When Should You Replace Your Hi-Viz Clothing?
Even the most durable garments do not last forever. Especially when it comes to safety apparel, nearly all of them need to be periodically replaced, so the garments can keep effectively serving their purpose. Even your favourite safety vest might have done you well, but it's time to part ways if it’s no longer fulfilling its purpose to protect you from your job sites hazards.
However, it is also essential to keep in mind that you must not throw away a useful piece of high visibility gear before it has served its complete lifetime. So, how do you determine if it is time to replace your high visibility clothing? The answer to this depends on how adequately you take care of your safety apparel according to the manufacturer's care specifications. In other words, the frequency of replacing your hi-viz safety apparel is not defined by a certain period, but how it is used and cared for.
Use this blog post to help decide how often you should be replacing your high visibility clothing for maximum safety on the job site.
Storing and Cleaning High Visibility Clothing
How you use and take care of your hi-viz garments determines how often you will need to replace it. Suppose your work requires you to regularly wear safety gear or work for most of the day in direct sunlight. In that case, you will likely see yourself replacing it a lot sooner than if you were only putting it on for a small duration throughout the day.
Your high visibility gear will last much longer if you take some time to store and clean it properly. Here is how you can keep your safety gear in good shape for a longer period of time;
- Store your hi-viz garments away from direct sunlight whenever possible, as sun rays make the highlighted colours disappear more quickly.
- Clean your hi-viz gear thoroughly at the end of each day, especially if it has gotten dirty. It is unnecessary to put it in the laundry every time; in fact, it’s better to wipe it down with a clean cloth if it is not dirty enough to require a full wash.
- Don’t crush, fold or squish your hi-viz garment when storing it. This puts extra pressure on the clothings fibres, making them break faster. Hanging the clothes in a safe place is a preferable option.
Signs You Should Replace Your Hi-Viz Clothing
In general, if a piece of hi-viz garment has been in regular use for more than six months, then you should check it for wear and tear signs. Following are the telltale signs that your hi-viz gear is no longer safe to wear according to the CSA visibility standards and must be replaced as soon as possible;
- The garment’s fluorescent fabric has started to fade, or the colour has become dull.
- The garment's reflective strips are no longer providing any visibility from a distance, or the strips have become damaged.
- The garment has become dirty, and the grime won’t come off even after a full wash.
- The garment has rips and tears and no longer feels comfortable.
If your garment shows any of the above signs, it will need replacing. To better determine if you need to replace your clothing, you can compare your gear to a coworker who has just gotten an article of new hi-viz clothing.