Even though we’re past the shortest day of the year, Canadian winters are known for their lack of daylight hours, and snow and blustery conditions can further hamper visibility. If you work outside in Canadian winters, you not only need good, warm boots and work clothes, but ones that make you visible to drivers of all types of vehicles – be they your coworkers or people using the road you’re working on. High visibility work wear is designed for low light conditions and dramatically reduces the chance of injury by vehicle strike. Even workers in warehouses can benefit from high visibility clothing as it increases the chance of them being seen by operators of forklifts and other vehicles in the work environment.
What Makes Something High Visibility
To be considered high visibility work wear, clothing items must meet the CSA standards for visibility which include:
- A waist-level horizontal stripe/band that goes completely around the HVSA.
- Two vertical stripes on the front passing over the shoulders and down to the waist.
- A symmetric "X" on the back extending from the shoulders to the waist.
Another feature of high visibility clothing is the contrast. Whether it’s orange and silver stripes on a yellow shirt, yellow and silver stripes on orange pants, or yellow and silver stripes on a black jacket, all high visibility clothing includes contrast. This is because the human eye responds best to high contrast, bright colours, and moving parts.
If you think about safety vests that crossing guards or police officers on traffic duty wear, they meet these guidelines exactly and it helps them do their jobs safely. You can purchase high visibility work wear either as standalone items such as a vest that goes over whatever else you are wearing, or as specialty products. At Work Authority, we carry a large range of high visibility work wear from coats for every season to pants and overalls, to t-shirts and vests – everything you need to be seen at work.