High visibility clothing is essential for keeping engineers safe. At the most basic level it ensures we are visible on site, it is also carefully designed so it can protect the wearer from any number of potential hazards.
Sometimes those hazards can be heavy duty dirt and grime, other times it can be something as simple as protection from sunburn. This means many different kinds of high visibility clothing are available as part of an engineer’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
This equipment is made to last but, as with all things, it inevitably suffers wear and tear and needs to be replaced. The Trust is already signed up to a scheme to recycle worn-out hard hats, and now we are reviewing the options for more environmentally-friendly clothing.
At present, high visibility clothing is difficult to recycle, however we can at least source it made from recycled materials. In this case from recycled post-consumer clothing or plastic bottles.
The first option we’re trialling is a lightweight high visibility top for use on hot summer days. This particular item is long-sleeved, something that’s important for ensuring arms are both visible and covered for protection from scrapes or grazes. It also provides good covering for sun protection and is made from fabric that offers UV protection of UPF 40+. UPF, which stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor, is the textile equivalent of SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that many of us are familiar with on sunscreen. As an added benefit UPF relates to UVB and UVA rays, with this kind of protection lasting for the life of the garment.