Quick facts about Hi-Vis Clothing


High visibility wear has become an integral part of the personal protective equipment’s, PPEs, in many workplaces. Here are quick facts about this work wear.

What is a Hi- Vis Wear?

Any clothing material that has highly reflective properties might be categorized as High visibility clothing. At work sites, they are vests, trousers or waist coats with reflective stripes.

History of High Visibility Clothes

High visibility clothes were first won experimentally in 1964 by European Railway workers in Scotland. During the time, it was observed that putting on these clothes significantly reduced risks of accidents and injuries. Since then, they have been implemented at the construction site. Over the years, its use has extended to different workplace scenarios.

Who should put it on?

Hi-Vis clothing is necessary in at work areas that have heavy vehicular traffic. Therefore, the police, traffic wardens, highway workers, cyclists, and railway workers always put them on. Airport and car park attendants are also required to have them on.

Classes of high visibility clothing

All those involved in high-risk occupations are required by legislation, to put on high visibility clothes that meet specific standards. The European EN 471:2003 standard specifies three classes of visibility clothing namely Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3.

Class 1 clothing has the lowest visibility quality. An example is a high-Vis trouser having only a two 5cm strip of reflective bands around each leg. Class 2 is an intermediary visibility level. A vest that has two 5cm reflective bands fall into this category. Alternatively, it can have a single band on each should and another around the body.

Class 3 is the highest visibility level. Class 3 Hi-Vis clothing has two 5cm bands around the body and on the arms and braces of each shoulder. A class 1 Hi-Vis trouser becomes a class 3 when put on together with a class 3 jacket.