From hi vis cargo pants to hi vis coats and jackets, high visibility clothing is hugely important for anyone working in a dangerous work environment. The most traditional use to a hi vis jacket is on a construction site, particularly for a road construction crew. On average there are 13 deaths each day that occur on the job. In fact, a total of 4,836 people died in 2015 from work-related accidents. High visibility clothing helps reduce that number drastically. That being said, there are other places to wear hi vis gear that could potentially save your life.
Here are some things you probably didn’t know about safety clothing.
- Size is important.
If your high vis vest is the wrong size for your body it can actually make your work environment more dangerous. Whether it is too big or too long, the reflective panels are designed to outline your human form. Doing this means that when you’re spotted an oncoming driver knows that you are a person and moves accordingly. If the vest sags or droops strangely it may not be clear what is causing the reflection, thus defeating the purpose. When on a construction site, any loose material can grab or get snagged in machinery, creating a dangerous work environment. Make sure to get hi vis clothing that fits you, not just whatever is lying around.
- Light is part of the equation.
A lot of people don’t realize that hi vis reflectors only work if there is light shining on them. Obviously, if you’re working on a road crew that light will come from oncoming headlights. But if you’re in a different environment, being aware of how the reflective material works and what kind you need for the situation can make all the difference.
- You don’t need them just for work.
Any time you are out and about, running or dog walking, generally doing an activity that takes place on or near a road, you will want to wear some form of high visibility clothing. Hi vis jackets are a great way to stay safe on the road regardless of the reason you’re there.
Sometimes its difficult to disconnect yourself from work, and maybe wearing your hi vis jacket might feel too much like bring your work home with you. However, don’t let that stop you from taking action to protect yourself whenever necessary. Wearing high visibility clothing while you’re jogging in the early morning can save your life.