Industries that require sufficient visibility need to have special equipment to keep workers safe. One of the most important pieces of personal protective equipment is the safety vest. No matter what type of work you do, whether it's in construction, roadwork, emergency services, or another industry where you need to be visible, wearing a high-visibility safety vest can help protect you and help you stay visible and safe.
In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about buying safety vests. We'll talk about the different types, colours, closures, decoration options, washing instructions, the Australian standard AS 4602.1:2011 and more. By the end, you'll have a good understanding of how to choose the right safety vest for your job.
Main types of safety vests
Hi Vis Safety vests are designed to provide high visibility in low visibility conditions, and they come in two main types: day vests and day/night vests.
Day vests are designed to be worn only during the day because they do not have reflective tape on them and are typically made from fluorescent colours like yellow or orange. They are made of lightweight, breathable fabric (usually polyester) and are suitable for use in industries such as construction, landscaping, and roadwork.
Day/night high vis vests are designed to be worn in both low-light and daylight conditions, and they come in fluorescent colours with reflective strips. The reflective strips are designed to reflect light, making you more visible to others. Day/night vests are ideal for use in industries such as roadwork, mining, and emergency services.
Velcro vs. Zip Safety Vests
High visibility safety vests come with different closure mechanisms, and the most common ones are Velcro and zip closures.
Zip closures are designed to be quick and easy to put on and take off. They are also secure, ensuring that the vest stays in place. However, zippers can break or malfunction, and they can be more challenging to replace than Velcro.
Velcro closures are easy to use, and they provide a secure fit. They are also less likely to break or malfunction than zippers. However, Velcro can become less effective over time, and it can accumulate dirt and debris, which can affect its closure effectiveness.
Safety Vest Colors
Safety vests come in different colours, and the most common ones are hi vis yellow and hi vis orange. These colours are approved by the relevant safety standards and are designed to stand out in low-light conditions. Other colours, such as pink, are popular but are not designated as fluorescent colours. Pink vests are often used in industries such as healthcare, where they can help identify staff. Other colours can be used for identification purposes, such as red vests for wardens or green vests for first aid personnel.
Australian Standard AS 4602.1:2011
The Australian standard AS 4602.1:2011 outlines the requirements for high-visibility safety garments, including safety vests. The standard specifies the minimum amount of fluorescent and reflective material that must be used in the garment to ensure visibility in low-light conditions. The standard acknowledges the harsh conditions workwear must protect against and directs how a high-visibility garment is constructed.
Printing on Safety Vests
Looking to add a personal touch to your safety vest? You'll be happy to know that printing on it is an option! Adding a logo or custom design can help your company stand out or add a personal touch to your gear. But, as with any personalization, there are a few things to keep in mind. It's essential to use ink that's designed for high-visibility garments, and you don't want the printing to affect the vest's visibility or reflective properties. In this article, we'll guide you through the do's and don'ts of printing on safety vests, so you can look sharp and stay safe on the job!
Screen printing is a popular decoration method for high-visibility safety vests due to its cost-effectiveness and ability to produce vibrant colours. A mesh (called screen) is used to transfer a special type of ink on the garment making it durable and resistant to fading over time. With this method, it is possible to create clean and crisp designs that stand out on the vest. This method is best used when the number of prints is on the higher end, as it works out to be a more economical option.
DTF printing or vinyl is a relatively new method, wherein a design is printed onto a vinyl material, which is then cut out and transferred onto the vest using a heat press. This allows for more intricate designs and a wider range of colors than traditional screen printing.
Embroidery is a classic decoration method that has been used for centuries. It involves sewing a design directly onto the fabric of the vest using specialized embroidery machines. Embroidery is ideal for adding text, logos, or detailed designs onto high-visibility safety vests. It is a durable and long-lasting decoration method that can withstand harsh working conditions.
How to Wash a Safety Vest
Washing a safety vest is important to maintain its visibility and extend its lifespan. Here are some steps you can follow to wash a safety vest:
Check the care label: Before washing the vest, check the care label for any specific instructions. This will help ensure that you don't damage the vest during the washing process.
Remove any dirt or debris: Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt or debris from the vest before washing. This will help prevent the dirt from getting embedded in the fabric during washing.
Choose a mild detergent: Use a mild detergent that is safe for high-visibility clothing. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the reflective properties of the vest.
Wash in cold water: Wash the vest in cold water on a gentle cycle. This will help prevent any damage to the fabric or reflective properties of the vest.
Air dry: Hang the vest to air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can damage the reflective properties of the vest.
Store the vest properly: Once the vest is dry, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will help prevent any damage to the reflective properties of the vest over time.