High visibility (hi vis) clothing is designed to make the wearer more visible to others, especially in low-light conditions. It is typically used by workers in occupations where there is a risk of being struck by moving vehicles or machinery, such as construction, roadwork, and traffic management. Hi vis clothing can also be used by cyclists, pedestrians, and joggers who want to be more visible to motorists.
The Regulations Governing Hi Vis Clothing in the UK
The main regulation governing the use of hi vis clothing in the UK is the European standard EN ISO 20471:2013. This standard sets out the requirements for hi vis clothing, including the following:
- The colour of the clothing: Hi vis clothing must be fluorescent yellow or orange.
- The amount of reflective material: Hi vis clothing must have a certain amount of reflective material. The amount of reflective material required depends on the class of hi vis clothing.
- The size and placement of the reflective material: The reflective material on hi vis clothing must be a certain size and must be placed in certain locations. This is to ensure that the clothing is effective in making the wearer visible.
In addition to EN ISO 20471:2013, there may be other regulations governing the use of hi vis clothing in specific industries or workplaces. For example, the railway industry has its own specific requirements for hi vis clothing.
In the United Kingdom, there are a number of regulations governing the use of hi vis clothing. These regulations are designed to ensure that hi vis clothing is effective in making the wearer more visible and that it meets certain safety standards.
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. Clothing which conforms to the standard is marked with a pictogram like this:
The first number (X) indicates the class of conspicuity, this depends on the minimum area of conspicuous materials that are incorporated into the clothing, with Class 3 being the best and Class 1 the lowest; the second number (Y) indicates the retroreflection performance with Class 2 being more visible than Class 1 when seen in headlights during darkness. The standard gives specifications for coveralls, jackets, waistcoats, tabards, trousers and harnesses.
From July 1995, new clothing must be 'CE' marked to show it meets the new European rules on the manufacture of PPE. Remember: the CE mark only means that the clothing meets the standard. It does not mean it can be used in all situations. HV clothing must be suitable for the actual conditions of use.
The Benefits of Hi Vis Clothing
Hi vis clothing offers a number of benefits, including:
- Increased visibility: Hi vis clothing makes the wearer more visible to others, especially in low-light conditions. This can help to prevent accidents and injuries, as drivers and other workers are more likely to see and avoid people wearing hi vis clothing.
- Improved safety: Hi vis clothing can help to improve safety in a number of ways. For example, it can help to reduce the risk of accidents involving moving vehicles or machinery. It can also help to improve the visibility of pedestrians and cyclists, which can help to prevent accidents involving motorists.
- Increased confidence: Hi vis clothing can also give the wearer a feeling of increased confidence. This is because it can make the wearer feel more visible and protected from accidents.
Who Is Required to Wear Hi Vis Clothing?
In the UK, there is no law that requires everyone to wear hi vis clothing. However, there are a number of occupations and activities where hi vis clothing is considered to be essential for safety. These include:
- Construction work
- Traffic management
- Railway work
In these occupations and activities, employers are required to provide hi vis clothing to their employees and their employees are required to wear it.
Hi vis clothing is an important safety tool that can help to prevent accidents and injuries. In the UK, there are a number of regulations governing the use of hi vis clothing. These regulations are designed to ensure that hi vis clothing is effective in making the wearer more visible and that it meets certain safety standards.
If you are required to wear hi vis clothing, it is important to make sure that you are wearing clothing that meets the relevant regulations. You should also make sure that you are wearing the clothing correctly. By following these simple steps, you can help to keep yourself safe.
Please see our full range of Hi Vis as outlined below: