High-visibility clothing is a protective way of ensuring you can be seen and safe. There are many environments at work where employees are at risk of injury due to restricted visibility.
In most construction and warehouse environments the use of hi-vis workwear is essential to reduce the risk of injury. It is essential to provide safe working place.
The Science of Being Seen
Reflective materials on hi-visibility clothing use a method known as retro reflection. This works by reflecting the light rays to the source direction.
This works in two ways:
- Glass Lens Technology: This method uses millions of high performance round glass beads, which provide 100% surface reflection and reflect light in all directions due to their round shape. This is the most effective way of reflecting light.
- Micro Prismatic Technology: This method uses a polymeric film on which retro reflective microscopic prisms are formed. This creates a bright reflective appearance. The prisms reflect in specific directions but due to the flatness of the prism surface cannot reflect light in all directions.
Employers have a duty to ensure the provision and use of personal protective equipment at work in accordance with The Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work regulations 1992.
Under health and safety legislation, the employer is legally responsible for the Health and Safety of all employees and also visitors on site. If a risk has been identified which requires a person to wear a high visibility garment. Employers have a legal responsibility to supply hi-vis workwear complying European standard EN471 , free of charge.
All personal protective equipment should carry the CE Mark certifying that the PPE satisfies certain basic safety requirements.
Employers should promote good practice to ensure the health and safety of employees and carry out risk assessments where necessary.