The need for visibility in work environments is crucial for employee safety. This is of utmost importance, particularly for workers around moving equipment and vehicles. With that in mind, people who want to avoid accidents should use high-visibility garments alert car and equipment operators to the workers’ presence, especially in dimly lit environments.
There are various types of high-visibility apparel among road safety equipment. The user’s work environment and level of risk dictate the kind of high-visibility clothing that he or she should wear. Here are the OSHA-recommended types of high-visibility garments:
Type O Garments
This type of high-visibility apparel is a Class 1 gear, and it provides the least amount of reflective material needed for the visual differentiation of a wearer and other backgrounds. It provides nighttime and daytime visual conspicuity for employees in work environments that have occupational hazards. These hazards include machinery, equipment, and vehicles. Type O apparel is ideal for off-road use. It is suitable for miners, parking service attendants, refinery workers and those in gas and oil extraction. Note that for these garments to be practical on the road, equipment and vehicle speeds should not go beyond 25 miles per hour. Additionally, there should be enough space left between the vehicular traffic and the workers.
Type R Garments
Safety apparel in this category can either be in Class 2 or 3 of the safety apparel. Class 2 garments have extra high-visibility material that effectively defines the human structure. Class 3 garments give even greater worker visibility, showing full body motions, particularly in an unclear background. These apparels provide nighttime and daytime visual conspicuity for employees in industrial hazard environments. Hazards include exposure to highway traffic, public-access construction equipment and vehicles within a temporary traffic controlled zone. Type R garments are suitable for workers in road construction, airport baggage handlers, towing operators and school-crossing guards.
Type P Garments
Apparels in this category can be either Class 2 or 3. They enhance visual conspicuity during daytime and at night. They are commonly used for public safety. They enhance the visual conspicuity of law enforcement officers, firefighters, road closure personnel and incident and emergency responders in hazardous work environments. These include settings with highway traffic and equipment in temporary traffic control zones.
In the end, there is no perfect choice when dealing with high-visibility apparel. However, there is only one choice for you depending on your area of operation. Therefore, before choosing, you should understand the visibility requirements in your line of work. High-visibility garments can be coupled with accessories like gloves, headgear and armbands for enhanced conspicuity. A critical area that should be addressed for high-visibility apparel is service life. The garments last for about six months if worn daily or three years for those used infrequently. However, this primarily depends on the manufacturer. All noticeably soiled, faded, and damaged garments should be promptly replaced. If you need help selecting the right high-visibility apparel, you should immediately consult an expert. Doing so will spare you from plenty of stress.