High-Visibility Workwear: Why & Where It’s Needed

Whether you are a construction worker, a project manager, or someone who works in the outdoors all day long, having the proper safety equipment is crucial to doing your job correctly and keeping yourself and your team safe. High-vis workwear is worn to alert those around the construction area that there are workers present, including ones that may be operating vehicles. You often see this type of workwear worn in low light or poor visibility conditions, especially around sites that have moving vehicles or machinery.


When Is High Visibility Safety Wear Required?

High-visibility safety gear is required when the nature of the work has the following:

  • Moving machinery being operated by workers
  • Outdoor tasks done in low-lighting
  • Any tasks that require the workers to be exposed to heat or flames
  • Any work done by the roadside near traffic
  • Any environment where workers may be hard to see, like in urban cities
  • In any inclement weather such as: rain, hail, and snow
  • In any environment that may have distractions other than the workers present
  • Any environment where the workers need to be visually identifiable, such as: police road stops, construction zones, and outdoor electrician wiring


Do I Wear Fluorescent or Retroreflective Safety Gear?

When it comes to choosing your high-vis workwear, you should determine whether you want gear that is fluorescent or retroreflective.


Fluorescent workwear takes ultraviolet light from the sun and reflects it back to the viewer as brighter visible light. This type of hi-vis workwear can only be worn if there is a source of natural light, but is excellent for enhancing daytime visibility.


Retroreflective workwear returns the light in the direction of the light source, hence the name being reflective. This type of material is good for low light conditions and should not be used on sunny daytime conditions.