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When do I need High Visibility Clothing?

When doing a hazard assessment where HVSA might be required, be sure to consider:

  • The type and nature of the work being carried out - including the tasks of both the HVSA wearer and any drivers.

  • Whether workers will be exposed to heat and/or flames (if so, flame-resistant HVSA would be required).

  • Work conditions, such as indoor or outdoor work, temperature, work rates, traffic flow, traffic volume, visibility, etc.

  • The workplace environment and the background workers must be seen in (e.g., is the visual area behind the workers simple, complex, urban, rural, highway, filled with device, cluttered).

  • How long the worker is exposed to various traffic hazards, including traffic speeds.

  • Lighting conditions and how the natural light might be affected by changing weather (sunlight, overcast sky, fog, rain, or snow).

  • Factors that affect warning distances and times, such as the volume of traffic, the size of vehicles, their potential speeds, the ability to stop quickly, and surface conditions.

  • If there are any engineering and administrative hazard controls already in place (e.g., barriers that separate the workers from traffic).

  • Any distractions that could draw workers attention away from hazards.

  • The sightlines of vehicle operators, especially when vehicles are operated in opposite.

  • If certain jobs, or the function being done, need to be "visually" identifiable from other workers in the area.

Once a hazard assessment is complete, the employer can select appropriate controls. The first line of defence for workers' safety would be to control the design of the workplace and reduce the exposure of workers to moving vehicles (e.g., through the use of physical barriers and other engineering and administrative controls). Using high visibility clothing would be the last line of defence against accidents by providing more warning to vehicle operators that workers are on foot in the area.