When is High-Visibility Clothing Required?

Jun 30, 2022

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Is high-visibility clothing required? The answer is certainly a requirement for working in hazardous situations. However, the type of clothing you should wear will depend on your work environment. If you’re working on a construction site where there is heavy machinery and other moving objects, it is highly recommended that you wear high-visibility clothing. This will allow other people to see you clearly even in the dark or at night.

High-visibility clothing helps keep workers safe on the road, as well as being useful when walking or cycling on public land.

What is High-Visibility Clothing?

High-visibility clothing is a key form of personal protective equipment, often shortened to PPE. This clothing will often incorporate reflective strips and fluorescent colours such as neon yellow or orange. Implementing high-visibility clothing into your business will improve the visibility of the wearer. In addition, this is especially important at night and in poor weather conditions when attempting to reduce the risk of injuries.

High-visibility clothing is designed to protect the wearer by increasing their visibility. Generally, protective high-visibility workwear is utilised when lighting is limited or in areas with heavy machinery or blind spots.

As a business, it is vital to provide employees with the necessary PPE to perform their job role safely. We sell high-visibility clothing in many forms. It can be purchased as high-visibility jackets, vests, trousers, cycling wear, hats, backpacks and much more. High-visibility clothing is an essential part of your overall safety strategy, not just for workers but also for customers and pedestrians in the vicinity. When you consider that a large percentage of pedestrian injuries on roads are due to car drivers failing to see them, it’s clear why high-visibility clothing is so important.

High-visibility clothing has been around since the late 1950s. When it was first introduced, it helped to combat foggy conditions on construction sites. Since then, it has become an essential part of workwear. Now high-visibility clothing is available to buy for both men and women from many retailers across the UK.

For more information on protective workwear, click here

high visibility workwear

When is High-Visibility Clothing Required?

When is high-visibility clothing required in the UK? The answer is pretty much all the time, especially in higher-risk job roles. As we’ve already seen high-visibility clothing is a requirement in temporary traffic management situations.  It’s also required when working on or near roadworks, such as construction sites or utility repairs.

Construction Workers & Road Construction Workers

High-visibility clothing required in construction must meet the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 as an essential component of personal protective equipment. High-visibility clothing helps to protect workers from serious accidents such as being hit by a vehicle. It also helps to keep construction workers visible while they are working in hazardous conditions, such as when there is fog or poor visibility on the road.

If your employer has a policy requiring construction workers to wear high-visibility clothing, then you should follow it.  Your employer is obligated to provide the necessary equipment for this purpose and will not charge you for its use if it remains in good condition and is returned on time when no longer needed.

High-visibility clothing should be worn in all construction locations where vehicles or plants are operating. This includes drivers when they leave their vehicles. This is generally because of the greater speed and the number of other vehicles. Construction workers in temporary traffic management situations may be required to wear a higher quality form of high-visibility clothing.

Rail Workers High-Visibility

Railway uniforms and clothing must conform to RIS 3279 TOM in order to ensure your safety, comfort, and protection. You may have to wear a high-visibility jacket or vest, as well as reflective strips or bands on your clothing. These items are designed to improve your visibility at night and in poor weather conditions. In the United Kingdom, rail workers are required to wear orange high-visibility clothing whenever they work on or near the track.

Heavy Equipment Operators

Operators of heavy equipment must wear protective clothing in order to minimise the risk of injury. If you are operating a machine that requires personal protective equipment, it is your responsibility to ensure that you wear it at all times. This includes safety glasses, high-visibility,  goggles, as well as protective headgear.

The high-visibility clothing required provides protection against injury. Helping keep workers safe when working on-site is vital. We utilise hi-vis the most during night shifts or roles that involve being outside after dark.

Other jobs that require high-visibility include:

  • Engineering & utility workers
  • Emergency responders
  • Crossing & parking attendants
  • Airport ground crews
  • Road sweepers 
  • Event security
  • Rubbish collection workers
electrical arc flash clothing

What Does High-Visibility Clothing Look Like?

A piece of high-visibility clothing is required to be made from strong, durable materials. For example, cotton is a popular choice for many workwear pieces as it’s comfortable and easy to clean.

Other important characteristics include:

Reflectivity: You’ll find this in the form of reflective strips on the shoulders or back. These are designed to make you more visible at night or in poor weather conditions, so they’re essential for anyone who works outside during low-light hours.

Brightness: Most garments will be bright yellow or orange with black reflective bands around the cuffs and waistline. The brightness level depends on where you live; in some countries like Colombia, visibility gear must be unusually bright compared to other countries because there are fewer streetlights available!

Durability: The roles that require high visibility tend to be subject to harsher conditions both with weather or physically through manual labour. The clothing must be durable enough to withstand the elements and last through multiple cycles of washing.

Comfortable: Easy to clean and easy to wear. Wearing these garments over long periods of time can be uncomfortable so ensuring your workwear fits properly is essential. Comfortable is essential for the wearer and should be considered when choosing workwear. The clothes you wear must fit properly, allowing you to move around freely without feeling restricted or restricted by loose clothing that could get caught on something.

Amazing Facts About High-Visibility Clothing

Here we just wanted to share with you some amazing facts about high-visibility clothing! As you may know, we are a fire safety specialist that also sells high-visibility workwear and other PPE safety wear. We’ve been in business for over 50 years and we love sharing our knowledge with our customers.

  1. High-visibility clothing was first trialled in 1964.
  2. High-visibility clothing has been used for over 50 years.
  3. High-visibility clothing was first used on the Scottish region of British Railway.
  4. Many motorbike riders and cyclists wear high-visibility to alert drivers of their presence.
  5. High-visibility clothing was invented by an American called Bob Switzer in the 1930s.
  6. High-visibility reflective tape is made from plastic vinyl.
  7. Lifejackets are orange because it contrasts heavily with the blue of the sea.
  8. If high-visibility clothing isn’t cleaned, it isn’t as effective. The bright colours become dull with dirt.
  9. high-visibility clothing required can be tailored to your business needs with custom-printed logos and embroidery.
  10. Rail workers wear orange high-visibility as often they are in green environments where yellow wouldn’t be prominent.
  11. High-visibility clothing must conform to EN ISO 20471 in Europe.

If you’re walking at night and you see a person wearing high-visibility clothing, they’re probably required to wear it for their protection. High-visibility clothing is worn by people who work in construction, utility companies, and many other industries. It’s also worn by many police officers and firefighters. The clothing is designed to make the wearer more visible in a wide range of situations.

Popular Items of High-Visibility Clothing

As a general rule, any work clothing that’s fluorescent orange, yellow or lime green is considered high-visibility. This includes vests, jackets, hats, trousers, shirts and socks.

Workers who drive vehicles at night or in poor weather conditions may need to wear high-visibility aprons or overalls.

High-visibility standards

orange high visibility workwear


The high-visibility clothing required will vary based on your job role. In addition, high-visibility is a necessity for many workers in the UK. From road workers and construction workers to cyclists and farmers. It’s important that you understand when you will be required to wear it and how much visibility your clothing provides before buying any new pieces of apparel.

If you’re unsure about what high-visibility clothing you require for your job, please contact us. We have a team of experts who can help you choose the right garments for your specific role and make sure you are compliant with all relevant regulations.

What Is Workwear?

Workwear is a type of clothing worn for work or other activities. It often has special features that make it suitable for a specific activity, such as protection from chemicals or high temperatures. It may also be designed to make the wearer more comfortable, for example, by allowing easy movement. Workwear is designed to be durable, reliable and appropriate for the task at hand. It’s often made from strong materials that can withstand harsh conditions or heavy use. The high-visibility clothing required in most roles will be heavy-duty or sturdy enough to last in harsh conditions.

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