High-Vis Workwear – Need to knows

Do you need high-vis and if you do, what classification do you need?

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Why Do We Need High-Vis Clothing?

High-Vis workwear is a requirement for many businesses & organisations to carry out their day to day activities and we often find businesses that SHOULD use High-Vis clothing often don’t realise.

There are so many international standards for judging a garment’s visibility that it can become confusing and such a daunting task some simply bury their head in the sand to avoid it.

Our guide below will help you work through any requirements you may need:

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 require many factors to be taken into account to ensure that the correct clothing is chosen for a particular task.

  1. Is it suitable for the risk?
    Choice of clothing should take into account lighting conditions at the workplace.
    For some jobs an HV waistcoat, for example, may be all that is needed, but those workers who are particularly at risk may need full body HV clothing so that they are as visible as possible. HV clothing should provide adequate protection both during the day and at night, as well as in adverse weather. As a rule: the darker the conditions or worksite, the greater the amount of HV clothing required.
  2. Is it suitable for the job?
    People working in warehouses may find that some types of loose fitting tabard may snag on moving machinery parts. Also HV coats may be too warm in summer months, in which case, waistcoats or T-shirts with the appropriate HV qualities could be supplied. Remember: PPE must always be suitable for the work; if the way of working changes – check that the PPE is still suitable.
  3. Is it suitable for the wearer?
    HV clothing should be comfortable and fit the wearer properly. It should cause the minimum of restriction in the wearers movement.
  4. Is it compatible with other forms of PPE?
    If two or more types of PPE are worn, they should not interfere with each other.  Similarly, wet or cold weather clothing should have suitable HV qualities or be capable of being worn under HV garments.
  5. Are there any standards which the clothing should meet?
    HV clothing should be manufactured to a recognised standard. The new British Standard for high visibility warning clothing is BS EN 471. This is a harmonised European standard produced with the legal requirements for PPE in mind.

At a Glance, What Classification do I need?

Every High-Vis garment will have a classification to tell you what level of protection it provides. This European standard specifies whether a garment can sufficiently signal the users presence in a variety of conditions:

The table below details the standard’s certifications more thoroughly. It is worth noting that the amount of the body covered by high-vis material impacts the certification eg class 3 requires full length sleeves.

Class Requirements Suggested Intended Use
Class 1: Minimum Level Minimum of 0.142m2 background fluorescence and 0.10m2 of retro-reflective material Required for work on a private road or environment
Class 2: Intermediate Level Minimum of 0.50m2 of fluorescent background material and 0.13m2 of retro-reflective material Intended for those working near A and B class roads, delivery drivers
Class 3: Highest Level Minimum of 0.80m2 of background material and 02.20m2 of retro-reflective materials Required for work near motorways, dual carriageways, Railways or airports

Please note, the above info is a suggested intended use.  It’s always best to check requirements with the organisation responsible for the environment.

Where can I find your High-vis range?

To view our main selection of High Visibility Workwear just click here

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