High Viz Clothing
High viz clothing is a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) which has reflective properties that make it easily identifiable in any condition.
High viz clothing is used when there is the need to be seen during conditions which create poor visibility such as poor lighting or harsh weather conditions. It is also used when there is a lot of machinery being moved.
High viz clothing of PPE come in different types and perform different functions. There are high viz gloves which protect the hands when working. Apart from high viz clothes, barrier creams are also good as hand protection.
Other high viz clothing includes long sleeve laminator jackets, rain jackets and vests for body protection. There are also high viz hats which offer protection to the head.
Welders usually use Class 3 garments which are of higher standards than the other two classes of high visibility clothing (Class1 and Class 2). There garments have to cover every part of the body, for instance a glass 3 high viz vest would be long sleeved, leaving no area of the torso or the arms exposed.
Before high viz clothing is purchased, it should be tested for clarity after rainfall. The temperature and abrasion should also be tested while the effectiveness after washing, dry cleaning or other maintenance activity is performed should be tested. The fluorescent properties of the high viz clothing are also very important and the UV exposure, color fastness, water vapor and mechanical properties, amongst others should be examined.
For welders, any high viz clothing that will be used during a welding operation must be flame retardant. This is because sparks and slag are primarily responsible for fires and burns in a work area where a welding operation is taking place. Therefore, any protective gear worn by a welder should be fire retardant to offer full protection against burns.
PPE is not to be used as a substitute for other control measures such as taking adequate precautionary measures and the use of the correct safety gear. It is only an added protection to be used in addition to the others.
A welder should never perform a welding activity or operation without the use of safety goggles to protect the eyes from glare and harmful UV rays. Also, for welders who are carrying out welding operations in the air such as with the use of platforms or scaffolding, safety harnesses are essential to protect the welder from a fall.
Other safety gears for welders include hard hats and safety footwear to protect the welder’s foot from falling substances. Employers have the duty to provide these safety gears and equipments for welders and also to make sure that they are up to standard. However for those who undertake welding as a hobby, it is important to take safety rules and guidelines into consideration and only purchase safety equipment that meets stated regulations.