P&P’s Guide To Buying Hi-Vis Clothing

hi vis clothing guide

It is essential that as an employer you make sure that your employees have the required uniform so that they are safe at the workplace. During the winter months when dark mornings and evenings cause poor visibility, printed hi-visibility clothing is very important. We have compiled this guide to help you to get the hi-vis workwear that you need and give you insight into the best choice for your business.

What Do We Mean By ‘Hi-Vis Clothing’?

This clothing falls under the category of protective clothing. It is designed using fluorescent material and reflective tape which gives extra visibility. This material gives extra visibility especially in poorly lit areas or where it may be difficult to see.

Hi-Vis Clothing In The Workplace

You should not simply pick up any hi-vis workwear rather you need to ensure that it meets necessary standards. For this clothing type, it needs to comply with the BS EN 471 European Standards For High Visibility Clothing.

The European Standards For Hi-Vis Clothing BS EN 471

According to this standard, all hi-vis items need to be yellow or orange, other colour choices are not acceptable. In addition, this standardisation falls into 3 different categories which we will outline below.

Class 3 – Hi-Vis Clothing With The Highest Level Of Protection

The minimum width of the retro-reflective band should be 50mm.
The background material has to be a minimum of 0.80m sq.
The minimum measurement for the retro-reflective material is 0.20m sq.

Class 2 – Hi-Vis Clothing With An Intermediate Level Of Protection

The minimum width of the retro-reflective band should be 50mm.
The background material has to be a minimum of 0.50m sq.
The minimum measurement for the retro-reflective material is 0.13m sq.

Class 1 – Hi-Vis Clothing With The Lowest Level Of Protection

The minimum width of the retro-reflective band should be 50mm.
The background material has to be a minimum of 0.14m sq.
The minimum measurement for the retro-reflective material is 0.10m sq.

Which Class Should You Choose?

Of course, you will need more protection as the risk of the job increases. Let’s take working by a busy road with traffic traveling at high speeds as an example, this situation needs hi-vis garments which meets the class 3 category. However, in a low risk environment, a lower class of hi-vis clothing would be acceptable for the situation.

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