Protective and High Visibility Clothing Is Essential to Many Workers


Orange safety vest

For executive officers at large corporations the standard attire is a suit and a tie. For chefs in bustling kitchens the typical uniform is a chef’s hat, comfortable shoes and a front button jacket that can be easily changed if it gets too dirty. For a interstate construction worker necessary clothing involves high visibility work shirts, protective footwear, and safety rain apparel if needed. In fact, of all the required and expected work clothes that are included with many careers, there is a strong argument to be made that high visibility clothing may be the most important.

For workers who find themselves out in the elements and near fast moving traffic, being visible is essential. In fact, federal regulations often indicate exactly how much and what kind of clothing is needed. For many companies, however, the decision to make sure that a worker is seen and safe is so important that they require their employers to go above and beyond any state or federal mandates. From high visibility hooded pullover sweatshirts to custom reflective vests, safety workers are more likely to remain safe on a job if they take every precaution available.

Consider some of these statistics about the safety of construction site and road crew workers:

    • Keeping workers safe must be the priority of both employers and the general public. All work projects that are close to high traffic areas require specialized clothing as well as flag people and lighted signal warnings.
    • Estimates indicate that workers between the ages of 16 and 19 missed fan average of four days of work after a work injury. Preventing these absences is just one of the reasons that employees work so hard to
    • Estimates indicate that 33% of nonfatal work injuries in the year 2013 that required time away from work were suffered by employees with less than one year of service. This statistic is an indicator that inexperience can make someone less safe. Intense and repeated safety training may be able to help lower this unfortunate statistic. So, too, might the increased awareness that high visibility work shirts and other reflective clothing provides.
    • Permanent hearing loss can be caused by sounds that are louder than 85 decibels. This statistic is an indicator that safety precautions come in many forms. Understanding the need for protective hearing products and safety goggles are also ways to make sure that workers remain safe while they are on the job.
    • The maximum exposure time to any sound at 85 decibels should be eight hours, as defined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Heath.
    • Healthy workers understand the importance of protective and supportive footwear. For instance, the while the average person may walk 10,000 steps a day, a construction worker or laborer may walk more than 30,000 steps. Protective footwear can help a worker make sure that the increased number of steps is not a problem.
    • Earplugs can reduce noise by 15 to 30 decibels, depending on how well the earplugs fit. Companies that value their workers make sure that their employees take all of the necessary steps to protect themselves, including their hearing.
    • Making sure that workers have a complete supply of high visibility work shirts, jackets, and pants can be the first step in protecting road crews.
  • Safety classes and routine, as well as surprise, inspections are one way for employers to make sure that all of the workers are wearing the required clothing, including the very important high visibility work shirts and other safety clothing items.
  • Approximately $70 is spent by every employee on foot protection every year. Foot problems and foot injuries, unfortunately, cause many missed days of work. This is especially true if workers do not wear the proper foot gear that provides both protection and arch support.
  • First month workers are especially prone to injuries at work. In fact, new employees in their first month at work have more than three times the risk for a lost-time injury than more experienced workers, according to the Institute for Work and Health in Canada.
  • Estimated data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that workers 65 and older experienced 94.2 injuries per 10,000 full-time employees. This number is less than any age group in 2014.

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