Workplace safety has never been so important than before. The speed at which the construction or any other projects are being completed is not a good sign for the workers. Workers are made to toil hard in risky and challenging working conditions. So when the work is demanding and brings in extra workload for the workers, workplace safety becomes a high priority. A worker who is doing so much hard work needs to be rewarded as well as protected. When we say protection, it means the working environment must be safe and all the workers, supervisors and visitors must be protected from workplace accidents, injuries and all the dangers. One such way to prevent workplace injuries is providing workers with quality workplace jackets.
Safety jackets are a crucial part of personal protective equipment (P.P.E). They come in various colors such as green, orange and yellow. One great benefit of safety jackets is enhancing the wearer’s visibility. A worker wearing bright colored safety jackets may be clearly visible in low-light or foggy weather conditions.
However, the use of quality safety jackets definitely helps in reducing workplace accidents and injuries. Let’s understand safety jackets in more detail and the role it plays in preventing workplace injuries.
What is a Safety Jacket?
Safety jackets are also known as High visibility or Hi-Vis jackets. These safety jackets that come in various fluorescent colors such as green, yellow and orange, makes the person wearing them highly visible, even in low-light conditions. Such safety jackets are specially designed with bright colored material. Reflective stripes or tapes are also included. Apart from safety, the purpose of such jackets is to help in classifying or identifying workers, which is why they are specifically manufactured only in high-visible fluorescent colors such as green, yellow and orange.
These safety jackets are designed in various styles and can be useful for construction workers, mining workers, road or railway maintenance crews, emergency responders or anyone working in an unsafe environment. All safety jackets are durable and weather-resistant, and come in different styles like vests, full-sleeves & coveralls. Depending upon the task, the most suited style must be selected.
In certain workplaces, wearing a safety jacket is a legal obligation. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), For daytime work, the flagger’s vest, shirt, or jacket shall be orange, yellow, strong yellow green or fluorescent versions of these colors. For nighttime work, similar outside garments shall be retro reflective. The retro reflective material shall be orange, yellow, white, silver, strong yellow-green, or a fluorescent version of one of these colors and shall be visible at a minimum distance of 1,000 feet.”
Benefits of wearing a safety jacket?
Safety Jackets are a crucial part of personal protective equipment (P.P.E) and are useful in preventing workplace accidents and injuries. According to the International Labour Organization, there are approximately 2.78 million work-related deaths globally each year, with an estimated 374 million non-fatal work-related injuries and illnesses. So, such a high number of injuries & accidents at the workplace, makes the use of quality safety gear non-negotiable.
And if quality safety jackets are provided to workers, the number of workplace accidents and injuries will definitely come down.
Safety jackets or Hi-Vis jackets ensure safety of workers operating in low-light or challenging weather conditions. In Low-light or foggy weather conditions, low visibility may invite danger. Workers may slip or fall or may collide with machinery or even get crushed under. So wearing a Hi-Viz safety jacket signals the presence of a fellow worker. This in turn, will make other workers alert and cautious while operating or moving a machine, ultimately preventing any accident.
Moreover, when workers from different companies collaborate for a project, then hi-viz jackets may help a company in easily identifying its workers. Other benefits include protection from dust, heat, rain or from any harmful chemicals.
So the benefits of hi-viz safety jackets are plenty, so it’s important for employers to provide their workers with the best quality safety jackets.
The need for safety jackets in different industries
Such a lifesaving safety gear cannot be limited to one particular industry. There is a strong need for safety jackets in multiple industries or any workplace where workers operate in an unsafe and risky environment. Safety jackets are of paramount importance in the following sectors.
Construction: Construction work is prone to all types of dangers. Objects may fall or fly. Workers may fall or hit by an object. In low-light conditions, workers may collide due to low visibility. Any accident can happen on a construction site. But if workers wear hi-vis safety jackets, the number of accidents that occur due to low visibility may be significantly reduced. Workers may be easily spotted and identified thus ensuring the greatest amount of workplace safety.
Road Work: Workers involved in road work have to deal with traffic and passing vehicles. If workers are wearing hi-vis safety jackets, they can be spotted even from far and will prompt the driver to slow down or avoid colliding with any workers. Thus, wearing safety jackets will keep the workers protected but also signal their presence to passing vehicles.
Emergency Services: In any emergency situation, first responders, firefighters or paramedics should wear hi-vis safety jackets so the public could easily spot them. Any chaotic situation leads to panic and the person may desperately look around for quick help. In such a situation, spotting a hi-viz jacket may be a sign of relief for that person.
Warehousing and Logistics: In warehouse or logistics, heavy machinery like forklifts, pallet jacks, and lift trucks make the working environment risky and noisy. Due to loud noise a worker may not be able to see coming danger or any machine operator may not clearly see the workers. In such a scenario, wearing hi-vis safety jackets will prevent any workplace accident.
Mining: Mining job is usually performed in low-light & high-risk settings. Digging or drilling or any other mining tasks poses a huge risk to the safety of the workers. Safety jackets may protect mining workers & professionals from heat, dust, or hazardous chemicals and will also help in getting the required visibility, often a requirement in low-light conditions.
The Consequences of Not Wearing a Safety Jacket
The absence of safety jackets could lead to dangerous and irreparable consequences for both the workers and employers. Workers not wearing safety jackets may be vulnerable to accidents that could even result in death or any permanent disability. In 2018 alone, almost 8,000 construction workers suffered a head injury and 230 construction workers died from their injury.
Employers who neglect workplace safety may face fines and legal lawsuits, as safety equipment is a legal requirement in some jurisdictions. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) penalties can cost anywhere from $15,625 to $156,259 for safety violations.
More injuries mean more compensation money, thus employers may be at risk of facing financial difficulties.
So, both the employers and employees must understand the importance of safety jackets. Employers must invest in high-quality safety jackets and employees must follow the safety guidelines by wearing the safety jackets during work.
Safety jackets or hi-viz jackets are an essential part of workplace safety in various industries. Quality safety jackets protect workers from any dangers by enhancing their visibility in low-light and foggy weather conditions. Safety jackets are specifically designed in fluorescent colors like green, yellow and orange. With bright color safety jackets, spotting a worker becomes easy. Safety jackets are critical in construction, road work, emergency services, warehousing, mining, and some other sectors. Avoiding safety jackets at the workplace can lead to accidents or may even result in death of workers. Repeated accidents may invite lawsuits for employers and even hamper their reputation in the market.
So providing employees with the best quality safety jackets is a wise investment that’ll keep the workers safe, and the employers in business for long.