Regardless of what you're protecting yourself from on the job, there's always certain standard requirements that must be met. This could be reflectivity, chemical resistance or fire retardant properties - and along with these requirements comes different levels of protection (depending on the work environment) and therefor different standards that are required to maintain compliance.
As an example, ANSI Class 2 requires a certain level of reflectivity which is rated by the actual amount of reflective material the garment contains. ANSI Class 3 uses the same principal, yet requires a higher amount of reflectivity meaning an increased amount of reflective material is required to meet compliance.
The concept is pretty easy to understand, especially if you've been working in your field for a while and are familiar with the specific safety requirements of your job. But what about when those requirements change?
In some fields, there are multiple standards of compliance depending on the duty being performed. Many times these are ignored or met with confusion and while it may not be intentional, many workers risk their safety each day without actually realizing it.
A common situation is when certain areas of a job site require a lower standard of protection than other areas, yet there are many workers who travel throughout the site performing different duties. They might be required to wear high visibility or non-ANSI safety vests in one area, while workers in higher traffic areas require ANSI Class 2 gear to meet compliance standards. The misconception in this situation is that workers from the lower traffic areas might assume they're protected for their specific job description, but their safety gear doesn't actually meet the requirements for the higher traffic area of the job site, regardless of the duty they're performing. While this sort of scenario might not seem to be a big deal, it puts the workers at greater risk by decreasing their safety and increasing the chances of an accident.
Road workers are another one of the many professionals whose safety requirements change on the job. If they're working long hours into the night, they're going to have to meet the ANSI requirements for night time road work, regardless of whether or not they normally work at night. So in a situation where construction is running behind and long hours or overnight shifts are required, you might have workers out there who aren't used to wiring after dark and aren't equipped with gear that meets the minimal safety standards.
What about your job? Are there certain times when your duties, even if rarely, require a different level of safety than the typical or most commonly performed duties that you partake in? Are there times when even if for a shirt period, you're in a situation where your safety gear doesn't meet the standards for that particular task or environment? If so, you're only putting yourself at risk.
Think about it, and think about the importance of safety on the job. After all, it's a job. Do you really want to risk serious injury or death while at work? The whole point of work is to be able to support yourself so you can enjoy life, and neglecting safety on the job is like neglecting the importance of your life.
If you work in changing environments, consider picking up the extra gear to ensure that you can always meet the minimal safety standards. If possible, consider purchasing gear that meets the highest requirements available or gear that's a level above what's required to ensure that you're always meeting and exceeding the standards instead of occasionally falling below them.
HiVis Supply carries a complete line of high visibility safety gear and apparel from the top brand names to meet any level of compliance necessary. From safety vests, hard hats and gloves to rain gear, winter gear and more. We have the top quality products you need to remain visible, safe and comfortable on the job, including all classes of ANSI/ISEA 107 compliant gear. Visit our website now to check out our massive inventory and save with our guaranteed everyday low prices. Your safety can't afford to wait, it should always be the top priority.