High Visibility Safety Apparel (HVSA) is the kind of clothing that industrial workers wear to enhance their visibility in the workplace. HVSA is used in a work environment that is too dark or foggy, on roadways, in underground places, and during overnight projects. It’s a basic requirement to avoid any fatal incidents at work due to the low visibility of workers. HVSA includes reflective safety vests, bibs, coveralls, and hard hats.

Workplace safety should be among the top priorities of employers or managers. It doesn’t just include providing protective gloves, safety glasses, and hot or cold-sensitive gear. At manufacturing plants when someone uses a vehicle for lifting equipment, those who are working around must be seen by the vehicle handler. This is only possible when these employees will be provided with the best quality high-viz safety vest and kits.

Kinds of HVSA Materials

The HVSAs are made of two kinds of materials:

Fluorescent Material

This kind of substance takes a part of ultraviolet light from sunlight and sends it to the viewer as more visible light by using its special pigment. The fluorescent material will be visible and brighter than the material which is non-fluorescent especially in the dark working condition such as heavy snow, dark clouds foggy, etc. The offer greatest contrast against most of the backgrounds in the day-time with increased visibility.

Retroreflective Material

This type of substance is made to reflect the light back to its source. It helps the drivers at nighttime to see the person standing in front of them due to light reflecting from the retroreflective kit. They provide less contrast against most of the backgrounds hence they are not preferred to use during the daytime.

Classes of HVSAs

The CSA Z96-15 standard emphasizes that proper job-related hazard assessment should be carried out to examine and evaluate each worksite for potential workplace hazards to the workers. It focuses on factors like:

  • Amount of Body coverage from HVSA components
  • the colors and brightness of the background materials
  • retroreflective (the ability of the material to reflect light to its source) performance of the HVSA kit.

Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) notes that there are 3 classes of HVSAs:

  • Class 1 gives good visibility and the lowest body coverage
  • Class 2 gives better visibility and moderate body coverage
  • Class 3 gives visibility from a great distance, under poor light conditions, and the greatest body coverage

Conditions for Using HVSAs

According to CCOHS, the HVSAs are categorized as low risk, medium risk, and high-risk areas depending on working conditions.

Low-Risk Areas

Class 1 and Class 2 HVSAs are used in low-risk areas under different working conditions Examples of jobs include laborers reclaiming shopping carts in the parking lot., sidewalk maintenance workmen, and those working in shipping, etc.

Medium Risk Areas

Class 2 and Class 3 HVSAs are utilized in medium risk areas according to certain conditions. Examples of jobs include survey crews, utility workers, forestry employees, railways or roadway construction workers, tollgate staff, members of law enforcement, and airport ground crews, etc.

High-Risk Areas

Class 2 of HVSAs is used for daytime while Class 3 of HVSAs is used under low-light conditions. Examples of jobs include emergency responders, towing operators, flagging crews, utility workers, and roadway construction employees, etc.

Training on Using HVSAs

Like any other PPEs, workers or employees should be given proper training on how to use and take care of the HVSAs. Employees wearing HVSAs at the workplace should be given the following minimum guidelines for their proper use:

  • Significance of using HVSAs at site
  • Conditions under which the HVSAs should be used
  • What kind of kit to be worn and under what circumstances
  • How to maintain and store the HVSA apparel
  • Use the HVSA kit
  • Best ways to avoid wear and tear
  • Understanding the High visibility Safety clothing cleaning procedure

High visibility garments are seen as one of the most important aspects of workplace security. They provide your employees with the utmost safety from various tricky conditions of the challenging worksite.
Wildrose Garments manufactures high-quality workwear in Edmonton. Our main focus is to produce the finest safety garments like High-viz, and season-based wear like coveralls and jackets. We also provide embroidery and silk-screening services.

Author's Bio: 

Wildrose Garments provides top quality workwear garments across Canada. Coveralls, bib pants, parkas, shop coats, insulated workwear, hi-visibility workwear, Nomex and industrial workwear are some of the garments we supply.