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The Importance of High Visibility Clothing in the Workplace – 2024 Guide

The days where people look strangely at someone wearing a bright yellow or orange jacket are long gone. High visibility clothing is an accepted part of the working environment with health and safety being an essential part of any company guide.

The simple fact is that you expect to wear high visibility clothing and adopt a safe attitude while at work. Of course, this is complemented by using reputable suppliers of Hi-Vis workwear from But, accepting the need to wear this safety gear is not the same as understanding why it needs to be worn. High visibility clothing in the workplace is very important:

1. Visibility

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The first reason is given in the title of the clothing. If you’re dressed in black on the factory floor working with black machines, it’s going to be very easy for someone not to notice you. This is especially true if the foreperson is directing employees from an elevated position.

If you can’t be seen, then people may not be aware you’re there when moving things around or even changing settings on the machines. The results can be devastating as an accident occurs.

Wearing hi-vis ensures you are always visible to others in the workplace, and appropriate precautions will be taken to avoid or protect you. Don’t forget, in the modern workplace, much of the equipment is now electrically powered. That even applies to forklifts and other heavy machinery. The result is you may not notice them and, without hi-vis, they may not see you.

But, it’s not just about visibility to protect you from potential accidents. Having a hi-vis jacket on means, you’ll be instantly visible if you do have an accident. That can dramatically reduce the response time, potentially making a big difference to your recovery possibilities.

Many hi-vis clothing items are also reflective. This ensures you can be seen when the light levels are low—for example, working outside the factory, or on a building site with forklifts and other machinery. Or, working on a highway where the hi-vis ensures drivers and other workers can see you.

In short, you should be wearing hi-vis safety clothing anywhere where you could be seriously injured if not seen. In most circumstances, your hi-vis clothing will need to be visible from 1,000 feet. Complying with these official guidelines will help to ensure your staff is properly protected at all times.

2. Protection

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Some hi-vis items are simply outer garments designed to boost awareness of your presence. But, hi-vis can also provide a level of protection. If an employer knows that the employee will be at greater risk in certain riles, they can incorporate personal protection into the hi-vis clothing.

Of course, this won’t stop accidents from happening, but it can reduce the damage caused if an accident does happen to you.

This is why hi-vis clothing should always be issued in conjunction with risk assessments that are performed and regularly reviewed.

3. Identification

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When you have a crowd of people, it can be hard to see who belongs there, who works there, and who shouldn’t be there. High visibility clothing allows the relevant people to be easily spotted. This makes it much easier for them to move around a crowded space and to stay safe.

It also makes it easier for the management to move people around, ensuring there is always someone available where and when they are needed.

Hi-vis clothing also helps to remind employees that they are at work. In other words, the clothing reminds them of the standards that the company expects and encourages the employees to comply with it. It’s also a great way of including identification badges and reminding your employees of the importance of using them.

4. Team Spirit

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In the past, you may have been the odd-one-out by wearing a hi-vis jacket. However, today everyone wears them. This can help to create a team environment as employees can easily recognize each other and then start interacting.

That’s great for staff morale, which will also boost productivity. A happy team is always more productive.

Improving team spirit can also help to build loyalty, reducing the staff turnover rate. This isn’t just good for productivity and your profits. When staff stays longer you can save money on hiring costs, and you’ll find the staff is generally more open to making suggestions and improving the work environment/process.

5. Medical Aid

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It’s also worth noting that many companies use blue to signify medical aid. Instead of the traditional orange hi-vis, a medical or first responder will often wear a blue vest with “EMS” on it.

This signifies they are medically trained. The blue vest is still hi-vis and signifies to people that they need to let the trained professional through.

Knowing that blue means medical aid can also help if you’re the one looking for help. Blue vests stand out surprisingly well; spotting one when you need them can make a huge difference to the survival or recovery of any victim.

Don’t forget there are many different types of hi-vis vests, depending on whether you’re a hospital worker, road worker, or factory worker. Each class of hi-vis is designed with specific scenarios in mind. It’s important to ensure you provide the appropriate vest for your employees’ needs. This will help to ensure all the benefits of these hi-vis vests are gained, protecting your employees and helping to ensure your bottom line is maintained or improved.

Final Thoughts

In many cases, employers are obligated to provide high visibility clothing. However, whether obligated or not, there is clearly more to hi-vis than simply offering a little protection against safety risks.

As shown, something as simple as hi-vis can have a huge impact on the morale and productivity of the teams. If you haven’t got hi-vis already, you probably should have it. Your employees will thank you for it, and the company will prosper.

The use of hi-vis clothing tells other businesses, the government, and potential customers that you’re a serious company. They will know you are committed to the best possible work environment, and this can help convince them to work with you.

About Marisa Howard