At one time high-visibility clothing was set aside just for the police and emergency workers - but it appears that a lot more people are wearing hi-vis jackets and trousers in order to be seen at night.
What was once clearly sat in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) marketplace, high-vis workwear is now common place on our streets. Their highly reflective materials and colours make them ideal for kids, runners and especially cyclists who need to be clearly seen as dusk approaches.
The reflective properties of the materials that are used in high-viz clothing makes them extremely visible when seen in front of a light source such as the driver of a car with its headlights on.
There are a number of standards covering PPE and in particular High Visibility clothing - so it is worth taking an extra couple of minutes when making a purchase to ensure the garments are compliant.
EN 471:2003 Standard
EN471 is the European standard that covers high visibility clothing and details the specification for High-Visibility clothing.
There are three levels of protection:
EN 471 Class 1 - Class 1 defines the lowest visibility level e.g. High-visibility trousers with two 5 cm reflective bands around each leg. These become Class 3 when worn with a Class 3 jacket.
EN 471 Class 2 - The class 2 defines an intermediary visibility level. Example: vests. Two 5 cm bands of reflective around body or on one 5 cm band around body and braces to both shoulders.
EN 471 Class 3 - The class 3 defines the highest level of visibility. Example jacket with long sleeves, jacket and trouser suit. Two 5 cm bands of reflective tape around the body, arms and braces over both shoulders.
High Vis = Being Seen at Night
As the nights begin to draw in and it starts to get dark before many workers make their way home - staying safe has never been more important. Whether you are walking home from work, out for a jog or simply taking the dog for a walk - wearing a high-vis jacket or high visibility vest is one of the easiest ways in ensuring you are seen.