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The 3 Levels of Hi-Vis Protection

Posted by Jack Durant at

A no-brainer when it comes to safety in the workplace, hi-vis protection has been used since 1964 in the United Kingdom – first implemented as an experimental method for rail workers – which has since expanded across many industries.

Often characterised by bright, fluorescent jackets with reflective strips sewn into the fabric, this type of workwear is now utilised by many occupations, including the emergency services, railway and highway workers and also cyclists for recreational safety.

Active Workwear have been supplying safety wear solutions for years and are well-versed in the importance of quality workwear with regards to ensuring the wellbeing of employees. Here’s a rundown of the three levels of protection that come with hi-vis products:

Class 1: Lowest Protection Level

For jobs that would benefit from that extra bit of visibility, but it isn’t a vital requirement, Class 1 hi-vis workwear would prove a good purchase. These garments can be identified by their retroreflective bands at no less than 50mm wide, minimum amount of retroreflective material at 0.10m and minimum of 0.14m sq background material.

Class 2: Intermediate Protection Level

If the project you are working on requires that you work near or on roads, or any other environments that could be considered high risk, you will need to opt for intermediate protection from Class 2. Perhaps a hi vis waterproof jacket as standard, keeping your employees warm, dry and safe from passing cars or similar dangers.

The classification of Class 2 garments is that they must have bands of retroreflective material at least 50mm wide, with the background minimum 0.5m sq.

Class 3: Highest Protection Level

For high speed roads or similar dangers from vehicles or those nearby, a long-sleeved Class 3 option must be utilised. These are characterised by the following: the bands of retroreflective material must be no less than 50mm wide, with a minimum background material of 0.8m sq.

Additionally, the garment must have long-sleeves that feature a reflective band around the sleeve. These garments will also have shoulder bands, to make the wearer visible even when leaning or bending over.

The best kind of hi-vis to opt for is high visibility waterproof material, to offer that extra element of versatility. There’s nothing worst than getting caught in a rain storm whilst in the midst of a long overnight job. Peruse our range of high vis waterproofs here

Alternatively, if you would like to contact us for advice and guidance on the best purchases for your employees or yourself, feel free to call or email, and one of our professional advisors will be on hand. With years of experience, we’re adept at uniting companies with their ideal work uniforms.

The importance of safety wear isn’t something to be neglected, as it can lead to downtime in the work environment, or even fatalities in extreme cases. Active Workwear are passionate about promoting the importance of protection – nobody should go to work wondering whether or not they’re going to be seriously hurt that day.


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