4 Factors to Consider When Choosing a High Visibility Jacket

by Molly Joyce

Safety for workers in a high physical risk industry like construction goes beyond protective gloves and welding shields. Especially, if they operate on sites with high traffic and heavy machinery, around speeding vehicles with blind spots, or in low light conditions, they need high visibility (Hi-Vis) apparel to ensure they can be seen. 

When worn appropriately, without coverings or distractions, Hi-Vis clothing saves lives and reduces injuries. For instance, drivers, other workers, or pedestrians can easily spot a worker in a high visibility jacket, reducing the chances of an accident. 

With many high visibility clothing on the market, choosing ones that work best for you can be challenging.

Luckily, considering the following factors will help you select the best high visibility jacket:

  • The lighting conditions
  • Different fabrics available
  • Customization aspect
  • Comfort and fit

1 - The Lighting Conditions in the Workstation

branded high visibility jacket

Before purchasing a high visibility jacket, it’s crucial to consider the time and location of its use. 

Workers in different industries operate under varying lighting conditions. For instance, a construction worker spends hours on site during the day when there’s adequate light. While an emergency responder working late at night will be on site when it’s dark.

Therefore, workers need high visibility jackets made from fluorescent materials during the day and Hi-Vis made from retroreflective materials at night to ensure safety and visibility. 

But what do these terms mean?

  • A fluorescent material absorbs the sun’s UV light and reflects it on the viewer’s eyes as visible light. Jackets made of this material need a natural light source, and hence don’t glow in the dark.
  • Retro-reflective material bounces back light to its source. For instance, at night, retro-reflective Hi-Vis will reflect light from a coming vehicle, making its wearer more visible. It’s often incorporated in a jacket through reflecting tapes or stripes.

The table below describes the appropriate material for workers depending on their lighting conditions.

Lighting Condition Most Suitable Hi-Vis Jacket
  • Hi-Vis jackets need to have a striking contrast with the environment to prevent blending. For instance, if you have lots of orange machinery at your site, go for fluorescent yellow-green (lime), which offers more contrast to the elements
  • Use bright colors like orange, yellow, strong yellow, white, silver, and strong yellow-green (as directed by OSHA)
  • Go with fluorescent materials because they work well with natural light
Low light conditions (At dusk and dawn)
  • Opt for brightly colored Hi-Vis jackets like lime and orange
  • Choose Hi-Vis made using fluorescent material
Dark conditions
  • The Hi-Vis jacket need to be reflective enough to be seen at night
  • Hi-Vis jackets made with a retro-reflective material are most ideal

2 - Type of Fabric

Fabric plays a huge role in determining your high visibility jacket’s durability.

Let’s take, for instance, cotton vs. polyester.

Cotton is a natural fiber that cannot absorb enough of the fluorescent dye color needed to make a reflective material. Thus it’s not vibrant enough to pass the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Testing Standards for high visibility safety apparel.

Polyester, on the other hand, is synthetic and not dyed through immersion, letting it maintain the Hi-Vis jacket’s brightness and fluorescent qualities even after washing. This makes it compliant with the ANSI standards.

Synthetic fabrics like polyester are also stronger than cotton, making them more durable. Since workers are more likely to wear their Hi-Vis jackets every day at work, it’s best to choose such hard-wearing fabrics. 

Other advantages of synthetic fabrics like polyester, acrylic, and nylon are: 

  • They’re closely knitted and bright enough in low-light conditions.
  • They feel smooth on the skin.
  • They’re warmer on the body.
  • They wick away moisture rather than absorbing it.
  • They’re lightweight .

Expert Tip: If your workers are often exposed to fire and flammable substances, choose fire retardant fabrics like nylon and polyester. These will slow down or stop the spread of fire and reduce its intensity, making them ideal for emergencies.

choose fire retardant fabrics like nylon and polyester

3 - Customization Aspect

customized high visibility jacket

A logo says a lot about your business—it visually represents your organization’s goals, history, and gives it an identity. 

As an integral part of your brand representation, it’s crucial to display your logo on your worker’s Hi-Vis jacket. 

Most construction sites today have two or more businesses working simultaneously, and failing to tell workers apart can greatly hamper communication. Yet with your company logo on your workers’ HI-Vis jackets, you’ll differentiate them from other workers.

Besides distinguishing workers on site, a branded Hi-Vis jacket:

  • Creates a professional look and uniformity for workers
  • Strengthens your brand by creating awareness 
  • Promotes unity between workers
  • Leaves a good impression of your business

But branding the Hi-Vis jackets is not enough—the logo placement is equally important.

Luckily, Jupmode can help you settle for the best logo placement. With a decade and a half worth of experience in the industry, we’ve come to learn the ins and outs of custom branding safety apparel and strategic placement of your company logo for maximum brand awareness. 

Related: Employee Apparel: 6 Safety Apparel Must Haves for Construction Workers

Here are some considerations on your logo’s placement:

  • Your company logo should not conceal any of the jacket’s retro-reflective material.
  • The logo needs to be small and not overpower the jacket’s fluorescence.
  • Avoid multi-colored logos since they overshadow the safety clothing’s color background.

Expert Tip: Following these branding rules on your own can be cumbersome and time-consuming. But with the help of Jupmode, your workers will have their branded Hi-Vis jackets in no time. We’ll handle all the work for you, from design creation to custom embroidery.

4 - Fit and Comfort

men in Hi-Vi gears at a worksite

Proper fit means the garment must be large enough to sit well on the body and stay in place during work. Additionally, it must leave sufficient space for appropriate clothing to be worn underneath.

Without a proper and comfortable fit, you introduce new hazards to the working site.

Wondering how? Let’s explain.

  • If the garment is too small, it can restrict the worker’s movement and prevent them from carrying out their tasks well.
  • If the garment is too big, the excess material can get in the way of their work or get caught in moving machinery.

Therefore, to avoid injuries, consider the jacket’s fit and comfort during work.

Furthermore, its seams and material shouldn’t cause irritation. And the jacket needs to be of appropriate weight with enough stretch.

Other features that enhance the fit and comfort include:

  • Flexible material
  • Proper ventilation
  • Stretch panels under the arms
  • Adjustment straps

Also, consider the number and size of tools to be carried around like backpacks, equipment belts, gloves, and boots. The Hi-Vis jacket must be large enough to prevent any obstruction from these tools since the workers need to be highly visible from far away.

Promote Your Brand Today With a Customized Hi-Vis Jacket

Adding your company logo to your Hi-Vis jacket is one of the greatest ways to promote your brand and build authenticity.

With Jupmode screen printing and embroidery services, you can add your company’s logo and additional texts to Hi-Vis jackets to suit your brand. 

If you don’t like your current logo design, our experienced in-house graphic designers can help you create a new design that tells your story. 

We’re here to help you bring your brilliant ideas to life. So tell us about your project today, and we’ll handle the rest. 

It’ll be easy and fun, our customer Amy has tried us and proved this to be true.

testimonial of amy

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