For employees working in industrial environments, the most important question to consider is “Can I be seen clearly?”
In certain conditions with low light or poor visibility, there is always the risk of getting struck by moving vehicles and heavy equipment. For this reason, it is highly recommended to wear hi-vis safety apparel.
Hi-Vis Work Wear
Hi-vis or high visibility garments come in the form of vests, shirts, polos, jackets, overalls and rain gear. These are the brightly coloured, reflective apparel often seen on roadside construction workers, policemen, traffic officials, and sometimes even motor cyclists.
Hi-vis clothing is made of fluorescent material which are attached with reflective tapes designed to make the wearer appear more visibly on site to avoid certain hazards. In the daytime, the material absorbs UV rays from the sun and then re-emits the light. During night time or low-light conditions, alternative light sources (such as torchlights) will react with the garment’s reflective material.
Australian Standards for High Visibility Safety Garments
If you’re looking to purchase hi-vis safety workwear for your employees, one of the most important things to consider is if your garments adhere to the Australian standards for safety. If you are already using hi-vis workwear, check below if your business is compliant.
The Australian Standard AS/NZS4602. 1:2011 specifies the following visual requirements for hi-vis workwear to be worn by employees who are exposed to hazards from moving vehicles, equipment, and other high-risk situations.
Class D – Class D garments are designed for daytime use only. They are intended to provide the wearer visibility under daylight viewing conditions only and are typically not effective during night time, dusk, dawn and under artificial light.
Class N – Class N garments are designed to provide visibility during the night when viewed under retro reflected light, such as headlights from a vehicle.
Class D/N – Class D/N garments provide high visibility under both daylight and nighttime conditions under retro reflected light.
Colours and Material
For normal conditions, required colours for hi-vis clothing are either red-orange or yellow (AS/NZS 1906.4:2010), and the approved colour should encircle the upper torso. The standard also allows certain industries to require hi-vis garments to be made from a background material that is not capable of taking a fluorescent pigment, such as certain natural fibres or a non-fluorescent colour (Class NF).
For Class N garments, retroreflective materials should meet the requirements specified in AS/NZS 1906.4. The retroreflective material should be applied to clothing in strips about less than 50mm wide in size to at least the minimum pattern required per style of garment. Different styles include the ‘H’ pattern, ‘X’ pattern and hoop pattern.
There should also be a minimum of 0.2 m² hi-vis background material on the front and back of the garment. Screen-printed or embroidered logos, silver retroreflective material and anything added to the garment should not be included in the 0.2 m² measurement.
Some industry workers may be exposed to direct sunlight during work hours. If this is the case, make sure that your hi-vis garments are UV protected in compliance with the Australian safety standards. According to the Australian Standard AS/NZS4399, hi-vis workwear should have a UPF rating of 40-50+ Excellent.
Smack Bang ensures that your business is adhering to these standards by offering only the highest quality and safety-compliant hi-vis workwear. Browse our extensive collection of hi-vis shirts, vests, polos, jackets and overalls now. If you need help building a safety workwear range for your business, you can always speak to us!