Why is Safety Important for Road Construction Crews?
One of the hazards that Road Construction Crews face every day is moving traffic in and around their work zones. Personnel without a safety vest or safety T-shirt are in grave danger of being struck by a vehicle while operating along roadways. Road construction workers need to be especially vigilant and use the required reflective safety vests when on limited access roads where speeds are higher and driver reaction times are shorter. CSA Standard Z96-15 Reflective Vests and other high visibility apparel significantly improve the safety of Construction road crews while working alongside traffic.
Studies show that people who are not wearing ANSI 107 compliant T-shirts and/or vests are more likely to be killed or injured by equipment or vehicles than people who are wearing the ANSI 107 compliant apparel. These findings have led a large number of regulatory bodies to require all workers to wear ANSI 107-2004 compliant apparel. For example; the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Rule 23 CFR Part 634 requires workers on federally funded roads to wear ANSI 107-2004 compliant apparel.
High-visibility clothing clearly distinguishes the worker from the environment. There are three components that make up the basic high-visibility clothing item. These are retro-reflective material (bands), combined-performance material, and background material. The colour of the combined-performance material and the background material can be either fluorescent orange-red or fluorescent yellow-green. Combined performance material is considered part of the background for purposes of total area required. When light is shined on the retro-reflective material, it is reflected back to the source.
Class 1: T-shirts and vests that have the least amount of high-visibility background material and the minimum reflective material. Wear these shirts and vests for low-risk situations such as when working indoors in good light or outside as cart attendants at a supermarket.
Class 2: T-shirts and vests in this class have more high-visibility background material and almost 30% more reflective material. These are much more visible than Class 1 apparel. In situations where it is difficult to differentiate the worker from the background it is crucial that the worker be wearing this type of T-shirt or vest.
Class 3: The highest amount of high-visibility background material and reflective material is used in this T-shirt and vest. Wear this class of apparel where working in low light or bad weather is an issue.