It’s been a while, but many people are still unaware that AS/NZS 4602.1:2011 was updated back in 2016. This safety standard refers to hi vis workwear, worn by workers in construction, road and a range of other professions to ensure that they’re visible at all times. The focus of the updates was on visibility and the long-term effectiveness of safety garments.
Standards Australia has recognised that high visibility workwear actually has a use by date, as well as introduced mandatory checking of garments every three to six months. The trend now is towards safer clothing, which ultimately results in more cost-effective and longer lasting garments.
Standards Australia has also recognised that the increasing amount of decoration on shirts (such as logos, patches, embroidery and screen printing) may actually diminish its visibility and, therefore, affect the garment’s compliance. Expect this to make up a component of the checking process.
Is your current hi vis workwear still fit for purpose after 30 wash cycles – especially the reflective tape?
As of November 2016, Standards Australia has determined that all garments must be compliant from date of issue and retested for compliance on every batch. Previously, the manufacturer had no obligation to retest their products – so they could advertise their workwear as compliant, even if it wasn’t!
Standards Australia also now outlines a lifespan for high visibility garments, which is between three and six months. After this, a critical analysis of the effectiveness of a garment must be reconsidered. Manufacturers must also now adhere to new, clearer labelling requirements.
Many manufacturers claim compliance that is actually outdated or they use cheaper, less effective materials in their workwear. Be sure to check that their compliance procedures are certified and that their products or processes are tested regularly (in line with the new standards).
These new standards are designed to expose the short longevity of cheap workwear, as many shirts will need to be replaced after only 30 washes! It is hoped that this will convenience workers and businesses alike to spend a little bit more and invest in better quality garments.
Novel Tees ensures that all of the workwear we offer meets relevant current standards, as the safety of your workers is important to us.
1. We have always and will continue to test each new batch of clothing, ensuring that they continue to meet or exceed current safety standards.
2. We only use materials that are both long lasting and tough enough to ensure that clothing will last as long as possible.
3. Our clothing has proven to be even more cost effective under these new standards, as they won’t need replacing as often.
We hope that the information provided in this article has given you a better idea of the Australian Standards surrounding corporate hi vis workwear and what to look for to ensure that your garments comply. If you have any bad feelings about a particular manufacturer or garment, be sure to take your business elsewhere – after all, peace of mind is priceless!