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Wear What Can Be Seen

When workers are out doing a job on a highway, a busy crossroad or even a suburban neighborhood, they should always be seen by the potential hazards that could be faced. According to the CDC, fatal work-related injuries at roadway construction sites average 124 worker deaths per year. This is why OSHA standards require employees to wear high-visibility garments in two specific circumstances:

  • When they work as flaggers
  • When they are exposed to public vehicular traffic in the vicinity of excavations

However, other construction workers in highway/road work zones are also exposed to the danger of being struck by the vehicles operating near them.

But why not just wear a bright colored shirt? Does it have to be fluorescent?

Fluorescent yellow-green, orange and red are all approved hi-viz colors because the human eye is most sensitive – and thus responds most quickly – when it sees them. Unlike other colors on the visible spectrum, they’re not subject to the “graying” effect that impacts other colors in low light environments. The reflective properties come from retro-reflective strips on the garment that reflect light back to its original source, just as headlights do. The key to maximizing hi-viz safety features is to choose clothing that will provide the most contrast between a worker’s body and their surroundings. Fluorescent colors and highly reflective tape are the most unnatural colors, therefor people will recognize it.

shop hi-viz vests (1)

Wearing high-visibility clothing is the smartest choice and the legal choice of action. By definition, hi-viz has color properties that are easily discernible from any background. The need to be seen by those who operate vehicles or equipment is recognized as a critical issue for worker safety. The sooner a worker in or near the path of travel is seen, the more time the operator has to avoid an accident.

Looking for high-visibility clothing? Ritz Safety has your back:

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