Can you be 100% confident that the High Visibility apparel you buy meets EN ISO 20471?
Wednesday, 9 May 2018 | BK Safetywear
Do you want to be responsible for supplying non-conforming product?
Portwest regularly test samples from the market.
Here are the 6 most common problems we encounter:
Problem: The fluorescent material does not meet the correct colour standard.
Solution: At Portwest, every roll of fabric is tested to ensure it meets and exceeds the EN ISO 20471 standard requirements for colour. A spectrophotometer is used to measure the chromaticity – “colour intensity” of the fabric.
Problem: Retro-reflective tape does not meet the minimum requirement 330 cd/lux.
Solution: At Portwest, every roll of tape is tested to ensure it meets and exceeds the EN ISO 20471 standard requirements. A retroflectometer is used to measure the coefficient of two rotating angles. EN ISO 20471 states the reading should not be below 330 (cd/lx.m2) however at Portwest we insist on a reading of 400 (cd/lx.m2) plus.
Problem: The garment size is too small and does not have enough fluorescent material or reflective tape to meet the standard.
Solution: At Portwest, all our products are generously sized and designed with the EN ISO 20471 standard requirements in mind to ensure full compliance.
Problem: The garment label does not have the correct information displayed.
Solution: All Portwest garment labels have the correct information displayed in accordance with EN ISO 20471 and ISO 13688 standard requirements.
Problem: The garment does not have a user information document accompanying the product. This is a mandatory requirement.
Solution: At Portwest, all garments certified to EN ISO 20471 carry a user information document.
Problem: The garment does not display the notified body number so a customer cannot contact the test house where the garment was certified.
Solution: All Portwest garments feature a notified body number on the user information document so a customer can contact the Independent Notified Body directly. In addition, all garments have downloadable certificates online on our B2B portals.
Hi Vi Vest Guide
Friday, 14 July 2017 | BK Safetywear
Hi Visibility Explained
Hi Vis clothing is highly reflective and is manufactured using materials which conform to the hi vis standard ISO 20471. It must use reflective tape which meets the parameters specified in this standard.
In high visibility clothing, the leading retroreflective material is a product by 3M called Scotchlite. You can think of it as a material embedded with lots of very small cat's eyes.
Retroreflectivity is explained on the Scotchlite website as:
Retroreflective materials appear brightest to an observer located near the original light source, such as a car’s headlights. Since very little light is scattered when the light is returned, retroreflective materials enhance the contrast of the wearer for an observer located near the original light source.
Source: Scotchlite Reflective Material
Hi Vis Vests
The most common type of hi vis clothing is the hi vis vest, this is available in a wide range of styles, sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve.
Common uses are on and around roads, on building sites, in security situations and, of course, within the emergency services. Hi Vis garments that meet the ISO standard are made in hi vis yellow and hi vis orange for visibility in the daytime and use the correct amount of retroreflective material for hi visibility in low light conditions.
ISO 20471:2013 Standard
The summary of the ISO 20471:2013 standard from the ISO website is:
ISO 20471:2013 specifies requirements for high visibility clothing which is capable of visually signalling the user's presence. The high visibility clothing is intended to provide conspicuity of the wearer in any light condition when viewed by operators of vehicles or other mechanized equipment during daylight conditions and under illumination of headlights in the dark. Performance requirements are included for colour and retroreflection as well as for the minimum areas and for the placement of the materials in protective clothing.
The standard specifies 3 classes of visibility, outlined in the summary of the standard
Three classes of garment are defined based on three different minimum areas of retroreflective, fluorescent and/or combined performance materials. Each of these classes will provide a different level of conspicuity, class 3 being the class that provides the highest degree of conspicuity against most backgrounds found in urban and rural situations in daylight and in night time. Users should select the required class of performance based on a risk assessment of the location/situation in which the protection afforded by clothing to this International Standard is required.
Class 3 - Highest Visibility Safety Level
Class 2 - Intermediate Visibility Safety Level
Class 1 - Lowest Visibility Safety Level
Which Visibility Class Vest Do I Need?
For working on or near high speed roads or other high risk environments you must choose Class 3 long sleeve garments.
If working on or near standard roads or medium risk environments then you'd need Class 2 at least.
For other jobs where a level of visibility is useful but not vital, then Class 1 is sufficient.
Friday, 17 February 2017 | BK Safetywear
We have revamped our Recovery Clothing department, it is now easier than ever to navigate and find the clothing you need for your rescue and recovery work.
Friday, 11 November 2016 | BK Safetywear
Reflective badges are crucial for many types of jobs, from everyday stewarding and information roles through to emergency services. The reflective nature of the badges means you can be identified from a long distance in low light conditions.
We supply a wide range of reflective badges and you are also able to create your own personalised reflective badge using our system.
Here are a selection of our top selling reflective badges printed onto safety clothing.
BK Safetywear Hi Vis Waistcoats Seen at the Beach
Friday, 15 July 2016 | BK Safetywear
Mountain Rescue Team Uniform
Thursday, 23 June 2016 | BK Safetywear
If you need Mountain Rescue clothing and are a Mountain Rescue Team, use this form to get access to our special Mount Rescue clothing b2b section. We have been providing this to satisfied Search and Rescue teams for years and are pleased to now offer it to Mountain Rescue Teams.
Our Hi Vis Safety Wear being Worn by Lowland Rescue and Blood Bikes
Thursday, 23 June 2016 | BK Safetywear
It's great to see our hi vis clothing being put to such good use in these admirable Blood Bike and Lowland Rescue organisations.
Community First Responder Uniforms
3 CommentsFriday, 17 June 2016 | BK Safetywear
If you are a Community First Responder you will be pleased to hear we have been hard at work updating our website just for you. Following from the success of our Search and Rescue clothing department we are expanding to provide departments for both Community First Responder clothing and Mountain Rescue clothing.
You can see an example of the system below, once you are signed up with us you will be presented with your own private b2b area showing just the clothing suitable for you, now including a complete range of reflective badges to cover every need.
This is available only to official Community First Responders.
To get access please fill in this form and we will get you set up with access to the Community First Responder Clothing area.
Search and Rescue, Lowland SAR and Mountain Rescue Teams MRT Clothing Provision
Friday, 27 February 2015 | BK Safetywear
We have recently enhanced our Search & Rescue provision to make it easier for all SAR, Lowland and MRT Search & Rescue teams to order exactly what they need.
You can see an example of the system below, once you are signed up with us you will be presented with your own private area showing just the products you require, now including a complete range of reflective badges to cover every need.
This is available to official Search & Rescue teams only.
Please use your official SAR email address in order for us to verify you.
Hampshire Search and Rescue Dogs Field Training
Friday, 14 November 2014 | BK Safetywear
We love knowing our hi vis garments are being put to good use, so it was fantastic to see the new photo from Hampshire Search and Rescue Dogs out training and wearing their new Hi Vis Waistcoats. Looking great @HSARDogs.
You can check out Hampshire Search and Rescue Dogs Website here for more information.