Enhancing Workplace Safety: Exploring High Visibility PPE Colours

Ensuring workplace safety is paramount, especially in industries where visibility is a concern. High Visibility Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) plays a crucial role in protecting workers, and at Lyreco UK & Ireland, we understand the importance of high-visibility PPE colours. In this blog, we delve into the significance of fluorescent colours and their impact on workplace safety, taking into account the guidelines set by EN ISO 20471:2013.

Understanding high-visibility ppe

High visibility PPE refers to clothing and equipment designed to enhance visibility and promote safety in various work environments. It is particularly vital in industries such as construction, roadwork, and aviation where workers are exposed to low-light conditions or moving vehicles. High visibility PPE commonly includes vests, jackets, trousers, gloves, and helmets, incorporating fluorescent colours to maximise visibility.

THE SCience behind fluorescent colours

Fluorescent colours, also known as neon or hi-vis colours, possess unique properties that make them highly effective in enhancing visibility. These colours contain pigments that absorb light and emit it at a longer wavelength, making them appear brighter and more noticeable. Yellow, Orange, and Red are the fluorescent colours used in high visibility PPE.

the role of en iso 20471:2013 & RIs 3729-Tom railway high visibility

The Role of EN ISO 20471:2013: EN ISO 20471:2013 is an international standard that outlines the requirements for high visibility clothing, ensuring a consistent level of safety across industries. It provides guidelines for the design, performance, and testing of high visibility PPE, including the colours used. Compliance with this standard helps organisations prioritise worker safety and adhere to recognised industry standards.

RIS 3279-TOM is a railway industry standard in the UK that focuses on high-visibility clothing. It mandates the use of orange-coloured garments with fluorescent backgrounds and retro-reflective tape. This standard ensures the visibility and safety of railway workers by making them easily noticeable, especially in low-light conditions or areas with moving vehicles. Adhering to RIS 3279-TOM helps prevent accidents and promotes safety in the railway environment.

Advantages of high visibility ppe colours

Improved Visibility:

Fluorescent colours enable workers to stand out, even in low-light conditions or adverse weather, reducing the risk of accidents and collisions.

Increased Recognition:

The distinctive nature of fluorescent colours allows supervisors, colleagues, and emergency responders to quickly locate and identify workers, improving response times in critical situations.

Visual Contrast:

Fluorescent colours create a stark contrast against common background environments, aiding in the differentiation of workers from potential hazards and improving overall safety.

INdustry-specific considerations

Different industries may have specific regulations and requirements regarding high visibility PPE colours, and EN ISO 20471:2013 provides a framework for compliance. For example: a. Road Workers: Fluorescent orange vests are often preferred as they are more visible in daytime conditions and offer good contrast against the asphalt. b. Construction Sites: Fluorescent Yellow jackets are commonly used in construction sites, as these colours stand out against concrete and other common construction materials. c. Emergency Services: Firefighters and emergency responders often wear high visibility PPE in red or yellow, colours that are easily identifiable and associated with emergency situations.

maintenance and care

Proper maintenance and care are essential to ensure the continued effectiveness of high visibility PPE colours. Regular inspection, cleaning, and replacement of faded or damaged garments are vital for maintaining optimal visibility and safety standards as outlined in EN ISO 20471:2013.

High visibility PPE, incorporating fluorescent colours, is instrumental in safeguarding workers across various industries. Adhering to the guidelines set by EN ISO 20471:2013 ensures a consistent and reliable level of safety for employees. At Lyreco UK & Ireland, we are committed to providing high-quality high visibility PPE that meets these standards and prioritises worker well-being. By staying informed about the latest developments and regulations concerning high visibility PPE colours, businesses can proactively create a safer work environment. Together, let’s make workplace safety a top priority with the power of high visibility PPE.