Hi-viz in warm weather


Approximately ten percent of all occupational deaths are from struck-by accidents, and that number increases to 26 percent in the construction industry, according to OSHA. With the weather getting warmer and the layers of clothing coming off, it’s important to make sure that the layer of high-visibility apparel stays on. Also make sure you are complying with the requirements of the 2009 revision of the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices). The revised MUTCD requires all workers within the right-of-way to wear ANSI 107 Class 2 or Class 3 compliant apparel. The compliance date is December 31, 2011.

The compliance challenge

One of the biggest challenges facing employers created by meeting the rules of the new MUTCD is actually getting workers to wear the required high-visibility apparel properly and at all times. Since a vest is worn as the outermost layer, it is often removed during the day or many days simply left behind in the truck. And vests might not be closed in the front, leaving the worker vulnerable to operators and drivers that cannot easily see them.

Improving use of high-visibility apparel centers around comfort. Cotton fabrics are being replaced with polyester blends that help wick moisture away from the skin and increase comfort.

Vests are worn over duck jackets or over top of tee-shirts or sweat shirts, depending on the weather. If it rains, a traditional yellow rain suit is put on and possibly the vest is worn over the top. But now that the onus is on the employer to ensure that his employees are wearing the proper high-visibility apparel, changes need to be made to properly protect everyone.

Other options

Start thinking about ANSI 107-compliant sweatshirts in either Class 2 or Class 3. Made of polyester materials, the sweatshirts provide the warmth and durability of a traditional sweatshirt, with the added high-visibility protection.

Sweatshirts are more likely to be laundered and remain cleaner during their useful lifetime. High-visibility sweatshirts are offered by a number of manufacturers in a variety of styles and configurations. Some of the more popular designs incorporate black material in certain areas to help conceal dirt and keep the sweatshirts looking newer longer.

Once the weather gets even warmer, sweatshirts can give way to tee-shirts with traditional tee-shirts being replaced with class 2 or class 3 tee-shirt styles. The use of a high-visibility tee-shirt virtually ensures compliance if worn alone.

Similar to sweatshirts, the tee-shirts are made mostly of polyester fibers, which help keep the material colorfast. Tee-shirts are offered in a few different styles and fabric types from a somewhat traditional feel to more advanced moisture management types like birds eye polyester that is common in sports apparel.

Worthy investment

Investing in high-visibility tee-shirts and sweatshirts is greater than a standard vest, but the cost is very comparable to non high-visibility apparel. For more information on the ANSI 107 standard, visit the website for the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), the trade organization that publishes the standard. There is also a buyer’s guide available on the website that lists a number of manufacturers for ANSI 107 compliant apparel.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

Recent Articles by Brian Nutt

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

4/14/15 2:00 pm EDT

RISK-BASED SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: Key Components for Applying Risk Tools to EHS Efforts

Join us for this webinar as we discuss how you can make effective use of risk analysis and risk management technology to guide efforts within your organization. We will distinguish between risk analysis and risk management; and identify some of the software tools that will help proactively identify, document, mitigate, and prevent high-risk events. You will learn how to improve compliance, reduce risk, and cut costs in your organization using these automated tools.

ISHN Magazine


2015 April

Check out ISHN's April issue, which features content about lockout-tagout, heat stress, hearing protection and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.