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safety vest colors such as orange safety vests

High-visibility safety vests, part of personal protective equipment (PPE), use bright colours and reflective materials to keep workers safe in environments where visibility is crucial.

Safety vest colour code indicates their suitability for different conditions, with specific colours like fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red, and red used in Malaysia to ensure worker visibility and safety.

OSHA Approved High Vis Colours

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets guidelines for high-visibility safety vest colours to ensure worker safety, and these standards are strictly followed in Malaysia.

  • Fluorescent Yellow-Green: Fluorescent yellow-green is the most visible colour against dark backgrounds, making it ideal for high-visibility needs in urban environments. It’s especially useful for workers in hazardous jobs like construction and security, where visibility is crucial for safety.
  • Fluorescent Orange-Red: Fluorescent orange-red, endorsed by OSHA, enhances visibility and is ideal for workers in moderate traffic areas. This colour choice helps reduce accidents by making workers easily identifiable, promoting a safer work environment.
  • Fluorescent Red: Fluorescent red safety vests, while less common than yellow-green and orange-red, meet OSHA standards and provide good visibility, enhancing worker safety in various environments.
  • Fluorescent Blue: In Malaysia, blue safety vests are less common than fluorescent yellow-green or orange-red ones, especially in industries following ANSI/ISEA 107 standards. However, they can be used for identification or role differentiation, such as supervisors in warehouses or specific personnel in security and law enforcement.

Why are these colours?

Fluorescent yellow-green, orange-red, and red are chosen for safety vests due to their effectiveness in improving visibility in different lighting and environmental conditions.

  • Daylight Visibility: Fluorescent yellow-green and orange-red are highly visible during daylight, ensuring workers stand out in well-lit areas, which is crucial for safety near moving vehicles or machinery.
  • Urban Environment: Fluorescent yellow-green safety vests enhance visibility in urban environments, ensuring worker safety amidst traffic and pedestrians. Essential on construction sites and for directing traffic, these vests help prevent accidents.

The Standard for a Safety Vest

security guards with safety equipment

The difference in colour choice between fluorescent yellow-green and orange-red is related to the environment and risk level of a job. As such, different standards determine the colours used for safety vests.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ISEA 107 Standard

The ANSI/ISEA 107 standard sets guidelines for high-visibility safety apparel, including shirts, rain wear, outerwear, and vests. Its goal is to improve visibility in various lighting conditions, ensuring workers are easily noticed during tasks.

Classification of Safety Vests

  • Class 1 attire is suited for low-risk areas with traffic up to 25 mph, like for parking attendants, and includes items like t-shirts, vests, jackets, and overalls.
  • Class 2 garments, such as vests, jackets, and overalls, are recommended for moderate-risk environments and for workers exposed to vehicles travelling over 25 mph.
  • Class 3 garments, such as coveralls and jackets, are designed for high-risk environments, offering maximum visibility from at least 1,280 feet away to ensure safety in demanding conditions.

Design and Features

  • Reflective Striping: Safety vests should have reflective strips to enhance visibility, with placement and amount varying by classification.
  • Background Material: Safety vests must meet specific size requirements for background material to ensure visibility. Ensure you have at least,
    • 217 sq in for Class 1.
    • 755 sq in for Class 2.
    • 1,240 sq in for Class 3.

How do I choose a safety vest colour?

Choosing the right colour for a safety vest depends on various factors, including job requirements and work environment.

Environmental Factors

  • Daytime vs. Nighttime Visibility: Consider the time of day for worker visibility, use fluorescent yellow or orange vests during the day and reflective vests at night.
  • Weather Conditions: In fog or rain, choose bright colours like fluorescent yellow-green to stay visible in low visibility conditions.

Job-Specific Requirements

  • Industry-Specific Guidelines: Some industries, such as construction and emergency services, have specific colour guidelines to ensure safety.

Nature of Work

  • Traffic Control: Fluorescent vests are essential for traffic directors, ensuring they are clearly visible to motorists.
  • Construction: In high-risk environments, wearing Class 3 vests is crucial for ensuring maximum visibility and safety.
  • Emergency Services: Red vests are ideal for emergency responders like firefighters or paramedics, as they enhance visibility in critical situations.

Contrast and Visibility

Choose a vest colour that contrasts with the work environment to improve visibility. For example, a fluorescent vest stands out on dark surfaces like asphalt or concrete, enhancing safety and reducing accident risks.

Purchase OSHA-Approved Safety Vest

emergency responders with yellow safety vests

When buying safety vests, prioritise workers’ safety by following ANSI/ISEA 107 standards for visibility. Choose colours like fluorescent yellow-green or orange-red for optimal visibility, considering the work environment and lighting.

At Asia Warehouse, your safety is our priority. As Malaysia’s leading supplier of high-visibility safety vests, we understand the pivotal role that these garments play in ensuring worker safety across various industries.

Contact us today to learn more about our extensive range of high-visibility safety vests and to place your order. Investing in the right safety gear enhances job site safety and prevents accidents.

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