A guide for selecting compliant high-vis workwear

Total Image Group

Wednesday, 03 January, 2024

A guide for selecting compliant high-vis workwear

High-visibility workwear serves as the first line of defence for workers in high-risk settings such as construction sites, mines and warehouses. According to custom uniform and workwear specialists Total Image Group (TIG), when applied effectively, workwear becomes a crucial component of workplace safety. Its proper implementation not only averts minor mishaps, but also plays a pivotal role in preventing catastrophic incidents.

TIG has assembled a thorough checklist for employers, employees and safety professionals to assist them in crafting and procuring high-visibility workwear that aligns with the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4602.1:2011.

What are the key considerations?

1. Industry and context

Understanding the specific industry and context is the foundation for designing a safety-oriented uniform range. Varying safety requirements exist across industries, and uniforms should be tailored accordingly. For instance, construction sites necessitate high-visibility clothing to ensure workers are seen more easily, while healthcare settings require materials that withstand frequent, high-temperature washing.

2. Material selection

The choice of materials directly impacts safety. Consider flame-resistant fabrics for those dealing with open flames, while moisture-wicking materials are crucial for high-temperature environments. Materials should prioritise comfort, allowing for ease of movement, breathability and temperature regulation without compromising safety.

3. Visibility and reflectivity

In low-visibility environments, such as construction zones, incorporating reflective elements is essential. Strategic placement of reflective tapes or patches enhances visibility in low-light conditions, mitigating the risk of accidents.

4. Ergonomics and mobility

Safety extends beyond protective gear to include uniform design that facilitates movement and dexterity. Design uniforms that allow unrestricted movement, incorporating stretch fabrics or adjustable features to accommodate various body sizes and shapes.

5. Protective accessories

Certain industries require accessories like hard hats, gloves, goggles and respirators for employee safety. Design uniforms with practical storage options or attachment points for these accessories, ensuring easy accessibility.

6. Compliance with regulations

Uniform designs must adhere to relevant safety regulations and standards. Meeting AS/NZS 4602.1 standards for high-visibility clothing and compliance with specific safety guidelines for protective equipment is essential.

7. Durability and maintenance

Uniforms endure wear and tear, exposure to chemicals, extreme temperatures and repeated laundering. Design uniforms that are durable and easy to clean without compromising safety features. Provide proper care instructions to employees to prolong uniform lifespan.

8. Employee feedback

Incorporating employee feedback into the design process provides valuable insights into safety concerns and practical needs. Surveys or focus groups can gather insights on comfort, functionality and potential safety issues.

By considering these factors, organisations can create uniforms that not only reflect their identity but also prioritise the wellbeing and safety of employees. Balancing safety, functionality and aesthetics is the hallmark of a successful uniform design, fostering a secure and comfortable work environment.

Image credit: iStock.com/Sam Edwards

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