3 Things You Never Knew about High Visibility Safety Clothing

Have you ever wondered why roadside workers wear those bright neon clothes?

High visibility vests and coveralls are a prominent fixture in construction spaces and many other professions. It is essential for high-risk cones and occupations, such as construction sites, roads, and industrial areas.

However, to the rest of us, they are simply flashy uniforms. We want to change that perception by delving deeper into the history and purpose of this uniform for construction workers. That way, you will get to see these uniforms in a brand new light.

Here are three underrated facts about high visibility safety uniforms:

1. Historical Trivia

The earliest prototypes of high visibility safety clothing date back to the 1930s. 

The original design team included two brothers, Bob and Joe Switzer. Bob lost his job and the opportunity to pursue medicine when he got injured when he was unloading cranes at his work site. So he decided to find a way to design work safety clothes that could prevent others from meeting the same fate.

Using his brother’s research on fluorescent chemicals, Bob designed workwear that stood out from its environment. They called then first successful design, ‘Day-Glo’ and used fluorescent paints to market it in public places.

In later years, the idea of reflective garments was adopted by the US Army during WW II. The main objective of this was to protect soldiers during the crossfire. The hi-vis material made it easier for an aircraft crew to locate their men and take them to safety.

Afterward, the safety uniforms for men and women became popular in other industries too.

2. Safety First

High visibility clothing is considered an essential uniform for workers in construction sites, industrial zones, mining areas, and other high-risk occupations. This also includes people working in airport security and traffic control.

What most people don’t know is that it is equally important for cyclers, runners, and equestrians too.

That’s because:

  • Motorists can easily spot the fluorescent from a great distance.
  • They act as personal protective equipment (PPE) against occupational hazards.
  • They minimize accidents when the individual is working in unfavorable conditions (e.g. rain, snow, and fog)
  • They are very useful for nighttime activity because of their reflective surface.

Apart from providing workers with a safe environment, it promotes a sense of unity too.

What’s more?

When cyclists and equestrians don this uniform, they tend to detract from standard colors (e.g. yellow and orange). That’s because they have the freedom to incorporate their sense of style into their high visibility safety clothing.

3. Three Tiers of Hi-Vis Clothing

In most industries, high visibility safety clothing is classified into three different classes. The categories are divided according to risks and coverage.

Here’s a quick rundown of these classes:

  • Class 1 (Low Risk): These are suitable for parking lot attendants and warehouse workers. 
  • Class 2 (Medium Risk): They are uniforms for workers that require enhanced visibility garments. That includes trash collectors, traffic police, railway workers and others who face ongoing traffic in their work environment.
  • Class 3 (High Risk): This type of high visibility safety clothing provides full-body coverage. Emergency responders (e.g. fireman and highway workers) often wear this uniform.

The sub-divisions of these categories include hi-vis vests, coveralls, flame-resistant clothes, and other kinds of protective gear.

The Bottom Line

Long story short, high visibility safety clothing isn’t just shiny material that construction workers wear. Instead, it is a protective garment for thousands of workers across the industry. It is worn to ensure that these people stay safe and protected when they step out to work each day.

Want to buy a new uniform? Go to Work Clothing Warehouse to shop for premium quality hi-vis uniforms, FR jackets, coveralls, and more at affordable prices.


Add comment