What Are Enhanced Visibility Work Uniforms & Who Should Wear Them?



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The safety of employees working in airports as a piece of ground crews and in the road construction industry are partly addressed by work uniform visibility requirements established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the US Highway Administration, including standards like ANSI/ISEA 107 for”high-visibility” clothing and required wearers to prevent injuries that may cause serious injury.

But what about other somewhat hazardous industries which don’t fall under these high visibility regulations, such as non-road building, production, warehousing and distribution, automotive, transportation, and package shipping?

Employees in these and other businesses that operate near moving vehicles or equipment, who work at night or work under weather conditions making them harder to see, may also be protected by”enhanced visibility” work uniforms.

The option of improved visibility work uniform rental programs can further protect your at-risk workers than purchasing them in some conditions, and be cheaper in the long run.

What is the Difference Between High & Enhanced Visibility?

As mentioned before, the demands of high visibility jackets and other apparel items are covered by ANSI standards and include using one of three colors for fluorescent background material behind the reflective cloth: red, orange-red and yellow-green. Therefore, if you see one of these colors on a reflective work uniform, you know it’s high-visibility.

Enhanced visibility uniforms do not have to meet ANSI standards, but they do stand out with reflective striping in bright colors along the sleeves, across the front and back of shirts, and around pant legs.

Some employers buy enhanced visibility safety vests for their employees, but often quickly have problems ensuring that they’re worn at all times, remain clean and are not lost – all of which defeats the original intent.

Because it’s what they wear to work instead of something to wear over their street clothes, employees wearing enhanced visibility uniforms cannot just take them off whenever they feel like it. Rental services also ensure that workers always have clean uniforms for every day of the week.

Rental vs. Workplace Injury Prices

While it’s hard to estimate, the prevention of a single injury is probably worth the extra price – certainly, lower workers compensation costs, insurance premiums and preventing OSHA fines is also appealing.

According to OSHA,”One widely-cited source concerning estimates of the size of the costs is the Liberty Mutual Research Institute, which reports the direct cost of the most disabling workplace injuries in 2008 to be $53 billion (Liberty Mutual Research Institute, 2010).

“Another source, the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), estimates the annual workers’ compensation benefits paid for all compensable injuries and illnesses in 2009 at $58 billion (National Academy of Social Insurance, 2011). NASI further reports the total costs paid by employers for workers’ compensation increased from $60 billion in 2000 to $74 billion in 2009.”



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