Outdoor workers, such as those working with construction, firefighters, road construction or repair, and more need specialized clothing to maintain safety at the workplace. A safety uniform, then, is needed for the worker’s own bodily safety and to make sure that collisions are avoided. All sorts of clothes can contribute to a safety outfit: high visibility pants such as hi vis cargo pants, a construction safety vest, reflective tape on nearly anything, cotton safety shirts, and more. The “safety first” rule is often based on having the right outfit for the right job in the right conditions. Hi vis cargo pants and more can keep workers out of harm’s way, and allow motorists and other crew members to see them no matter what is going on.
Hazards of the Workplace
The unfortunate truth is that some occupations and work areas have dangers to bodily well being, and this is why safety vests, hi vis cargo pants, and more are always worn. Workplace injuries, even in white collar jobs, are more common than some people may realize. For example, any sound louder than 85 decibels may cause permanent hearing loss over time, and construction crews are exposed to jack hammers, construction vehicle engines, and other loud sources. And in the year 2015 alone, some 4,836 workers died at the workplace, whether in construction or other work, and that means 13 deaths daily for that year. And new workers are more accident-prone: the Institute for Work and Health in Canada believes that a new worker in his/her first month is three times more likely to suffer injury than their peers. Similarly, in the year 2013, about one third of non-fatal work injuries that required time away from work were experienced by employees who had less than one year of experience. This is not to say that veteran employees face no risks; in many conditions, serious hazards can present themselves to any worker. So, hi vis cargo pants, an orange safety vest, or a reflective safety jacket or more are needed to keep workers out of harm’s way.
Categorizing Work Clothes
The good news is that plenty of safety oriented work clothes, from hi vis waistcoats to hi vis cargo pants, are offered to many outdoor workers, and these clothes are sorted by category based on the amount of reflective material on them or under what conditions they should be used.
According to Grainger, several performance classes, 1, 2, and 3, are offered, in addition to supplemental class E. Each type is used under different conditions.
Performance class 1 clothes have minimum safety features on them such as reflective tape or reflective orange or yellow material, and these clothes are only used in non complex work zones and off road locations. Hi vis cargo pants may fit this category.
Performance class 2 clothes have more safety features, such as a greater quantity of reflective tape and orange and yellow colors, and they make a more effective human profile than performance class 1 clothes. These clothes may be used on right-of-way roadways.
Performance class 3 clothes has reflective surfaces and bright colors on nearly every body part, at minimum the torso, arms, and legs, and creates a maximum human profile even against complex backgrounds such as at a construction zone. All of these safety clothes must also allow a full range of movement for the wearer without compromising their function. Even at busy freeways or cluttered construction zones, these clothes meet safety requirements fully.
Supplemental class E items do not constitute a safety uniform by themselves, but can be added to an existing outfit to enhance it, such as hi vis cargo pants, gloves, hats, arm bands, or more. They can be added to performance class 1, 2, or 3 outfits.
Safety clothes can get worn out over time, and once their power to make a worker visible is diminished, the clothes should be replaced. If reflective tape falls off, the outfit gets stained and dirty, if seams tear and rip, or if the reflective surfaces wear out, the clothes put the wearer in danger since their profile is not clear enough to motorists and other crew members. If a garment is not worn daily, then its maximum life may be longer than that of an item worn every day.