Visibility Work Uniforms & Who Should Wear Them?

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The protection of employees working at airports as part of ground crews and in the road construction industry are partly addressed by work uniform visibility requirements established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the US Highway Administration, including standards like ANSI/ISEA 107 for”high-visibility” clothes and required wearers to prevent injuries that could cause serious injury.

But what about other somewhat hazardous sectors that don’t fall under these high visibility regulations, such as non-road building, production, warehousing and distribution, automotive, transportation, and package delivery?

Workers in these and other businesses that operate near moving vehicles or equipment, who work at night or work under weather conditions making them harder to see, may also be protected by”enhanced visibility” work uniforms.

The choice of improved visibility work uniform leasing programs can further protect your at-risk employees than buying them in some circumstances, and be cheaper in the long term.

What’s the Difference Between High & Improved Visibility?

As previously mentioned, the demands of high visibility jackets and other apparel items are covered by ANSI standards and include using one of three colours for fluorescent background material behind the reflective fabric: red, orange-red and yellow-green. Thus, if you see these colors on a reflective work uniform, you know it’s high-visibility.

Enhanced visibility uniforms don’t have to meet ANSI standards, but they do stand out with reflective striping in vivid colors along the sleeves, across the front and back of shirts, and around pant legs.

Some companies buy enhanced visibility safety vests for their employees, but often quickly have problems ensuring they’re worn at all times, remain clean and aren’t lost – all of that defeats the original intent.

Because it’s what they use to work rather than something to wear over their street clothes, employees wearing enhanced visibility uniforms cannot just take them off whenever they feel like it. Rental services also ensure that workers always have clean uniforms for every day of the week.

Rental vs. Workplace Injury Prices

While it’s tough to estimate, the avoidance of a single injury is likely worth the additional price – certainly, lower workers compensation costs, insurance premiums and preventing OSHA fines is also appealing.

According to OSHA,”One widely-cited source concerning estimates of the magnitude of these costs is the Liberty Mutual Research Institute, which reports that the direct cost of the most disabling workplace injuries in 2008 to be $53 billion (Liberty Mutual Research Institute, 2010).

“Another source, the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), estimates the annual workers’ compensation benefits paid for all compensable injuries and illnesses in 2009 at $58 billion (National Academy of Social Insurance, 2011).