Top 10 tips: Dress for success (and safety)

UniFirst High Visibility Workwear
As government agencies act to rebuild many aging highways throughout North America, experts are calling for a stronger focus on worksite safety, particularly as it applies to high visibility workwear. (PRNewsFoto/UniFirst)

As government transportation agencies and construction contractors throughout the U.S. jump into the busy season for building and repairing the nation’s roads and bridges, much of that work must be performed during hours with heavy amounts of traffic.

The U.S. Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to remind roadway construction and maintenance companies of the need for heightened safety awareness to prevent needless injuries or fatalities.

Here’s a list of 10 important safety considerations that roadway workers should keep in mind, put together by work uniform and safety apparel provider UniFirst:

1. Don’t trust accessories alone, such as high visibility vests, to provide worker protection. Enhanced or high visibility shirts, pants, jackets or coveralls may be needed for workers to be better identified by drivers of moving vehicles (particularly in hot climates where roadwork is generally done during nighttime hours to minimize the risk of heat exhaustion).

2. Follow the regulations and guidelines that affect your business as they apply to high visibility safety apparel. Adhere to the high visibility apparel compliance standards.

3. Ensure your high visibility apparel works as it was designed to do. Keep it clean and well maintained. 

4. Conduct training programs to instruct workers on how to properly use and maintain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

5. Incorporate the use of temporary traffic barriers at your worksite to provide workers with added physical protection from moving vehicles.

6. Use flaggers or police officers to help control the movement of passing vehicles and prominently post speed zones.

7. Designate a trained workplace safety expert to conduct regular hazard assessments and adjust safety measures accordingly.

8. Hold supervisors accountable for the daily documentation of any potential safety hazards and have them demonstrate the steps they took to eliminate them.

9. Select the best high visibility color for the work environment. If the work area, for example, contains many orange colored vehicles and signs, the use of yellow-green work apparel may help to differentiate workers from their surroundings.

10. Don’t have the time or resources to effectively manage and maintain a safety work apparel program for your employees? Then renting (versus purchasing) ANSI-rated high visibility and other garments from a reputable uniform service provider, may be your best option. Such suppliers provide all required work apparel, regular pick up and deliveries, hygienic laundering, and quality inspections, while also managing program administration and maintaining inventories.