7 Reasons Hi-Vis Clothing Is So Important

7 Reasons Hi-Vis Clothing Is So Important

22nd Sep 2022

High-visibility clothing includes jackets, pants, vests, overalls, and even hats that enhance the visibility of the wearer. Hi-vis clothes use retroreflective and fluorescent materials to make the wearer stand out from their environment. These clothes improve safety, which decreases fatalities and injuries on worksites. Learn more about the seven reasons hi-vis clothing is so important.

1. It Enhances Visibility

The number one advantage of hi-vis clothing is that it keeps workers safe by enhancing the wearer’s visibility. In multiple industries, employees work around heavy machinery, equipment, and other items. Every year, many workers are injured or even killed because of workplace accidents. Improving worker visibility makes your business safer.

The type of high-visibility clothing workers need depends on the environment and job responsibilities. Hi-vis clothes are categorized into types and classes based on their intended usage, and you can use these classifications to choose the right level of protection for you or your employees. For example, ANSI Type O protects people in off road scenarios that require enhanced visibility; this can include refinery workers, warehouse workers, and parking location workers.

2. Hi-Vis Clothes Give Drivers More Time To React

Another reason hi-vis clothing is so important is that it gives drivers and equipment operators more time to react to a worker’s presence. Since hi-vis clothing makes the wearer more visible to others, drivers and operators become aware of them sooner. And the sooner the driver becomes aware of the worker, the more time they have to slow down or change direction.

Reaction time is the amount of time it takes for a person to respond to a stimulus. These times vary among individuals, and many factors can affect each individual’s reaction time. Hi-vis clothing should prompt drivers and operators to take proper action.

One of the most common problems faced by people working along roadways is a driver’s selective perception. Even when a driver is looking in a worker’s direction, they may not actually perceive the worker is there—drivers tend to notice other cars rather than individuals. The more conspicuously you stand out from your environment, the less likely it is for a driver to disregard you.

3. It Improves Work Efficiency at Night

Another advantage of hi-vis clothing is that it improves work efficiency at night. These clothes don’t just enhance visibility during the day, but also at night or in the evening. Retroreflective material is made with small glass beads that reflect light back to its source. This is an especially useful feature in night construction, where retroreflected light can attract a driver’s attention and prevent collisions.

Workers also see each other more clearly thanks to hi-vis clothing. Overall, these clothes help make it possible to extend working hours, giving companies greater flexibility when creating schedules and finishing projects with tight deadlines.

4. Hi-Vis Clothing Combats Distractions

While workplace hazards present challenges on their own, distractions compound the problem. Distracted people in or adjacent to a worksite create a risk for workers. Fortunately, hi-vis clothes combat distractions, increasing everyone’s awareness of the person wearing the gear.

While minimizing workplace distractions is important for safety, it’s not possible to eliminate distractions altogether. Texting, eating, talking, and multitasking are some of the most common activities that limit the attention people pay to their surroundings. But even without an external disruption, people can still let their thoughts wander, and at the wrong time and place, this can prove calamitous.

Hi-vis clothes make the wearer stand out from their surroundings. Fluorescent hues of orange, lime green, and red highlight the wearer’s presence, and this loud visual cue focuses the viewer’s attention.

5. It Meets ANSI Safety Standards

Hi-vis clothes help companies meet voluntary standards for workplace safety set by the American National Standards Institute. ANSI recommends people wear hi-vis apparel to reduce worker fatalities and injuries.

While workplace safety is important for the workers themselves, it’s good for the company overall. Decreasing the number of injuries and fatalities improves employee morale, reduces turnover, and increases productivity, among other positive outcomes.

As you choose hi-vis clothing to wear, be sure to follow regulatory guidelines. For example, ANSI Type R or P, Class 3 hi-vis clothes must enhance the wearer’s visibility to a high level. Wearing a hi-vis vest or sleeveless shirt alone does not qualify as Class 3 protection.

Also, keep in mind the difference between enhanced-visibility and high-visibility garments. If you add reflective striping to a piece of clothing, you’ve created an enhanced-visibility garment. Alternatively, ANSI-compliant high-visibility clothing requires higher performance standards for the retroreflective stripes and fluorescent background materials.

6. It Encourages a Safety-First Mindset

Hi-vis clothes can improve workplace culture because they encourage a safety-first mindset. The more workers wear hi-vis clothes, the more they comply with safety standards and practices. And the more buy-in, the easier it is to comply. It’s a virtuous cycle, where one positive act for workplace safety promotes more positive acts and reinforces the standard.

For worksites where employees routinely perform tasks in dangerous areas, hi-vis clothing should be a key component of worksite safety. When everyone on a worksite wears hi-vis clothes, it communicates that the company actively values everyone’s safety. This can help build camaraderie and improve morale. Not only is everyone working toward the same goal, everyone respects their coworkers’ safety and well-being.

7. Hi-Vis Clothing Promotes a Professional Identity

Finally, an important advantage of wearing hi-vis clothing is that it promotes a professional identity. Just like other specialized workplace attire, hi-vis clothes indicate the kind of work the wearer does and their competence and pride in their profession.

At a busy worksite, hi-vis clothes can signal whether someone is a member of personnel or an outside visitor. And as with other types of uniforms and workwear, high-visibility clothing can help unify a team and promote cooperative work.

Hi-vis clothing featuring custom designs is a creative way to promote the company brand and add style to workwear. And the better the design looks, the easier it is to raise compliance.

SafetyShirtz produces high-quality safety apparel that protects workers, feels great, and looks awesome. If you want to order a hi-vis hoodie, shirt, or hat, check out our designs or create a custom look today.

7 Reasons Hi-Vis Clothing Is So Important