High Visibility Clothing Workwear is designed to make the wearer stand out and be more visible in any light conditions, wether it is day or night. Personnel requiring to wear high visibility clothing would be anybody working near or on a private road, A or B roads, Motorways, Airports, Delivery drivers, Rail workers, warehouses where fork lift trucks operate, these days it is most places that require some form of high visibility clothing to be worn. If you travel by car, lorry etc in most European countries you are required by law to have a high visibility vest available for every occupant of that vehicle. (Not the UK yet). High Visibility clothing is tested to standard EN ISO 20471 class 1, 2 and 3, and GO/RT 3279.
The requirements and the facts.
Being struck by a moving vehicle is the second most common cause of death in the workplace today and accounted for 17% of all fatal injuries in 2002/3. It is therefore essential that any high visibility garments, workwear, clothing, issued to employees conform to all relevant performance standards (EN471, European Standard for High Visibility Clothing), and are worn and maintained correctly for maximum protection.
So what does this mean?
In order to comply with all UK and European legislation, you need to ensure that the high visibility garments you buy comply with the following: High visibility clothing conforming to EN ISO 20471:2013; Table1, Class 2 or 3, which must be worn at all times. The colour of the background materials should normally be flourescent yellow from Table 2 of EN ISO 20471:2013. The retroreflective materials should comply with Table 5.
Reflective material enhances your visibility in low light situations. This reflective material returns light to a light source (such as vehicle headlights) creating a bright image that motorists are more likely to see from a distance. As a result, motorists and pedestrians have more time to react. NOTE: From July 1995 high visibility clothing issued in accordance with the PPE Regulations must carry a CE mark. All garments on our website meet this requirement unless otherwise stated.
EN ISO 20471 Garment Classifications. Garment types are grouped into three classes based on the conspicuity provided, with the classes dictating the minimum quantities of background and retroreflective materials to be used. CLASS 3: High Visibility Coats, jackets with sleeves, coveralls & two piece combination suits Highest Protection Level: Essential for people working on or near motorways, dual carriageways, airports and railways. Bands of retro reflective material shall not be less than 50mm wide. Maximum background material 0.8m². Minimum retro reflective material 0.20m² A revised version of EN471 was published in March 2004. One of the major changes in this version is that horizontal reflective bands can now have an incline of +20º. CLASS 2: High Visibility Sleeveless waistcoats, tabards & bib/brace trousers Intermediate Protection Level: Usually defined for use on or near A and B roads, delivery drivers etc. Bands of retro reflective material shall not be less than 50mm wide. Minimum background material 0.50m². Minimum retro reflective material 0.13m²
CLASS 1: High Visibilty Trousers & Harness Lowest Protection Level: Where enhanced visibility is an advantage, but for minimal risk/off road purposes only. Bands of retro-reflective material shall not be less than 50mm wide. Minimum background material 0.14m². Minimum retro reflective material 0.10m²
It is also important to take care of and maintain your high visibility garments, The dirtier high visibility workwear becomes the less effective the reflective tape and background become, wash them regularly or replace them. Don't cut parts of the high visibility garment away, the protection they provide depends on the area of fluorescent material and retro-reflective tape visible. Wear your high visibility garment fastened to ensure maximum surface area visible, and also to prevent the garment tangling with moving machinery.