High visibility clothing (also known as hi vis) is a vital requirement where visibility to the wearer in any light condition is needed. High visibility clothing compliant with EN ISO 20471 must be worn and maintained correctly for maximum protection in high-risk situations.
Innovation in High Visibility Clothing
The design and function of hi vis clothing has evolved in recent years to meet the needs of both the wearer and the buyer. Hi Vis maternity clothing is now available for female staff including items such as the Lovacott Polo Shirt and the Verity Cargo Trouser (insert links), both of which are available in yellow and orange.
The increased demand for sustainable clothing has seen an explosion of health and safety workwear available to purchase. Ecoviz® from Leo Workwear conforms to ISO 20471 whilst constructed from fabrics derived either from recycled post-consumer clothing or recycled plastic bottles. Meanwhile the Safety Light range from Engel is made from 50% REPREVE® regenerated polyester made from recycled plastic bottles.
So, What Is EN ISO 20471?
This standard gives performance requirements for the colour, as well as the placement of the fluorescent and retroreflective materials. There are only three colours specified – fluorescent yellow, orange and red. There are also requirements for the colour fastness, dimensional stability, strength, and the water vapour resistance of the fluorescent and any non-fluorescent materials. The retro-reflective material is tested for photometric performance as new and after several pre-treatments.
What Are The Classes Of High Visibility Clothing?
All EN ISO 20471 compliant garments will have a label that shows the EN ISO 20471 icon and the relevant class number. These are:
These three classes are related to risk assessment and are defined by the minimum areas of background fluorescent and retro-reflective material. Class 3 garments provide the highest level of visibility with Class 1 being the lowest.
High-Visibility Class 1: Lowest level of visibility
Clothing such as hi-vis trousers that are worn separately from other hi-vis garments.
High-Visibility Class 2: Intermediate level of visibility
Items that commonly meet Class 2 include hi-vis sleeveless vests. Even though it is a single garment, they are worn at a more visible height and therefore comply with Class 2.
High-Visibility Class 3: Highest level of visibility
Class 3 can be achieved by wearing items rated as Class 3 including a hi vis jacket or hi vis coverall or by wearing jointly certified products that make up Class 3 based on the total area of fluorescent and reflective material.
Caring For Your High Visibility Clothing
When a Hi Vis garment becomes dirty or stained, the less effective it becomes. Items must be washed regularly or disposed of when permanently soiled.
When Should I Replace My High Visibility Clothing?
Hi Vis garments should be replaced when they are no longer compliant, damaged or every 6-12 months. They usually have a maximum wash lifecycle of approximately 25 washes before the reflective stripes are less visible and the fluorescent fabric loses colour. This will eventually lead to non-compliance.
What Colour Of High Visibility Clothing Do I Need?
Hi Vis clothing is available in a range of colours – fluorescent yellow, orange and red are the most popular choice although traditionally, fluorescent yellow is the most common colour for high visibility clothing.
Did You Know:
- Orange required for Rail work (RIS 3279)
- Orange doesn’t attract flies
- Some Sites use orange to identify Banksmen
- Yellow gives a better contrast if your logo is red
Can High Visibility Clothing Be Worn In Two-Tone Colours?
Yes! The design and appearance of hi vis clothing has evolved to not only meet the relevant safety standards but to also look smart and match a company’s branding including yellow and grey or orange and navy combinations.
Is There A Wide Choice Of High Visibility Clothing Available?
Of course! You can dress your team from top to toe in the largest range of Hi Vis workwear from Clad Safety including:
- Recycled clothing
- Comfort Range (including Joggers and Sweatshirts)
- Lightweight wicking fabrics
- Waterproof clothing
- Arc Flash workwear
Don’t forget… a Headlamp Torch provides extra visibility for the wearer as well as helping to illuminate your route.
View the full range of High Visibility clothing here.
Clad Safety has been operating for over 30 years and takes pride in the excellent service that we offer to our customers. Our product range, combined with expert technical advice allows us to offer valuable workwear solutions. For further information or to find out more on how Clad Safety can support your PPE needs please contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 161 3661 or email [email protected].