Be Seen this Winter: Make sure your High Vis is doing its job.

It takes time for the brain to process what it sees, and more time to act on what is seen. The use of highly visual colour is the way we make ourselves more visible, much earlier, therefore shortening that reaction time.

High-vis clothing is intended to make the wearer conspicuous in any light condition at any time of day. Garments are made up of fluorescent fabric and reflective tape that appears to glow when hit by a light source. Obviously most necessary in poor light conditions, with the hour now going back and the days getting shorter, this is the time to ensure that your high-vis clothing is doing the job that it is meant to do.

Regulations in different industries demand compliance with several different fabric and garment properties: luminance, colour, contrast, pattern and design. But no garment will be compliant if allowed to become dirty or worn.

As an employer, it might not be possible for you to constantly monitor the state of your staff’s PPE, however it is still your responsibility to supply compliant high-vis gear. Helping your staff to understand PPE specifications and how to check and look after their kit will enable them to help you identify any issues which might compromise their safety.

Is it clean? Or too clean?

Ironically, if your high-vis is beginning to blend into the background, you will be left more exposed to danger. While excessive dirt can render high-vis useless, over enthusiastic washing will cause premature fading, shortening the useful lifespan of the garment.

How should it be washed?

Frequency of washing will depend largely upon the industry it is being used in and the type of dirt involved. High-vis used in the oil industry will clearly need more frequent washing that that used by security staff!

There should always be clear washing instructions on the labels of high-vis garments, but generally it is not a good idea to use fabric softener and washing should be done at lower temperatures to prolong the lifespan of the article.

There are also professional laundering services which specialise in cleaning high-vis. They can minimise the deterioration of the fabric and ensure that the items continue to comply with safety specifications. Contact our Customer Service team on 0800 328 5028 - they will be able to recommend reputable services.

How do I know when to replace it?

When the important features that make the garment high-vis are compromised it is time to replace it. Watch out for reflective strips fading to a dull, matt colour, and any areas wearing away or peeling off the fabric. If it’s not reflective or shiny, its time to replace the garment as it is no longer compliant.

Look at some of the new options available here this autumn, including warm layering options to protect you in every kind of winter weather, and ensure that your workers are as conspicuous and as safe as they deserve to be.


Go to our Hi-Vis Clothing range

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