High visibility clothing is one of the simplest parts of your personal protective equipment (PPE) but it’s also one of the most effective because many accidents are caused by someone not being conspicuous enough to avoid. If you can be seen in poor visibility or darkness, or on a hectic worksite, then forklift drivers, for example, can see you. You can also be readily seen and recovered if something happens to you.
It’s the law
Every Australian construction site must, by law, have a high-vis policy and it’s the employer or business owner who must pay for hi-vis clothing, as well as any other PPE. It’s also illegal to refuse to wear it.
It’s not just for construction sites
Other jobs and roles need hi-vis clothing as well. Traffic managers also need it because they’re working in a fast-moving, potentially hazardous environment and the sooner drivers can see that there’s a person in their field of view, the more time they have to avoid them.
Being inconspicuous can put you in danger
One of the reasons cyclists and motorcyclists are (sadly) involved in serious and fatal accidents so often is because their leathers or cycling gear make them blend in with some backgrounds, especially if it’s getting dark. Thankfully, more and more bikers are wearing hi-vis tabards so hopefully we’ll see these accidents becoming less and less frequent. If you cycle or ride a motorbike to work then you need to be visible .
Hi-vis clothing works
The human eye is much more receptive to bright yellows and lime greens and we tend to pick out anything with these colours significantly earlier than we do anything else.
While motorcyclists can wear thin vests over their leathers, many workers can have access to hi-vis shirts, sweatshirts, trousers and even fleeces. This means there’s no need to worry about being cold if you’re working at night or somewhere dark or misty.
There’s no excuse for not wearing some form of hi-vis clothing at work as you can always find something warm or cool enough to keep you comfortable and safe.