A Guide to Workwear
In our protective clothing section you'll find specialist work wear, or PPE, for hazardous work where your eyes, ears, head, hands and feet need extra protection. Ear defenders, goggles, helmets and safety footwear are not only advisable in certain environments but mandatory. High visibility work wear, or Hi Vis work wear, ensures that you can be seen clearly at all times – particularly important if you are working near roads and/or vehicles.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) – Some considerations
- Risk suitability. Your choice of clothing should take into account ambient and artificial lighting as well as weather conditions like fog and snow. In environments with vehicles, for example, marshallers and maintenance workers should wear clothes which stand out. As a general rule, the darker it is the more high visibility (HV) clothing should be worn.
- Job suitability. As well as considering visibility, clothes should be suitable for the job at hand. Loose clothing, for example, can get caught in machinery or it may be too hot to wear a full HV coat. In both cases a high visibility vest may be more appropriate than a coat.
- User suitability. Comfort is important too. Well fitted clothing makes it easier for the worker to move about. PPE clothing should restrict the wearer as little as possible.
- Compatibility. PPE clothing for different safety precautions should work together. If visibility is important, high visibility clothing should be worn on top of other protective garments.
- Recognised standards. Clothing should be compatible with standards and regulations like BS EN 471, the harmonised European standard for high visibility clothing. HV clothing must be provided free of charge and be clean and in good working order. Storage must be available for this clothing. Employers must provide information on and supervise its use,
For more information, see the Health and Safety Executive's factsheet on high visibility clothing.
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