Hi Viz…for rugged builder types.


Health and safety regulations for wearing hi-viz workwear and some clothing solutions.

Hi Visibility clothing has been compulsory in some work environments now since 1992.

You must conduct a risk assessment to determine whether your staff require hi-viz workwear and this assessment will also determine what class of workwear is required.

You need to ‘bone up’ on this through the HSE website but generally speaking, if your staff are working in close vicinity of moving vehicles or in low light conditions, they need to be conspicuous to avoid being run over or smacked in the head with a piece of timber.

Regulations from 2003 (EN471)provide us with a system of classification, but you had better get yourself a double expresso with extra shot of expresso before we embark on an essential, but probably, the most boring journey of your life.

The regulations specify the requirements for high visibility clothing “which is capable of visually signaling the user’s presence”.

The newer regulations of 2013 (EN20471) have broadened the usage base and a distinction between different types of risk situations.

The defined risk situations will be the basis for which norm is applicable for the user. ISO EN 20471 is applicable to high-risk situations.

Class 3: Highest Level.

The highest level of protection – required for any persons working on or near motorways or dual-carriage ways or airports. Must incorporate a minimum of 0.80m2 of background material and 0.20m2 of retro-reflective materials. (4 metres of 5cm wide reflective tape). 

Class 2: Intermediate Level

Required for any persons working on or near A and B class roads, also for delivery drivers. Must incorporate a minimum of 0.50m2 of background material and 0.13m2 of retroreflective material. (2.60 metres of 5cm wide reflective tape). 

Class 1: Minimum Level

Minimum level of protection required for any persons working on a private road or to be used in conjunction with a higher classed garment. Must incorporate a minimum of 0.14m2 of background material and 0.10m2 of retroreflective material. (2 metres of 5cm wide reflective tape). 

EN20471  regulations from 1st June 2013. (you can skip this bit and go straight to the pictures below if you want).

1. Retro-reflective tape – Class 1 retro-reflective tape is no longer an option, ISO 20471 requirements for single performance retro reflective tape is identical to the EN 471 Class 2 tape. However the for performance after washing the test method differs as 20471 requires each cycle to be a wash and dry cycle whereas 471 only required washing after the last cycle. (Product markings no longer will state the performance class of the retro reflective tape). Combined performance tape may still be used on class 1 garments. (Again, the test method has changed).

2. Placement of retro-reflective tape – the mandatory patterns for retro-reflective tape remain unchanged, except now it I clarified that additional bands of tape may be used to achieve the required areas.

3. Class 3 garments must now be garments, which cover the torso and have either full-length sleeves and or full-length legs.

4. Garments with short sleeves if the sleeve obscures a torso band of retro reflective tape must now have a band of retro-reflective tape about the sleeves also.

5. If the maximum number of washes (or Dry-clean cycles) is stated by the manufacturer then fluorescent background material must meet the chromaticity and luminance requirements after the specified number of washes. If no maximum number of washes is stated then it must meet after 5 washes and this must be reflected in the user information.

6. Tensile strength requirement on fabrics has been reduced.

7. Burst strength requirement on fabrics has been reduced.

8. Tear strength requirement on coated fabrics/laminates has been reduced.

9. Colourfastness to perspiration has had the staining requirement increased to 4.

10. Colourfastness to washing/dry-cleaning has had the staining requirement reduced to 4. for non-fluorescent fabrics.

11. Water vapour permeability requirements for fabrics (Excluding Coated/laminate fabrics for protection against rain (not required for vests/waistcoats) requirement has been amended to <5 m2Pa/W or water vapour permeability index <=0.15

All of our products can be decorated with your company logo. This is particularly important if your staff are contracted to work on other sites and they need to be easily identified as your blokes. Below are some examples in their classifications

Class 3

Class 2

Class 1

Many of the Hi-Viz workwear products on our site have the classification in the product description on the actual product page.

If you have any questions, you can call or email Arron our resident workwear expert. He does not know everything but in most cases, he can find out what is best for you.


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