High-visibility work shirts are an important part of many industries, as they protect and alert others to your presence in potentially dangerous situations. With a hi-vis work shirt on, you are far more likely to avoid accidents, but only if you are wearing the proper colour. It may be surprising that colour actually plays a large part in your safety when wearing hi-vis work shirts, but what you need to consider is your surroundings where you work. You need to choose a colour that won't help you blend into the background but, rather, will help you stand out and be seen. Here are the two main colours found in hi-vis work shirts and which industry they are best suited for.
Orange hi-vis work shirts are best used in environments that are primarily rural and with a lot of plants around you. There are very few orange plants and flowers in Australia, which means the chances of you blending into the background of anything orange are very, very remote. On the other hand, you should never use an orange hi-vis shirt on a construction site, as many different types of tubing, packaging and paints are orange or could be mistaken for orange.
Yellow hi-vis work shirts are great for roadworks and construction sites because there are far fewer yellow signs and distractions then there are orange ones. That is also why you commonly see cyclists wearing yellow hi-vis work shirts. In many ways, yellow is the opposite of orange, as it should not be used in rural settings because it can blend into the green backgrounds more easily. Yellow can also be used indoors, in industrial settings or by security personnel because it is much easier to pick out in a crowd or amongst machines and equipment than orange is.
Always Have Both
It might sound like this article is suggesting you choose one type of hi-vis work shirt over the other, but the truth is it is always best to have multiple pairs of each colour. You should always keep a spare of both colours in your work vehicle, in case you need to move between multiple sites on a single day. Also, because work shirts can wear out quicker, it makes sense to stock up on quite a few when you do need to buy one. That also gives you more leeway if you forget to do a washing one night, and you can never have too many hi-vis work shirts!