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High Visibility Information

High Visibility Information

The requirements and the facts

Being struck by a moving vehicle is the second most common cause of death in the workplace today and accounted for 17% of all fatal injuries in 2002/3. It is therefore essential that any high visibility garments issued to employees conform to all relevant performance standards (EN 471, European Standard for High Visibility Clothing), and are worn and maintained correctly for maximum protection.

So what does this mean?

In order to comply with all UK and European legislation, you need to ensure that the high visibility garments you buy comply with the following: High visibility clothing conforming to EN ISO 20471 (EN471:2003), Table 1, Class 2 or 3, which must be worn at all times. The colour of the background materials should normally be fluorescent yellow from Table 2 of EN ISO 20471 (EN471:2003). The retro-reflective materials should comply with Table 5. Reflective material enhances your visibility in low light situations. This reflective material returns light to a light source ? such as vehicle headlights ? creating a bright image that motorists are more likely to see from a distance. As a result, motorists and pedestrians have more time to react.

Hi Visibility Garment Types

Hi-Vis garment types are grouped into three classes based on the conspicuity provided, with the classes dictating the minimum quantities of background and retro-reflective materials to be used.

Class 3 Highest Protection Level

Band of retro-reflective materiel shall not be less the 50mm wide. Minimum background material 0.80m². Minimum retro-reflective material 0.20m². A revised version of EN ISO 20471 was published in March 2004. One of the major changes in this version is that horizontal reflective bands can now have an incline of +20°.

Class 2 Intermediate Protection Level

Band of retro-reflective materiel shall not be less the 50mm wide. Minimum background material 0.50m². Minimum retro-reflective material 0.13m².

Class 1 Lowest Protection Level

Band of retro-reflective materiel shall not be less the 50mm wide. Minimum background material 0.14m². Minimum retro-reflective material 0.10m². Where enhanced visibility is an advantage, but for limited risk/off road purposes only.

Highway agency manual of contract documents for highway works

Produced by the Highways Agency for all its contractors working on main or trunk roads in the UK. All those working on or near the roads should wear high visibility warning clothing (Class 2 or 3) complying to EN ISO 20471 paragraph 4.2.3(b). Shall have two horizontal bands of retroreflective material not less than 50mm apart from around the torso and bands of retro-reflective material joining the uppermost torso band from the front to the back over each shoulder'. In addition on motorways or other high speed roads full length sleeved garments should also comply with paragraph 4.2.4 Full length sleeves'.

Care and maintenance hi-visibility garment tips

  • The dirtier a Hi-Vis garment gets, the less effective it becomes.
  • Make sure that garments are washed regularly, or disposed of when permanently soiled.
  • Do NOT allow sections to be cut off or removed - the level of protection they provide depends on the areas of fluorescent and retro-reflective materials included within the garment.
  • Make sure that the garment is worn fastened at all times to ensure maximum protection and reduce the risk of entanglement with moving machinery etc.