Maintaining the complete safety of the professionals on the worksite is a legal obligation and moral duty of every organization. Personal protective equipment and safety gear have become integral here. A Hi-vis uniform is one such predominantly used workwear. There is a certain obligation about the same, and the manufacturer of hi-vis uniform must adhere to all these guidelines, ensuring the complete safety of the worker. Let’s understand more about it.
What Is the Hi-Vis Uniform?
Hi, vis uniform refers to a type of apparel specially made to keep employees visible and safe at their workplace. These items are made with fluorescent or highly reflective materials, so they can be easily seen against almost any background. Since this uniform is worn as a safety measure to prevent accidents, the Australian Standard has laid down several guidelines for Hi-vis uniform suppliers. These guidelines must be adhered to ensure that the workers are fully protected.
Poor visibility is one of the major causes of accidents at workplaces. Hi, vis workwear is recommended for employees who work with or around machines and vehicles in work zones affected by poor visibility. Also, Hi-vis uniforms are recommended for those workers who work at night or in inclement weather conditions as they are at a higher risk. The onus falls on the Hi-vis uniform suppliers to provide superior quality apparel for these workers.
Australian Standards For Hi-Vis Uniform Suppliers
The Australian Standards guidelines for the workwear industry in Australia that manufacture hi-vis uniforms are:
- Australian Standard AS/NZS 1906.4.2010 – a standard for the colors used for visibility
- Australian Standard AS/NZS 4602.1.2011 – a standard for the garment requirements
- Australian Standard AS 4399:2020 – relating to the ability to provide UV radiation
This standard refers to the colors that must be used by hi vis uniform suppliers to obtain high visibility levels in hi-vis workwear. It specifies the photometric, colorimetric, and physical properties that the materials of the hi-vis uniform must include. Based on the three above-mentioned properties, the uniform material can be categorized into three classes:
- Class F – Fluorescent fabric for Day Use Only, such as hi-vis yellows and hi-vis oranges
- Class R – Reflective fabric is applicable for night use only. A 3M reflective tape is added to the material. It must be taken into consideration that with regular washing of Class R materials, the reflective properties of the material start disintegrating, and the effectiveness of the uniform reduces. So, according to hi vis uniform suppliers, most reflective tapes remain Australian Standard compliant only till about 30 washes.
- Class RF – Both Fluorescent and Reflective fabric for Day/Night Use
Australian Standard AS/NZS 4602.1.2011
According to the Australian Standards, materials classified as high visibility for daytime use must be manufactured from a durable fabric of woven or knitted cotton or similar man-made fiber that contains a fluorescent pigment or other high visibility dye. A fluorescent plastic coating can also be applied to obtain the required levels of visibility. The materials are subjected to several tests by hi-vis uniform suppliers to meet specified minimum requirements for:
- Color retention to light
- Color retention in washing
- Color retention to perspiration
There Are 3 Classes Within The Standard For Different Times Of Day:
- Class D = Daytime use- An example of this is yellow/navy polo without tape
- Class N = Nighttime use, using retroreflective material- Black security jacket with tape.
- Class D/N = Day/Night use- An example of this is yellow polo with refractive tape
Australian Standard AS 4399:2020
This standard refers to retro-reflective materials and devices used for road traffic control and has been classified as:
Fluorescent fabric can only be used during the day. There is an additional classification of NF for non-fluoro compliance garments made from natural fiber fabrics such as cotton or wool.
This is for reflective fabric designed for night use only.
This refers to fluorescent and reflective fabric for both day and night.
It is essential that hi-vis uniform suppliers strictly adhere to the Australian Standard guidelines and manufacture high-quality clothing that ensures the safety of those workers who are constantly exposed