Take a quick look around and notice which colors catch your eye first. Chances are it’s likely to be an extremely bright shade of red, orange, yellow or neon green. Bright, fluorescent colors are almost guaranteed to attract attention – after all, many animals use bright colors to attract mates and it’s not usual for stores to use bright colors to attract shoppers. High visibility shirts, vests and jackets are designed to be attention-getters, making them essential apparel for every job site.
It’s Safer for Workers
On any job site, the ability to see others and be seen is essential from a safety standpoint. The last thing any worker wants is to be invisible to fellow workers, especially those behind the controls of heavy machinery. Being unseen on an active job site is often a recipe for incidents that result in serious or even fatal injuries.
Visibility becomes even more important when work is done during nighttime or in other low visibility conditions, including rain and heavy fog. Even on a well-lit job site, it can be difficult for the naked eye to successfully spot someone without the help of visibility-enhancing gear. These conditions can sharply increase the likelihood of an accident.
The sharp color contrast between fluorescent high visibility clothing and the surrounding environment helps workers stand out from their surroundings,
It’s Safer for Passersby
Job sites can be just as perilous for passing pedestrians and motorists as it can be for workers. For instance, roadside construction projects offer an element of danger for both workers and the motorists who must pass through and watch out for workers during active times. Drivers can lose track of workers who, without the right attire, can seemingly melt into the background of cones, materials and other equipment.
By using fluorescent colors not found in nature, clothing that offers a high visibility element can help workers stand out from their immediate environment, making it easier for drivers to see them more easily and at greater distances. Retro-reflective details can help amplify and reflect limited amounts of light, making the wearer even more distinct under low-visibility conditions.
OSHA Rules Require High Visibility
High visibility shirts and other clothing aren’t just essential, in most cases. They’re also required attire for nearly every job site. Current guidelines set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) make it mandatory for workers in hazardous environments to don high visibility clothing as part of their personal protective equipment (PPE). This requirement is especially important for flaggers, who are at greater risk of being injured due to poor visibility and thus need the added protection.