Reflective vest: Know how to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about a very important protective equipment: the reflective vest! It is essential for anyone working on busy highways or streets with poor lighting, and can often avoid fatal accidents.
If you work autonomously in areas that ask for the use of reflective vests or if you need to provide your employees with the best models, stay with us! In this article, we will teach you all about this equipment and show you how to make the best purchase possible.
First, the most important
- The use of reflective or retroreflective vests, called high visibility clothing, is mandatory for workers in areas with large vehicle displacements.
- There are rules that regulate the use of this equipment. For example, fluorescent and reflective bands must be at least two inches each.
- It is essential to buy quality models to ensure your safety. In addition to this main function, some models also facilitate the execution of certain services.
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The best reflective vests: Our recommendations
As is the case with all personal protective equipment, a good reflective vest means more safety. We started this article by selecting some models that will surely make you satisfied and safe.
- A reflective vest from a trusted brand
- The best cost-benefit
- The most complete reflective vest
After all, should you buy a reflective vest? Why is this equipment so important? How can he help you?
It’s time to answer the most frequently asked questions about reflective vests!
What is a reflective vest and what is it for?
Reflective or retroreflective vests are equipment used by professionals who need to be seen at long distances. Typically, they are composed of fluorescent bands, in strong colors like orange or yellow, and reflective ones, which are needed mainly at night.
Reflective vests are for both day and night.
The effect of the reflective vest, with an ideal part for the day and another for the night, makes it a versatile equipment capable of giving users total security. Some models may even have special spaces for tools or work instruments.
There are many professionals who work in dangerous areas or with a large number of vehicles and who may be exposed to accidents or being run over. It is for them that the use of a reflective vest is absolutely essential.
What do Brazilian safety rules say about reflective vests?
In Brazil, reflective and retroreflective vests are governed by Regulatory Standard number 15292. It deals with high visibility clothing and brings the technical specifications necessary for a garment to be considered safe.
Among the most important specifications are the presence of both fluorescent and reflective bands and the fact that both must fully surround the garment, ensuring 360 degree visibility 24 hours a day. Each of these parts must be at least 5 centimeters wide.
There are three classes of risks, each related to the dangerousness of the environments and the average speed of cars passing through the region. In order to know which one is yours or your employees’, it is necessary to know the regulation perfectly.
It is worth mentioning that, according to the legislation, the reflective vest is not considered an individual protection equipment (PPE). This, however, does not mean that it is not mandatory.
Did you know that Brazilian law says that employers are required to provide all necessary protections for employees? For those working near busy streets and highways, this includes reflective vests.
Therefore, you must provide reflective vests for your employees or, if you are on the other side of this equation, demand them from your boss!
Which professionals need to wear reflective vests?
The list of professionals working in dangerous areas due to the proximity to highways and busy streets is long. Below, we will list some of the main ones:
- Road construction workers : Many workers risk their lives to move on roads and shoulders. As much as the necessary signs are always made, it is essential that they wear equipment such as reflective vests.
- Motorcyclists: Motorcycles do not produce the same luminosity as automobiles and many accidents happen because of this. Therefore, professionals who spend many hours on these two-wheeled vehicles have much to gain by wearing reflective vests and other ways to stand out.
- Traffic advisers : In areas close to schools, universities, hospitals or even works, it is common for traffic advisors to always have to take care of the movement of vehicles. A good reflective vest is also indispensable for them.
Pavers, landscapers, construction workers, garbage collectors and cyclists are also among those who may need reflective and retroreflective vests. For them, it is best to use common sense regarding the possible danger that each situation offers.
What are the advantages of a reflective vest?
A reflective vest of high level and within the standards of safety, with good bands for both day and night, is able to protect workers at any time. It is versatile and durable, withstanding constant use.
Mandatory in certain situations, it can do more than just make workers more visible. Quality models have spaces for tools and work instruments and facilitate the execution of the service.
Another feature of some models is the one size, which makes buying easier when many models need to be purchased. It is possible to choose between this type or the ones with varied sizes, indicated for the purchase will be made in a unitary way.
For cyclists and motorcyclists, the only disadvantage is that reflective vests are not usually very beautiful, hindering those who like to be always in fashion.
Check the table below for the main advantages and disadvantages of reflective and retroreflective vests:
Reflective or retroreflective vest?
There is a basic difference between simple reflective vests and retro-reflective vests: The way the light diffuses. While the former only emit a strong signal of the presence of someone, mainly by the strong colors like red, yellow and orange that they use, the latter are more complex.
A retro-reflective vest returns the light towards its original source at almost the same intensity that it receives it. And the darker or poorly marked the workplace, the more it is necessary that this reverse emission is high.
As already mentioned, Brazilian legislation says that vests must have fluorescent and reflective bands of at least five centimeters each. However, the darker and poorly marked the location, the more a predominance of the material capable of returning the light in great intensity is recommended.
We have prepared a table comparing the two types of vest:
How much does it cost and where to buy a reflective vest?
The price range of reflective vests is enormous. You can opt for very cheap models, which cost around R $ 15 and allow simple protection, or for extremely complete ones, capable of reaching R $ 200. Good examples can be found for low prices.
Stores specializing in protective equipment, construction materials or even accessories for motorcyclists can offer good reflective vests. The internet is also a great option: We recommend the purchase by Amazon, but be sure to check out Amazon international.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for choosing a reflective vest
We have already given you a lot of valuable information about reflective vests, but one thing is still missing: Technical criteria capable of helping you choose a model! We selected four:
- Number of pockets
Below, we go into more detail about each of them!
There are three basic colors most used in reflective vests: fluorescent red, yellow and orange. All are suitable for the absorption of ultraviolet lights and to emit waves large enough to be seen from afar.
Once the vest is one of the permitted colors, the choice becomes based on criteria of taste or normativity: Is there anything specific about what should be used by a particular sector of work (traffic advisors usually use orange, for example)? If not, what is your personal preference?
There are two different types of vests: those in one size, which suit all types of people, and those with varying sizes, which need to be tried on.
One size vests are suitable for the most diverse biotypes.
Those in the first case usually have several adjustments to fit the most diverse biotypes. They are indicated mainly for companies that need to supply vests to a large number of workers and for when the turnover is high.
Vests with different sizes, in turn, tend to be more comfortable and have a better fit. They require less adjustment and are likely to be easier to use. They are the correct option for when the purchase is individual or for a few people.
Polyester is the most common fabric for reflective and retroreflective vests. Synthetic, it is very durable and has the ability to retain the dye as one of its main characteristics, a fundamental factor for this type of equipment.
Eventually, you will find vests made with other fabrics, also synthetic. The important thing is to pay attention to whether color retention and reflection production are good enough. As we are talking about security, experimentation and risk are not usually ideal.
Number of pockets
You will normally wear the reflective vest over your clothing, but still, a good number of pockets can make your job easier and leave necessary items handy. This is especially true for traffic advisers and urban construction workers.
There are some more advanced models that have not only pockets, but supports that allow tools to be hung. They are excellent for those who need to have objects always at hand and cannot be constantly moving or carrying suitcases. If so, choose to pay more and have one of these!