Imagine this scenario. You have taken a new job working on the construction crew for a highway restoration project. The work hours are during the night since the traffic is lighter after people have gotten home from their days at work and elsewhere. Regardless of the hour, the traffic is still a concern. It is an interstate highway and the road is heavily traveled.
Everyone is required to wear and orange safety vest, and the other new guy who started the day before you did is not wearing his, for some reason unknown to you. Maybe he left it at home or maybe he just doesn’t think he needs to wear it. Whatever the case may be, he is working along the roadside without his orange safety vest.
You are doing the job you are told to do when all of a sudden you hear a terrible screeching sound followed by a loud thud. You turn your head just in time to see the other new guy falling to the ground after having been thrown into the air by an oncoming car. He is severely injured and is taken to the hospital while the women who hit the man sits in stunned silence telling the crew and the police officers who arrive on the scene that she never saw the guy; he just came out of nowhere.
High traffic work sites are no joke. In 2015 alone, there were 4,836 workers killed on the job. That comes out to 13 deaths every single day. Many of these deaths could have been prevented had the person on the job made themselves more visible. It always takes time for someone new to a job to learn the work area and what is safe. New employees have three times the risk of becoming injured and losing time at work during their first month on the job, according to the Institute for Work and Health in Canada.
When high visibility clothing like an orange safety vest is required, there is a reason for it. High visibility workwear can range from hi vis work shirts and hi vis work jackets to hi vis work pants and more. There are many different options to chose from when you are looking for something to help you stand out, whether it be at night on a roadway construction site or during the day when people operating the heavy machinery have a hard time seeing things and people around them. A construction worker walks more than 30,000 steps per day, and with the heavy machinery that is being used, wearing an orange safety vest isn’t too much trouble if it will save a life.
If you find yourself on a new construction job or on any job that takes place in a high-traffic area, make sure you are wearing the appropriate clothing so that you can be seen by anyone who comes by. It isn’t worth the pain or the strong possibility of death to go without.