Nothing is more important than worker safety, especially in occupations such as construction, utility, and industrial workers. Job sites can expose workers to all sorts of hazards, and while it may not be possible to eliminate all risks, some things can be done to reduce the likelihood of injury.
One example of protective equipment includes a high visibility harness, a type of high visibility safety apparel (or HVSA). There are different types of harnesses depending on what the work environment requires. Keep reading to learn more about high visibility harnesses and see which ones might be right for your job site.
Who Needs A High Visibility Harness?
There are lots of environmental factors that reduce visibility, introduce hazards, and may make workers hard to see:
- nighttime work or other areas where light is reduced
- traffic barriers, especially walls
- construction equipment
- trees or bushes
Anyone working in these surroundings needs to be sure they are seen. High visibility harnesses use bright, fluorescent colors that are more easily seen than regular colors. They use ultraviolet radiation from the sun to shine brightly and make someone hard to miss. If there isn’t much sunlight due to clouds or the time of day, the colors are easier to see.
Reflective tape and strips are placed onto the harness to increase visibility. These two elements working together make for a safety garment that ensures the workers will be seen.
Types of Harnesses and How to Wear Them
There are three classes of high visibility harnesses:
- Type O—off-road jobs
- Type R—working in roadways and managing traffic (think about people you see directing vehicles through a one-lane road when the other way is closed)
- Type P—public safety operations
Harnesses are worn over work clothing and uniforms and are adjustable so that they can fit people of all different sizes in all different climates.
There are also specific visibility requirements to ensure the American National Standard rates them for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Accessories, or ANSI. Job sites often require ANSI-rated protective clothing for workers, so it’s essential to know their standards to comply.
They must be obvious using fluorescent colors (typically orange, yellow, or green). They must have a certain amount of reflective material permanently attached and easily seen. They must pass visibility and reflection tests per ANSI standards. These tests need to be performed by a third party, so the company cannot test their own products and pass them.
Remember to keep the harnesses maintained and repair ties or clips when necessary. Fit is essential as well, clothing that is too loose can tangle in machinery, and clothing that is too tight restricts movement and can limit the range of motion.
Safety Should Never Be Compromised
Some jobs have an elevated level of danger, and it’s important to mitigate that as much as possible. High visibility harnesses are one way to ensure workplace safety and reduce the number of on-the-job accidents.