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“Stop Wearing the Wrong Hi Viz Safety Gear Today” is an excerpt from Superior Glove’s PPE Bible “The Complete Guide to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) [+ Checklist Download].” Read the full guide for more information, including answers to industry workers’ 15 most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about PPE.
“This is the wrong hi viz safety gear”
Hi viz safety apparel (HVSA) may also play a role in your PPE program, increasing worker visibility in dark areas.
Other advantages include:
To reap these advantages, there are specific standards and qualities you should be aware of before purchasing these types of clothing.
The American National Standards Institute established the American National Standard for Hi Viz Safety Apparel and Accessories (ANSI/ISEA 107-2015) to protect workers from hazards associated with low-visibility environments.
These hazards are generally the result of people operating vehicles and heavy machinery in low-light conditions. But risks also arise due to poor weather conditions and other factors that obstruct vision.
The standard – in its fourth edition – sets guidelines to help you choose and use HVSA such as:
Note that companies outside the United States may have to comply with another standard. For example, Canadian workers may follow CSA Standard Z96-15.
But, to help ensure compliance in the US, you can purchase a copy of the American standard here.
New to ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 are three designations for HVSA, making it easier to choose the appropriate gear depending on the work environment.
Following these categorizations will help you choose the best hi viz apparel for your employees’ needs.
Hi viz clothing suits a range of worksites where laborer visibility is an issue.
Specifically, HVSA lends itself to jobs and locations that have:
These conditions indicate a need to use HVSA that complies with ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 or another applicable government standard.
Hi viz safety material, as approved by the ANSI/ISEA 105-2017 standard, is made from either background or retroreflective material.
Background material is fluorescent. It can be red, orange-red or yellow-green. The goal of this material is to make workers stand out from their environments. So, if your employees work with red equipment, they shouldn’t wear HVSA made from red background material.
Retroreflective material is not defined by its color. Rather, it reflects and returns light to the direction from which it came. As a result, workers wearing this material have a mirror-like quality to their safety apparel.
It is also possible to find combined-performance material. This is retroreflective material on a fluorescent background.
In addition to being made from background or retroreflective material, a product must meet certain criteria to be considered HVSA.
If a piece of apparel uses retroreflective material, it must:
Apparel that uses background or combined-performance material must:
These qualities will ensure employees are as visible as possible on the worksite.
Hi viz PPE requirements are confusing, our FREE PPE checklist can help. Download your copy by filling in the form below!
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