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Why High Visibility Gloves are an Important Part of Workplace Safety

by Tony Geng on June 16, 2015

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The end goal of all workplace safety policy is to prevent or eliminate injuries. Visibility is an important factor in accident prevention. Being able to see clearly where your hands are in a low light condition can be the difference between being safe and getting caught in machinery.

High visibility gloves are also important around driven or piloted machinery; the reflective materials can easily draw the attention of drivers and alert them to people working around them.

What are High Visibility Gloves?

High Visibility (Hi-Viz) gloves can increase the chances of the hands of the person wearing them to be seen. They are made using fluorescent materials or reflective materials and draw light in different ways to make them more visible.
Nitrile dipped high visibility gloves
Reflective Materials

This material is created to reflect light that is shone on it from a light source. These are like the markers on the side of the road or in the middle median of the road. Having reflective garments are most effective in low light conditions. These gloves are generally less effective in bright daylight.
high visibility safety gloves
Fluorescent Material

This material is made of special pigments that are able to reflect the ultra-violet parts of natural light. It’s a property that makes these colors jump out more at viewers, making them more vibrant than background colors or even similar colors. These are best used in low or full on natural lighting conditions.
high visibility work gloves
When Should I Use Hi-Viz Gloves?

Generally when determining the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that should be used on a job site, a hazard analysis should be performed. If your list of potential hazards turns up any of the following things, then you should consider using Hi-Viz gloves.

  • An environment where there might be traffic involved; could be on roadways where traffic is traveling at speed.
  • Under low light or nighttime working conditions.
  • Where workers must stand out from the background in which they are working; includes worksites with a lot of equipment, rural highways or on farms in order to differentiate workers from the environment.
  • Weather conditions that can obscure vision; rain, snow, fog or even bright sunlight can reduce visibility.
  • Worksites where workers can easily be distracted or have their attention focused away from the work at hand, such as a factory or industrial environment.
  • Conditions that could affect a worker’s perceptions of distance or time to react to a hazard. This includes long and straight distances, vehicles moving at high speeds or working surfaces that are slippery.
  • Jobs or job areas where vehicles are operated with partially or totally obscured sight lines. This could be anywhere that equipment is regularly operated in reverse, or where equipment is doing lifting out of the line of site of the operators.
  • Conditions where it is necessary to identify workers from each other.

Always remember to properly train employees on the proper usage and care of their Hi-Viz gloves to make sure that they are 100% effective on the job site.

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