What Is Hi Vis?

 High visibility or Hi Vis clothing makes you more easy to see, especially at night or in low light conditions. Hi Vis workwear can be worn on any part of the body, from helmets to boots, but it's most commonly used for work clothing such as jackets, shirts, vests, pants and coveralls. This apparel has a larger surface area, making it easier to spot from a distance. If you need Hi Vis uniforms for your job, or you need to provide high visibility clothing to your employees, find out how to make sure you're buying the right products.

 

What does 'high visibility' mean?

 There are many situations when visibility is important. If you're working around fast-moving traffic or heavy machinery, a faster response time can mean the difference between life and death, or at least serious injury.Hi Vis safety clothing is designed to draw attention to the wearer's presence. This apparel uses reflective or fluorescent materials that reflect enough light for the person to be seen, without dazzling onlookers. It can also be used to make it easier to identify people in a crowd, as in the case of emergency services personnel.

The first Hi Vis uniforms were introduced in Scotland in the 1960s, to improve the safety of rail workers on newly electrified lines. These trials were deemed to be a success, and today high visibility clothing is widely used in many industries, as well as by cyclists and motorbike riders.

 

How does Hi Vis clothing work?
Depending on the type of work you're doing, and whether you're working at day or night, Hi Vis clothing can incorporate either fluorescent or reflective materials (or both). 

  • Fluorescent material is used for day uniforms. It uses special pigments to capture and reflect ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun that isn't normally visible to the human eye. This makes the material stand out against other colours and against the background, especially in low light conditions.
  • Reflective material is used for night uniforms. It reflects light from vehicle headlights and other light sources back towards that source, but it doesn't make a significant difference to visibility in daylight conditions.

 

Do I need Hi Vis safety clothing?
High visibility clothing is part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and will be needed if you or your employees work outside at night, dawn or dusk, or indoors in low light conditions, especially when moving vehicles or machinery are around.
Some Hi Vis clothing can serve other functions too, such as Hi Vis fleeces keeping you warm on cool nights, waterproof Hi Vis jackets keeping you dry and flame-resistant overalls, but their primary purpose is visibility. In many cases, Hi Vis vests, shirts and overalls need to be used in combination with other PPE, such as helmets, gloves and boots.If you're not sure whether you need Hi Vis safety apparel at your workplace, you can request a hazard assessment from your state's workplace safety regulator. They will evaluate your site based on the type of work being carried out, light levels and the hazards your workers are exposed to.

 

What standards cover Hi Vis workwear?
When you buy Hi Vis uniforms for your site, you need to be sure that you're choosing quality products that comply with the latest requirements. Some uniform suppliers provide inadequate clothing that doesn't meet these standards and won't keep your workers as safe as they need to be, which also puts your business at risk.

 Australian Standards for high visibility clothing were recently changed. See the new standards here.

 

Where can I buy Hi Vis uniforms?
All our high visibility uniforms at Total Image Group meet the latest Australian Standards. Explore our Hi Vis workwear range online and send us an enquiry when you're ready to order your custom uniforms.