When you’re thinking about workplace safety solutions, a reflective vest might seem like a small thing.
After all, on the scale of safety tools, it’s a relatively simple one.
Simple or not, make no mistake: a reflective vest is critical in keeping your employees safe, especially if you work in high-risk, high traffic environments. Here’s why a vest is such an important investment in your employees’ safety.
Keeps Your Employees Visible
The biggest benefit of a reflective vest is that it keeps your employees visible.
It sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it? After all, that’s what a reflective vest is made to do. That’s why OSHA requires reflective vests.
But at a deeper level, it’s essential to workplace safety.
Let’s say, for example, that your team is doing a highway construction project. Many of these projects happen at night, to reduce the risk of getting hit by oncoming traffic. After all, most people don’t drive on the highway at night.
However, working in low-light conditions presents an entirely different risk for your workers. Namely, since humans don’t actually have night vision, drivers and other workers can’t see them very well in the dark.
Reflex might kick in fast enough, but the risk just isn’t worth it. Instead, a reflective vest draws the eye immediately, making a worker’s presence obvious to any drivers on the road and their fellow workers.
Differentiates Employees from the Crowd
Of course, the benefits of a reflective vest aren’t limited to low light conditions.
The fact is, reflective vests are bright. That’s the whole point – they attract attention loudly so that anyone who looks will be able to see the worker wearing it. That’s a serious advantage in construction.
Think of it this way. Let’s say you’re doing construction in a crowded area where civilians may be passing through. Regular clothes tend to blend in. Even if you know every one of your workers personally, it’s hard to pick them out at a distance, or even at first glance.
Reflective vests make it easy to pick your employees out of a crowd, so you know exactly who’s around and what’s going on.
In a shipyard, for example, this is a major advantage, as it helps you spot your employees among brightly colored shipping containers.
All of this adds up to one thing: reduced liability for your company.
Let’s say, for example, that a driver can’t see your employees. This results in one of your employees getting hit.
Did you know that vehicle crashes are the most expensive workers’ compensation claim, averaging around $73,559 per claim filed?
If you work in a high-risk environment, like a construction site or a shipyard, vehicles are constantly moving around. So, too, are your employees. You simply cannot afford to take the risk of your employees getting into accidents, financially or ethically.
After all, if your goal is to get all of your employees home safe to their families, then they need all the protection they can get. A reflective vest is one small investment to ensure that your workers can show up for work and go home every day without harm.
Safety Beyond a Reflective Vest
A reflective vest goes a long way in keeping your employees out of harm’s way, but it’s not the only tool in your arsenal.
In fact, if you want to do a good job of protecting your employees, you should look for a comprehensive suite of safety tools, like EHS software, that addresses every aspect of the problem.
For more tips on how to improve your health and safety program, visit our safety blog.