FAQs About High Visibility Safety Apparel

Many industries supply high visibility safety apparel for their workers. Some of them include hi vis hoodies, jackets, vests, T-shirts, pants, sweatshirts, and rain gear. Here are some frequently asked questions about high visibility safety apparel.


What is the definition of high visibility safety apparel? It is anything that is worn that makes the wearer more visible to operators of equipment and people driving cars. It is particularly necessary in low light situations and night.


Are fluorescent and retro-reflective materials the same? Fluorescent material sends the natural light that hits the clothing out as more visible light. It only works in sunlight and is still effective in low light, like dusk, dawn and fog. It also provides a strong contrast to other colors. Retro-reflective material reflects light back to the source of that light. It is very useful in low light conditions but not in daylight. Some safety apparel is made of a combination of these two, offering better protection overall.


When is high visibility apparel needed? The apparel needed is dependent on the level of risk. This includes the amount of light, type of work, possibility of moving vehicles near workers and general work conditions.


What are the standards for the design of high visibility safety apparel? The national standards for apparel require a horizontal stripe around the waist, another one chest high for higher risk areas and two vertical stripes in the front from the shoulders to the waist stripe or upper stripe. For high risk areas, there should be bands around both arms and legs.


What colors are required? For all levels of risk, the approved colors are background material is fluorescent red, fluorescent orange-red and fluorescent yellow-green.


What should workers be told about the safety apparel? They need to know how to use it and when to wear it. The apparel should be properly maintained and stored. They should check often for wear and tear and know how to wash it.