The average person in the United States may walk as much as 10,000 steps in a day, though many have trouble just getting to that. When it comes to those working in construction or general labor, they can easily walk more than 30,000. With all those increased steps come increased hazards, making high visibility workwear, safety rain apparel, and cold weather work uniforms essential gear.
Workers and Laborers Need Protection
Whatever jokes people make about that fluorescent vest, the true is that people who work in construction and on road crews need safety rain apparel and other similar gear. In 2015 alone, 4,836 workers were killed on the job. That’s about 13 deaths every day. Some of those deaths could have been prevented with the right safety and visibility gear.
Why High Vis Coats and Jackets Work
Humans are visual. Over 20% of our brain is dedicated just to processing what we see, and the nerves that carry that information to the visual processing center run through every part of the rest of our brain. Of all our senses, sight is our species’ best. Since we can see so much and in such detail, our brains are good at filtering out visual “noise,” which is anything it determines isn’t useful. If our brains didn’t do this, we’d burn out from fully processing and giving attention to all the input! Where this becomes a problem is when our brain misses things because it’s not expecting to see them.
We drive all the time, and our brains know what we “should” see on a drive. Other cars, stop signs, street signs, or lights. We don’t expect to see or normally see people standing in the road, so when they are we’re not always prepared for it. That’s why safety rain apparel works. Our brain needs notification that something is worth noticing, and what we’re hardwired to notice are color and movement. High visibility clothing in shriekingly bright colors forces our brains to notice, making it a lot less likely we’ll hit someone if they’re wearing safety clothes.
Why is Safety Rain Apparel Important
When the weather is inclement, there are unique challenges for workers, especially those on the side of the roads and highways. The light is often worse in the rain, and rain and fog obscure everyone’s vision. Drivers can’t see as well and are distracted as they deal with windshield wipers and fogged up windscreens. They’re anxious to reach their destination and get warm and dry. And everyone–including workers–is distracted by discomfort and damp. Risks increase under these conditions, meaning safety rain apparel is even more crucial than regular safety gear. It has to be easy to see, it has to protect the user from the weather, it has to be able to layer over other clothes, and it has to cover even more of the person.
Safety rain gear and high visibility clothing works. It protects workers and increases the chance that drivers will see a person. It protects from inclement weather. And, it’s mandated by federal, state, and even local regulations. Don’t go out without the right high vis clothing, and don’t forget to be extra careful when it rains.