When you take a job in an industry that requires you to wear safety apparel, you will need to find a retailer that specializes in high-visibility work clothes. The garments that you purchase must meet certain guidelines and include specific features. If you have never purchased high-visibility clothes before, the following guide can be your primer when you are ready to begin shopping.
Standards and Classes
When you are shopping for your high-visibility attire, you need to make sure that the clothing you select meets national standards. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) sets the requirements for safety attire for construction, industrial, highway, and law-enforcement workers as well as for other types of workers in high-risk environments. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) incorporates these ANSI requirements into its federal safety regulations for construction and highway workers.
Safety attire is rated by three classes. Class 1 attire has the least amount of reflective material. The reflective material and colors of Class 2 attire provide protection for daytime workers such as school crossing guards and traffic cops in places where vehicles are not traveling at high speeds. Class 3 attire provides high visibility for workers in extremely dangerous environments such as next to major highways with vehicles traveling at high speeds.
Visibility Features and Fit
If you are instructed to purchase Class 1 attire, your attire can be short-sleeved shirts or vests in bright colors such as yellow or neon orange. Class 2 and 3 garments provide more body coverage. If you work in an environment that requires Class 3 garments, your attire will have long sleeves, and you will also be required to wear high-visibility pants.
Regardless of what class of attire you need, it is imperative that you make sure the clothes fit your properly. When you are looking at sizes, you should take into account the bulk of the clothing that you will be wearing underneath the high-visibility attire. Your attire should not have any dangling or loose parts. Your clothes should feel comfortable and easy to move in, not tight or too big for your frame.
You can enhance your safety by adding accessories with high-visibility features to your work attire. A well-stocked retailer will carry a variety of accessories in colors to match your safety clothes.
Common accessories include:
If you work in a cold climate, look for aviator hats and balaclavas in high-visibility colors to help keep your head warm. Some hats also have sun shields and are lined with materials to provide maximum warmth. Typically these accessories will also have reflective strips for improved visibility. Talk with companies such as Riteway Safety and Supply to find out what kind of safety clothing might be appropriate for your situation.