Why wear high-visibility garments
- High-visibility garments are a type of personal protective equipment (PPE). They improve how well workers are seen. All workers exposed to the hazard of moving vehicles or mobile equipment must wear appropriate high-visibility garments.
- Section 8.2 of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation states that employers must provide most types of PPE, including high-visibility garments.
- Choose garments in consultation with the OHS committee or worker representative. High-visibility garments can be purchased at many work wear stores and safety supply stores. Ensure they meet WorkSafeBC requirements.
Types of high-visibility garments
- The type of high-visibility garment you need to wear depends on the type of location in which you are working.
- Workers exposed to vehicles travelling more than 30 km/h (20 mph) need to wear high-visibility garments meeting WorkSafeBC’s Type 1 or Type 2 criteria.
- Workers exposed to mobile equipment or vehicles travelling less than 30 km/h (e.g., on work sites or in parking lots), or working within an area protected by barricades from “public” traffic need to wear high-visibility garments meeting WorkSafeBC’s Type 3 criteria.
- Employers must ensure that workers are trained in how to use and care for all PPE, including their high-visibility garments. See WorkSafeBC’s Employer PPE information sheet for additional responsibilities.
- Supervisors and workers also have responsibilities. Supervisors need to ensure workers have and wear the appropriate garments, and that the garments are properly cleaned and maintained. Workers need to wear and take care of their garments and alert their supervisor if their garment is worn or damaged. Distribute the Supervisor and Worker PPE information sheets.
Other personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Workers may require other types of PPE such as safety headgear, hearing protection or eye protection depending on their job activities. Ensure your workers have the PPE they require. See OHS Regulation Part 8 and the related Guidelines for more information.
- PPE, including high-visibility garments, are the last line of defense against workplace incidents. The use of PPE does not eliminate the risk of injury caused by hazards. If workers must work near traffic, ensure that, where possible, physical barriers or other engineering controls are in place to minimize exposure to traffic.
- Also ensure that workers are aware of hazards at the work site, are properly trained, and follow safe work procedures.
- Garments should be fitted to the person and appropriate for environmental conditions. Consider the size of the person as well as the bulk or thickness of clothing worn underneath the garments.
- Ensure that the garments are worn correctly. They should be correctly fastened, with no hanging parts.
- High-visibility garments must be clean and well-maintained. Dirty or worn fluorescent or retro-reflective materials compromise the level of visibility.
- Replace garments that show signs of wear and tear as they will no longer be able to provide an acceptable level of visibility.