Hi-Vis Waistcoats

Stay cool, safe, and most importantly visible on demand with hi-vis waistcoats. Choose from a range of sizes, colours, materials, and closure types. Here at Cromwell, we have an extensive range of hi-vis waistcoats from brands such as Mascot®, Portwest®, and our flagship exclusive brand Halo®.

What are hi-vis waistcoats?

Hi-vis waistcoats (shortened from hi-visibility waistcoats or sometimes known as hi-vis vests) are a form of clothing in highly visible fluorescent colours with attached retroreflective strips to increase visibility of the wearer to others. Being waistcoats, these forms of clothing tend to be centred around the torso, meaning that the arms won't have high visibility clothing covering them.

When are hi-vis waistcoats used?

Being one of the many different hi-visibility clothing, hi-vis waistcoats can be worn in multiple environments where the wearer needs to be clearly visible such as construction and maintenance sites, in green environments or in warehouses. High visibility clothing is required in environments where there are moving vehicles. As Hi-vis waistcoats are thin and can be worn on top of normal clothing, they tend to be used as a temporary high visibility clothing for users who don't tend to be in the required environments often.

Considerations when choosing hi-vis waistcoats

Size - It is extremely important to ensure the size and fitting of the hi-vis waistcoats 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 waistcoats are 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.

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 red, fluorescent orange, or fluorescent yellow. By picking one of these three colours, you ensure compliance as well as allowing for personal preferences and workplace needs to shine through.

Hi-vis waistcoats jargon buster

We want to make it easy for you, so here are some key terms that will help you understand the range and applications 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.


Is it law to wear hi-vis clothing in a warehouse?

Yes. Health and safety regulations require workers in these environments to wear high visibility clothing to ensure safety and reduce workplace accidents.

Does the colour of hi-vis matter?

The colour of hi-vis clothing is important in different environments to ensure the wearer is visible to others. For example, yellow shouldn't be worn in green environments as it may blend into the foliage, so orange should be worn in these environments. Alternatively, in darker environments, yellow is far more visible than orange so should be worn then.