If you work in a hazardous environment, a safety vest with lights is probably a piece of equipment you’re familiar with. However, many people don’t realize that they work in such an environment. Anytime high visibility might improve your chances of staying safe, you could benefit from a safety vest with lights.
Whether you’re a construction worker, surveyor, or work in any other kind of job where being seen is essential, a safety vest with lights is a piece of equipment that you need to have on hand. Let’s get into what exactly a safety vest with lights is, what makes one a good choice, and the various benefits they provide.
What Is a Safety Vest with Lights?
While it sounds self-explanatory, there might be some confusion about how to define a safety vest with lights. After all, are we talking about a reflective vest or something actively imbued with LED lights? Well, it’s the latter.
While a vest with reflective safety tape might be what comes to mind when you think of workers who are engaged in hazardous jobs, the truth is that many of these workers are switching over to safety vests that have been decked out with LED light bulbs.
A few obvious benefits come with using LED lights instead of traditional reflective tape. The first one that comes to mind is that LED lights are much easier to see. Whether working on a highway, an airport runway, or a loading dock with active machinery or vehicles, LED lights let other people and workers know precisely where you are.
What Are the Differences between LED Lights and Reflective Tape?
The most obvious difference between LED lights and reflective tape is pretty simple. LED lights produce their own light source, so they aren’t dependent on other light sources illuminating them. In other words, if you’re working on a highway and someone is driving without their headlights on, would you rather be wearing a safety vest with lights or one that is only outfitted with reflective tape?
Identifying Work Environments that Require a Safety Vest with Lights
Many environments can necessitate workers to wear a safety vest with lights, but a good rule of thumb is this: if you’re unsure whether or not you need to be wearing this kind of equipment, you should probably be wearing it. It’s never a bad idea to err on the safe side, so if you’re working in any of the following environments, then we would recommend wearing a safety vest with lights:
- Road construction sites (highways, rural roads, bridges).
- Emergency responders (firemen, police officers, EMTs) – People should be able to see you easily, as you’re usually the most important person on any dangerous site and often work in bad weather, like rain or fog.
- Nighttime construction work – This one is obvious, as not only do safety vests with lights allow you to get a better view of your work, but they also help your coworkers see you. You don’t want your buddy with the power drill not to know you’re approaching in the dark, and being vocal will only get you so far.
- Railways and airports – These loud environments constantly have massive vehicles and hundreds of personnel moving around. Getting lost in the chaos is easy, so you want to remain as visible as possible.
- Warehouse and factory settings – These are highly mobile environments with many moving parts. It’s easy for someone to miss you amongst all the visual clutter often present in these workspaces.
What to Keep In Mind When Shopping for Safety Vests With Lights
There are many factors that you can take into consideration when shopping for safety vests with lights. For one, you want to ensure that your vest fits you correctly. While this might not sound like a number one priority, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The most important part of a safety vest is that you always wear it while on the job. If you go out and buy a vest that doesn’t fit well or is uncomfortable, then you’re increasing the chances that you take off that vest while at work. This could result in all kinds of accidents, so make sure your vest fits you comfortably.
You’ll also want to look at how long the batteries last in your LED lights and how bright those lights are. Depending on the environments you’re working in, certain brightnesses just won’t cut it, especially if you’re going to be doing road work at night while on a busy highway.
If your lights are too dim, you might not stand out against the backdrop of headlights and high beams. Ensure the brightness matches the environment you’ll be working in, and the battery life will match up against the number of hours you’ll be on the job.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure the vest you consider matches up with the ANSI/ISEA standards that your job requires. As is, there are three categories of safety vests. Each class requires a certain amount of reflective material to manufacture a vest. Ensure you know what classification your job requires and that you have access to the most recent ISEA categorizations.
Coast SV500 High-Vis Rechargeable Lighted Safety Vest with COAST-Patented CIRCLIGHT 360 Safety Technology, Large
What Else Should I Keep in Mind?
Safety vests with lights are much better for keeping you safe than traditional reflective vests. They are brighter, attract more attention, and will simply do a much better job of always letting people know where you are.
As far as safety vests with lights go, that’s all you really need to know when determining what kind of vest you should end up with. Obviously, the job you end up working will be able to fill you in on specifics, but as far as the vest-buying experience goes, we’ve got you covered. We hope you feel a bit more confident about what to consider when considering which vest will best suit you – good luck!