When do you Need Hi-Vis PPE?

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When do you Need Hi-Vis PPE?

If your workers are fixing a road after dark, the need for high-visibility safety gear is obvious. But there are lots of other places where the choice might not be as clear. Hi-vis PPE can keep your workers safer in many ways you may not have considered.
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By M.B. Sutherland, Sr. Copywriter, Magid

When do you need Hi-Vis PPE?

If your workers are fixing a road after dark, the need for high-visibility safety gear is obvious. But there are lots of other places where the choice might not be as clear. Hi-vis PPE can keep your workers safer in many ways you may not have considered.

Are you using hi-vis PPE in these 5 situations?

Icon of two workers social distancing

Working under Social Distancing Guidelines

Whether your jobsite is following local rules or implementing your own regulations, social distancing guidelines make communicating clearly over a distance even more important. Workers can use hand signals to communicate with others who are at least six feet away from them and their work stations to maintain sanitary boundaries. Hi-Vis PPE can help make sure that workers can clearly see hand signals and motions so everyone can keep in contact even at a distance.

Icon of a sun to represent outdoor working environments

Daytime Outdoor Conditions

If we know one thing about Mother Nature, it’s that she can change the day in a heartbeat. Is there a chance of precipitation? Is the sky overcast or might it be cloudy later? Is it fall or winter when skies tend to be more grey than bright and sunny? Is there a chance your workers will still be on the job near dusk? Any of these conditions can make workers in regular PPE less noticeable. When working outdoors, hi-vis gear can be just as important for daytime work as it is for night.

Icon of a warning sign to represent working with dangrerous materials

Working with Dangerous Materials

Hi-vis PPE is essential for making sure everyone else sees you. But it’s also useful to make sure you can see yourself. Extra-visible gear like gloves and sleeves let workers see where their hands are and helps other workers see the materials that everyone else is handling. If workers are moving large sheets of glass or other sharp or hot materials, high visibility can help people avoid contact with them – and that reduces accidents and injuries.

Icon of a group of people in crowded work environments

Crowded or Congested Work Environments

Busy plants or job sites with workers coming and going, often in a hurry, are ripe for collisions. Add in stacked materials, forklifts, and machinery in motion and the risk becomes even greater. Hi-vis PPE helps workers to see where everyone is at all times. Gear like hi-vis coveralls, vests, hard hats, gloves, or sleeves also serve to make human brains recognize the telltale shape of other humans. So they’re less likely to run into them or hit them with vehicles or objects.

Icon of sound waves near an ear to represent loud working conditions

Loud Environments

When we can’t use our ears, we tend to rely on our eyes. So the louder the shop floor or construction project, the more workers depend on hand signals and line-of-sight. Workers use hand signals to indicate the all-clear for moving vehicles, starting and stopping machinery, and lifting and lowering heavy loads, just to name a few. And of course, you can’t hear someone coming in a loud environment so you’re more dependent than ever on seeing each other. Hi-vis PPE helps to ensure that hand signals aren’t misinterpreted and that everyone is accounted for.

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What’s New in Hi-Vis Safety Wear?

While you can see almost anything better with some well-placed reflective tape, safety manufacturers are innovating better ways to keep workers seen all the time. Many manufacturers are producing easy-to-see gloves with higher cut levels than ever before. They’re also adding high-visibility palm coatings or even clear palm coatings on hi-vis glove shells for added safety. And you can now order gloves customized with an extra-noticeable safety slogan to remind workers to keep safety in mind.

In addition, hi-vis sleeves, coveralls and vests are becoming cooler and more comfortable with innovations in yarns and material fabrication. Other innovations like reflective embroidery and even yarn that glows in the dark will be available soon!

Enhanced visibility is a good idea no matter where you’re working. So take a look at your environment and check out where a little more visibility might equal a lot more safety.

Looking for more tips on improving your jobsite’s PPE program?