Personalised hi vis work shirts keep workers safe by ensuring that they are easily visible and identifiable on site.
A lot of high visibility workwear is designed for the cooler months and low light conditions. However, hi vis clothing is just as important in summer, in bright light conditions and glare. In fact, it is just as difficult to see and identify someone in bright conditions as it is in low light.
That said, the kind of hi vis work shirts, vests, and apparel worn in the summer months are quite different to those you would normally wear in winter.
Summer hi vis clothing has to be cool enough that workers aren’t tempted to take it off and forsake their safety to stay cool. Summer hi vis also has to be appropriate for bright light and glare conditions.
In this blog we will discuss the best kind of hi vis for bright and hot conditions, as well as some of the best summer hi vis solutions currently available.
What Kind of Hi Vis Should be Worn in Summer and Bright Light Conditions?
In low light conditions it’s important to wear retroreflective material so that you can be seen. Retroreflective materials are very shiny and will return any light that is shone upon it, so even when there is low visibility, you will be easily seen if someone is using a torch or vehicle headlights.
However, retroreflective hi vis is mostly ineffective in bright sunny conditions. In fact, wearing only retroreflective hi vis in bright conditions can be dangerous because too much light will be reflected and you will become hard to see (just think of how hard it is to look at the hot sun shining on a pool of water or a shiny reflective surface).
For bright conditions it is recommended that workers wear fluorescent colours. Fluorescent materials are highly visible in bright conditions, without being shiny or reflective. Colour contrast, stripes and patterns can help to make workers even more visible in sunny weather.
Cool Materials for Hi Vis Clothing
Another issue is hi vis material, which for safety reasons may need to be a thick fabric.
If you work in an industry where a thin material is appropriate, then wearing breathable cotton will help you stay cool in the summer months, although you will still need to ensure that your whole body is covered in order for the hi vis fluorescent material to be effective and to avoid other problems such as sunburn.
But if wearing light cotton isn’t appropriate for you, then there are still a couple of options available, such as hi vis clothing with ice pack inserts and cooling capabilities.
Fluorescent Hi Vis Cooling Ice Vests
Hi vis ice vests are comfortable snug fit vests that on first glance look exactly like any other heavy industry work site vest. However, these vests have a secret: they contain inner pockets where ice packs comfortably fit against the body, keeping you perfectly cool without air conditioning. An ice vest weighs around 1.5kg and is usually washable and easy to fit. The ice packs are easy to remove and replace and the design of the vest ensures that you do not chill the kidneys.
Fluorescent Hi Vis Evaporative Cooling Neck Ties
The neck really suffers in hot conditions, which is why cooling neck ties are so genius. Cooling neck ties use evaporative cooling to regulate your body temperature by cooling the blood vessels close to the skin. They’re easy to use and great for reducing the risk of heat stress.
Fluorescent Hi Vis Ventilated Work Shirts
100% cotton hi vis work shirts with ventilation panels and antimicrobial properties are a lifesaver in summer. These lightweight shirts will prevent heat from getting trapped close to the body, while also being soft on the skin and comfortable.