen safety shirts with reflective strips on them, you’ve looked at enhanced visibility clothing. These articles of safety clothing don’t exactly look like your typical fluorescent vests, either. In most cases, they’re grey, black, or another neutral color. The reflective “enhancements” on them are what qualify them as safety apparel. But the biggest differentiating factor here is that enhanced visibility clothing is not held to ANSI standards. As such, these types of safety clothing fall under a “low risk” category for workers. So if you’re going for an evening run or completing road work in the middle of the day, enhanced visibility may be a good choice in safety apparel.

High Visibility Clothing
Unlike enhanced visibility clothing, high visibility jackets and other apparel items are held to a very specific standard. That means every safety uniform supplier must conform with ANSI standards when it comes to safety apparel production. More specifically, each garment type must meet certain requirements for reflective fabric and fluorescent background material. As far as background colors go, high visibility has three options:

  • fluorescent yellow-green
  • fluorescent orange-red
  • fluorescent red

So if you see any of these colors on the road, you know you’re looking at high visibility clothing.

Maintaining your personal safety and the safety of those people around you is crucial in any work environment, especially if you’re working on or near a high traffic area. Before you purchase any apparel from a safety uniform supplier, make sure you know whether you need enhanced or high visibility clothing.