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Staying safe on the job is of paramount importance in any field or industry. In return for a solid day’s work, employees and contractors should expect to be protected from dangerous situations in all ways that meet current safety standards and guidelines. Everyone wants to go home at the end of the day and come back refreshed tomorrow, ready for another day on the job.
Proper communication and the right actions go a long way towards keeping you and your team safe. Wearing the right safety equipment does as well! While bright yellow and orange boots, pants, jackets, and vests might not be an instant hit on the fashion runway, they really do work. Safety vests must meet guidelines set out by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) as well as NYCTA contractor safety standards. It is required to wear an approved New York high visibility vest. Always make sure that the specifications have been checked and adhered to. Let's get into some details.
What Are the Different Classes of High Visibility Safety Vests?
So, doesn’t any old safety vest get the job done? Yes and no. Wearing bright colors on a construction site or in a work zone is always the best way to remain visible. You want to stick out. But wearing the right safety gear goes beyond this. There are specific safety standards at the federal and state level across the country that need to be met when it comes to safety vests. And this is for a really good reason. According to data gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when it comes to work-related deaths in New York City, construction workers have it the worst. More workers die in construction than in any other industry each year.
Class 3 safety wear is made to give you the maximum level of visibility. These vests are made to be worn by workers who need to be in situations with serious hazards. These workers often have high task workloads that take their attention away from their surrounding environment. These garments will offer visibility to more than the torso, and also cover part of the worker’s arms or legs
Staying Safe on the Job in New York
Increasingly, infrastructure across New York and the United States is coming under scrutiny due to its age and condition. A lot of work is being planned and carried out in order to upgrade the country’s roads, bridges, rail systems, and other essentials. This is great news. It means job opportunities can be increasing in areas where construction needs to be done, which benefits everyone.
It also means there’s an increasing need to remain vigilant. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, New York-New Jersey information office, 5,333 workers died on the job in 2019 across the country. New York City was home to 91 work-related deaths in the same year. Falls, slips, trips, violence and injuries, exposure to harmful substances, and contact with equipment and objects were many of the reasons people died.
Statistics show men are overwhelmingly the victims of workplace accidents, and made up 89% of workplace deaths in New York City in 2019. Workers who are aged 25-54 account for about half of all work-related deaths, and the vast majority are people who were employed for wages or salaries, and not contract workers. It’s ever-important to keep yourself and your team visible at all times in order to stay safe.
Obviously, you want to keep yourself safer by always being easy to spot.
Class 1 vests provide a basic level of visibility. (The visibility needed increases with every class). Class 1 safety vests are made to be worn in situations where the wearer can give their full, undivided attention to any approaching traffic near the work area. When wearing class 1 safety vests, there is something separating the worker from the traffic, and any vehicles around are traveling no faster than 25 miles per hour.
Class 2 Safety Vests
The second class of gear provides you with a bit more added protection. These vests are intended to be worn in situations and activities where you need to be more visible. This could be due to working outside in bad weather that makes it difficult to see, or something else that makes it necessary for workers to be easier to spot than in class 1 situations.
Class 2 garments must also be worn when workers can’t give their full attention to approaching traffic, and in situations where they are in, close proximity to traffic traveling 25 miles per hour or faster.
Class 3 Safety Vests
Class 3 safety wear is made to give you the maximum level of visibility. These vests are made to be worn by workers who need to be in situations with serious hazards. These workers often have high task workloads that take their attention away from their surrounding environment. These garments will offer visibility to more than the torso, and also cover part of the worker’s arms or legs.