Fifth Column are best known for printing t-shirts. It’s where we started, all those years ago, and we still love it. But these days we also decorate a huge range of other merchandise. Garments for the workplace are included in that varied mix and so we thought we’d take a look at customised Hi Vis workwear. Those stand-out pieces of apparel which help keep working folk safer when they’re operating in potentially hazardous conditions.
High visibility clothing, often abbreviated to Hi Vis or Hi Viz, has been around for a surprisingly long time. Its origins stretch back to the Thirties in America. After suffering an industrial accident, Bob Switzer began researching the use of fluorescent materials. It’s slightly weird to think that the first piece of Hi Vis gear was Bob experimenting on his wife’s wedding dress.
Hi Vis didn’t reach the UK until the Sixties. But by 1974, this type of clothing had made its way onto the statute books. The 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act included regulations for the use of Hi Vis in relevant working situations. Enough history, let’s get into customised Hi Vis workwear.
Importance of Hi Vis.
Hi visibility clothing has become essential for many working environments. An indispensable piece of your everyday kit. Not only that, in many jobs Hi Vis apparel is mandatory. That is, if you or your employer are going to meet legal requirements in the UK. The reason is simple. Wearing Hi Vis clothing helps prevent accidents. It makes working safer for the wearer and their colleagues. If you want to put it into more dramatic terms, being seen can save lives.
Customised Hi Vis workwear is a natural progression. After all, if it’s compulsory, why not make the most of the opportunity. Customising this gear with your company name is a great advertisement.
Why Hi Vis Works.
How Hi Vis clothing works is all about the manipulation of light. The fluorescent and reflective materials used in its construction takes incoming light and focuses it into a single channel. Combining these two qualities, fluoresce and reflect, means that Hi Vis is effective at different times of the day and in different lighting conditions. Fluorescent will glow during the day and reflective amplify the available light in darkness.
Hi Vis Standards.
As with most things nowadays, there are standards that apply to Hi Vis workwear. The garments themselves, and where and when they should be worn. Check out the Health and Safety Executive website for more detailed information. The HSE provide factsheets and guidance which can be invaluable. Choosing the right clothing can be more complicated than it seems. It needs to be suitable for the risk, the job, and the wearer. Plus, it may need to be compatible with other forms of personal protective equipment and meet the British Standard for high visibility warning clothing. All of which needs to be worked out before we can even begin to customise it with your company logo.
Examples of Customised Hi Vis Workwear.
Let’s round off by looking at some of the actual garments. We’ve chosen examples from Pro RTX, Result and Yoko, although there are obviously lots more manufacturers out there who supply Hi Vis stuff. Fifth Column have agreements with numerous suppliers. We’re in a great position to source the perfect product for your specific requirement.
Yoko Hi-vis Two-Tone T-Shirt (HVJ400).
This Yoko Hi Vis t-shirt has a contemporary styling and is designed to be comfortable and practical to wear. It’s made from Aircool birds-eye material that’s breathable, quick drying, soft and skin-friendly. The HVJ400 is available in two colour combinations, yellow or orange with navy accents, and is a regular fit. Flexible and stretchy, it also has excellent shape retention. It conforms to EN ISO 20471 Class Two. The orange and navy version is also RIS-3279-TOM Railway use certified.
Yoko Hi-Vis Two-Tone Polo Shirt (HVJ220).
Polo shirts are perfect for so many working situations and that includes professions where safety is a concern. This Yoko HVJ220 Hi-Vis two-tone polo shirt shares similar properties to their HVJ400 t shirt. It conforms to the same standards and is manufactured of the same Aircool material. Comfortable to wear, breathable and soft against the skin, plus practical and easy care. The shirt features a classic three button placket and side vents.
Result Core Tabard (R202X).
Waistcoats and vests are one of the most commonly used pieces of Hi Vis apparel. They’re useful in such a wide variety of workplaces. The safety waistcoat seems to pop up everywhere, from warehouses to construction sites. The Result Core zip ID safety tabard is good value and features a handy chest pocket with ID pass panel. Plus, it includes a reflective body and shoulder bands. Light and simple, unisex fitting and generously cut so that it can be easily slipped on as an over garment.
RX730 Pro RTX Sweatshirt.
Just like polo shirts, sweatshirts are a staple for workwear and staff uniform. And there are plenty of jobs where a safety sweatshirt is the only choice. The Pro RTX high visibility sweatshirt ticks plenty of boxes. Designed to be warm and comfortable, the RX730 is made from 100% polyester with contrast collar, cuffs and hem. The latter are highly practical because these parts of the garment are more liable to get dirty during the working day. There’s reflective tape to shoulder, arm and body.
Pro RTX Hi Vis Hoodie (RX740).
Hoodies have become a casual wear classic, but they’re just as useful in working situations. The RX740 Pro RTX high visibility hoodie gives us a Hi Vis take on this contemporary workwear must-have. It offers warmth, comfort and functionality, as well as being certified to several standards. This garment includes a durable double fabric hood with adjustable drawstrings. As with the RX7300 sweatshirt, there are also very practical contrast cuffs and hem and reflective tape.
Yoko Hi-Vis Soft Flex Jacket (HVS450).
Our quick look at Hi Vis apparel wouldn’t be right without an example of a high visibility outer garment. This Yoko Hi Vis Soft Flex Breathable U-dry Jacket (HVS450) is created from a technical material with cotton backing. Being both waterproof and breathable offers real appeal. Something that’s increased by a regular fit which means it to be worn with layers during colder months. It also incorporates a hood, pockets and rear ventilation to complete the package.
And that’s about it for this piece. Our emphasis here has been workwear, but Hi Vis is used in other situations such as leisure and sport. Especially when those activities take place in urban surroundings. Perhaps we ought to mention types of decoration before we conclude this article on customised workwear. Most Hi Vis is suitable for printing and embroidery. However, embroidery tends to be the preferred option. Many customers consider to it to have a more ‘premium’ feel and to give a more professional representation of their business.