Hi-Vis T-Shirts

Keep yourself safe, stylish, cool, and most importantly visible with hi-vis t-shirts. Choose from a range of colours, sizes, and materials to suit your needs. Here at Cromwell, we have an extensive range of hi-vis t-shirts from leading brands Mascot®, Portwest®, and our flagship exclusive brand Halo®.

What are hi-vis t-shirts?

Hi-vis t-shirts (shortened from high-visibility t-shirts) are clothing in bright fluorescent orange or yellow colours with integrated reflective strips. They are primarily used to keep the wearer visible against the background or in dark environments. Being t-shirts, they offer the comfort and freedom of movement as compared to thicker items of clothing.

When are hi-vis t-shirts used?

Being one of many different hi-visibility clothing available on the market, hi-vis t-shirts are often worn on construction and maintenance sites, warehouses, or any dark environments where personnel must clearly be visible due to safety. High visibility clothing is necessary when working in environments where vehicles are in operation to enhance the wearers visibility to the drivers. Hi-vis t-shirts are suited for the warmer months when the wearer would need to be cool during the day.

Considerations when choosing hi-vis t-shirts

Colour - There are three colours that are compliant with the necessary hi-visibility clothing safety standard of EN ISO 20471:2013. There is a choice of fluorescent orange, fluorescent yellow, or fluorescent red. By picking one of these three colours, you ensure compliance as well as allowing for personal preferences and workplace needs to shine through.

Size - It is extremely important to ensure the size and fitting of the hi-vis t-shirts as poorly fitting clothing can become a health hazard. Loose clothing may get caught in machinery, whereas too tight clothing may be uncomfortable to the wearer and increase fatigue.

Material - Hi-vis t-shirts are most often manufactured from polyester or some sort of polyester/cotton blend. This is due to the lightweight, durable, quick drying nature of polyester, allowing for a resilient product that allows the user to cool quickly when sweating.

Hi-vis t-shirts jargon buster

We want to make it easy for you to select the right hi-vis polo shirt for your needs, so here are some key terms that will help you understand the range and applications of the products on offer a little better.

What does the hi-visibility clothing standard EN ISO 20471:2013 mean?

EN ISO 20471:2013 is not as complicated to understand as it first appears, and it specifies the basic/additional hi-visibility clothing requirements to meet the standard.

Let's break it down...

• EN - This is the current applicable standard across Europe.

• ISO - All hi-visibility products must meet the minimum safety standards as defined by the International Organization for Standardization.

• 20471 - This is the assigned legislation number.

• 2013 - This is the year the safety standard around hi-visibility clothing was updated. The new standard outlines the requirements for three components of hi-visibility workwear: the base fabric colour, the minimum area for reflectivity and the placement of the reflective tape.

So what are the different classes within this standard and what do they mean?
There are three classes of hi-visibility clothing within this EN ISO standard that are defined as such:

• Hi-Vis Class 1 - This applies to garments with the lowest level of visibility, such as hi-vis trousers when not worn in conjunction with other hi-vis garments.

• Hi-Vis Class 2 - This applies to garments with an intermediate level of visibility, such as hi-vis sleeveless vests.

• Hi-Vis Class 3 - This applies to garments with the highest level of visibility, such as hi-vis jackets, hi-vis polo shirts with long sleeves and sleeved hi-vis vests.


Should I wear yellow or orange hi-vis t-shirts?

Although both yellow and orange hi-vis t-shirts are extremely bright, they may still be too difficult to see in certain environments. In outdoors and green environments orange is required as it won't blend in. In darker or dimly lit environments yellow should be worn as it is more visible.

Is it law to wear hi-vis clothing?

Employers are required to provide hi-vis clothing to their employees and their employees are required to wear it; especially where workplace assessment requires it.In low and dimly lit conditions your employer must provide adequate protection and it must be adhered to. "BS EN 471 governs HV clothing; this British Standard is harmonised with European legislation, which states that this type of safety workwear must be conspicuous in appearance and reflective."