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    Mar 2020

    Hi Vis Biz

    Anyone in the ‘Hi Vis Biz’ will know that it’s not how yellow your jacket is – it’s more complicated than that…

    High visibility clothing is governed by the international standard EN ISO 20471. This standard alerts people to your presence while taking into account the workwear’s durability.

    What it Comes Down To

    Not all available high-visibilty workwear is legally compliant so you could be in breach of the legal requirement!

    The current international standard means since it’s introduction in 2013 the certification for hi-vis clothing lasts only five years.

    Getting it Right

    There are several common issues that are faced when finding the correct workwear that complies with EN ISO 20471.

    The Colour Standard

    Yes, the colour intensity is a ‘thing!’ The flourescent material needs to boost visibility in the day and increase it at night.

    According to this regulation only yellow, orange and red are the usable colours.


    The reflective strips are primarily used for darker environments. They must meet the minimum required reflectivity of 330 cd/lux (a measurement of lumens per square centimetre).

    Garments with these reflective strips need to be handled correctly so they can retain their reflectivity.


    Sometimes garments are literally too small to have the correct amount of surface area for the reflective material.

    When choosing your workwear go for generously sized shirts and jackets to make sure there’s enough surface area.


    It’s important to note that dirt build up happens around the sleeves so the reflective sections should be away from these areas.

    Certified and Identified

    A lot of budget garments don’t display the legistated information.

    Each piece of clothing needs to clearly display a ‘user information document’ referencing a notified body number where it was certified. This is so the certificating body can be contacted by the wearer for authentication (if needed).

    Other Stuff to Note

    • Displaying your logo on your clothing is a great idea for brand awareness. It’s worth checking whether the amount of surface area you’re using will cause your clothing to lose it’s certification.

    • If you tuck your hi-vis trousers into your boots you could make the clothing non-compliant because of surface area reduction. 

    • Most hi-vis garments have 25 washes in them before they become unusable (some will be labelled if different).

    • There are even rules governing how much ‘bleed’ can go from the coloured material onto the reflective strips.


    Our hi-vis gear are put through rigorous tests so we can make sure they’re compliant for our customers.

    Interested? Give us a bell.


    See here for a more detailed look at EN ISO 20471.

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