Buying the first reflective hoodie you see online is not recommended. You need to consider various factors before paying for it. Below are some of the factors:
- Bright clothing stands out more than boring attire. Better vision in all viewing directions is provided by coverage that extends to the entire body (360° complete body coverage).
- Colored stripes that contrast (have a clear color difference) from the material serving as the background can boost visibility. Additionally, stripes on the arms and legs can offer visual cues regarding how the wearer of the garment moves.
- Background material that is fluorescent or brightly colored can boost visibility but lacks retroreflective qualities.
- Based on other threats present, additional requirements may be needed, such as thermal performance, flame resistance, durability, water resistance, comfort, material breathability, flexibility, and tear-away features,.
Employers should choose the color and striped pattern that offers the desired contrast, movement indicator, and travel direction.
Garments should fit the wearer properly for safety and the optimum performance. The clothes must be worn as intended, and any additional clothing worn over the high-visibility clothing must be taken into account. During work, the clothing should fit properly and remain in place.
- The clothing should be cozy to wear. The wearer shouldn’t feel uncomfortable or irritated by any seams or materials (e.g., no sharp edges or projections, no rough material). Additionally, the clothing should be the right weight and have enough stretch and flexibility.
- Clothes should be chosen and worn in such a way that the high-visibility fabrics are not covered by any other clothing or accessories.
- Daytime – In daylight, bright colors are more noticeable than dull ones.
- Dim lighting – Fluorescent colors perform better in dim lighting than bright colors (e.g. dawn and dusk). Reflective materials are also suggested in these circumstances.
- In low light, retroreflective materials are chosen over brilliant colors alone because they offer greater visibility. Fluorescent materials are useless at night or when there is no natural light since they need it to function.
Any high-visibility safety clothing must meet the following requirements for the stripes or bands in order to be in compliance with the CSA Standard:
- A minimum of 50 mm in width.
- A horizontal band or stripe that begins at the belly button or navel and extends to the waist.
- A front with two vertical stripes that extend from the shoulders to the waist.
- A back “X” shape that is symmetrical and runs from the shoulders to the waist.
- For clothing of Class 3, additional stripes or bands are applied to both the arms and both the legs.
The CSA Z96-15, Safety Apparel Standard specifies the background and stripes/bands colors for all classes. For instance, class 1 clothing, such as harness style clothing, must have a minimum of 0.14 meters squared of background material, whereas class 2 and class 3 clothing must have full coverage of background material. Bright orange-red, fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red, fluorescent yellow-green, or fluorescent red can be used as background material.
Care and Maintenance
- High-visibility clothing should be kept clean and maintained. Retroreflective materials that are soiled or contaminated reduce visibility.
- Replace clothing that shows signs of deterioration, soiledness, or contamination because they won’t be able to provide sufficient levels of visibility any more.
Buyers of high-visibility clothing should obtain documentation demonstrating that the garment’s construction and design adhere to the CSA Z96-15 Standard. Usually, the labeling on the item will indicate whether it complies with the standards.