High visibility workwear can be a huge safety benefit to construction workers, in particular those who work along roadways. As winter grows closer, and the sun sets earlier, it can be imperative to ensure that workers can be seen easily while on the job. For this purpose, consider the benefits of high visibility winter jackets.
The Benefits of High Visibility Jackets.
High visibility clothing comes in a variety of articles, including shirts, pants, windbreakers, and heavier jackets. This clothing can help site workers stay visible to civilian cars, and on-site equipment drivers. This type of clothing can help improve the safety of any workers who work alongside vehicles and machinery. This way there is a lower chance of them not being seen, and an accident occurring.
- Barring human error, if you can be seen, you are safe. Of course there is always a chance of a driver not paying attention, or an equipment operator neglecting to check before moving; however, making yourself as visible as possible greatly decreases the chance that you will be overlooked. If all crew members are wearing high visibility winter jackets, there is a good chance all members will be on the lookout for all visible parties raising awareness on site, and to passing civilian vehicles.
- There are two main materials that are used in high visibility safety clothes; retroreflective and fluorescent. Fluorescent clothing works best under bright natural light, and is more suited for daytime use, or sites that are otherwise brightly lit. Retroreflective works by bouncing light back to a source, i.e. machine or vehicle lights. This is the best choice of after dark operations, and other low light instances.
Classes of High Visibility Jackets
- Class One. These articles of clothing are used in low risk environments that allow excess room between works and vehicles. Usually seen in the form of basic reflective vests, this class is normally utilized by warehouse crew members, parking lot workers, and others who work around slow moving vehicles.
- Class Two. If workers are exposed to vehicles that will be traveling in excess of 25 miles per hour, class two clothing should be employed. Also used in low visibility weather situations, these offer more visibility and cover more body area.
- Class Three. If workers are in an area with high speed vehicles, and will be involved with tasks that divert attention from being able to constantly watch their surroundings, this level of safety clothing should be utilized. These allow of maximum visibility even in inclement weather, and consistent body motion. Examples of who usually wears this class are, construction workers on or aside highways, and first responders.
- Class E. This class falls as a combination of both 2nd and 3rd classes, with an addition of high visibility pants for easy spotting in low light.
Things to Consider When Choosing Gear for Your Crew.
- Full body coverage is optimal for workers. This makes absolutely sure that their whole body is visible, and even easier to spot in low-light conditions.
- Consider contrasting colours that can help bolster visibility when a worker is in motion.
- Make sure the colours you are choosing won’t be subdued or otherwise blend in with the surrounding, i.e. green reflective clothing on a site surrounded by trees.
- Make sure all articles are in good condition, and none of the reflective stripes are covered by other materials.
As the days grow shorter, and the weather grows colder in the northern states, consider investing in high visibility winter jackets for any construction crews you may be managing. Additionally, high visibility winter jackets are useful even if you’re not in a construction field. Joggers, bikers, and other folks who spend time alongside roads can benefit from owning a high visibility jacket. It’s always best to try and stay as safe as possible, especially when along roadways.