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It’s Easy to See the Importance of High-Visibility Gloves

by Frank MacDonald on August 23, 2016

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In response to increased safety awareness and improved materials, new high-visibility safety apparel standards were introduced in 2015. The ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 standard covers numerous aspects — including design, colors, and classifications. And, here’s the exciting news: thanks to the updates made to the old standard, high-visibility gloves now fall under the “accessories” category.

It might seem that any glove is better than wearing no glove at all, but we’re here to tell you that that’s not always the case. Whenever possible, we recommend making the switch to high-visibility work gloves and safety apparel. High-viz gloves shine a light — and not just figuratively — when visibility in the workplace is low. And, best of all, in addition to a higher level of visibility in the workplace, depending on the style, many hi-viz gloves also offer a wide range of other benefits in the workplace — including a strong grip, reliable puncture protection, and even stellar cut resistance. For this reason, opting to wear high-viz safety apparel in the workplace can help keep you safer in a broader range of work conditions.

 

Hi-Viz Isn’t the Same as Fluorescent:

Unfortunately, ordinary fluorescent apparel and accessories don’t perform as effectively as the high-viz materials used in certified safety products do in the workplace. While fluorescent colors are bright and therefore help make workers more visible, the retroreflective properties of high-viz materials return light back to its source. Because of this, compliant high-viz PPE products use a combination of fluorescence and retroreflective properties in order to provide you with the highest amount of visibility (and protection!) in the workplace.

According to CCOHS, it is also important to note that these types of garments are typically more effective in low-light conditions than in bright sunlight. Translation? These materials kick into high gear when you need them the most. Whether there are headlights from heavy equipment in the area or just moonlight shining down on you while you’re working the graveyard shift, once the light hits your high-visibility PPE, it’ll be illuminated. This will, in turn, result in greater visibility, and therefore, keep you that much safer while you’re hard at work.

 

Improved Visibility Standards Reduce the Risk of Accidents:

Accidents and injuries often happen when visibility is low. And, since the human hand has so many different vital parts and vulnerable areas, the more reliable your work gloves are, the better. Workers in certain industries (such as construction and emergency responders) among many others, are “routinely exposed to potential injury hazards from low visibility on the job,” says 3M. Because of this, since the purpose of the improved high-viz standards is to make workers in every light more visible in the workplace, wearing high-visibility PPE that adheres to this new standard is advantageous in almost every industry.

Senior worker sorting papers on factory assembly line for recycling at recycling plant.
These new standards include significant improvements over the 2010 version when it comes to both safety apparel designation and the “scope of high-visibility accessories.” The retroreflective materials used to make high-visibility gloves are often enhanced by conspicuous, fluorescent background colors that include yellow-green, orange-red, or even red. That way, whether it’s day or night, high-viz gloves help keep workers’ hands in plain sight.

ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 Glove Compliance is Optional:

Certain jobs require certain types of retroreflective PPE. However, it is crucial to note that, under the new standard, gloves are listed under a new category without a specific performance class. (For example, Type P police and EMS safety apparel falls under Class 2 or Class 3. But gloves are considered accessories under ANSI/ISEA 107-2015.) And, the other important thing to know is that although gloves can be compliant, it’s optional. As 3M explains, “the new requirements give conscientious accessory manufacturers the option.” This means that, should they choose to do so, manufacturers can set themselves apart from gloves that only look the part through self-certification and the use of compliant materials.

Excited about this new standard? To find out more about what it takes for work gloves to be deemed compliant under the new standard, tune in for our free webinar on the new high-visibility standard next week. Click the button below to sign up now.

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