How to securely and safely dispose of hi vis workwear

orange high visibility workwear on coat hanger hanging in a line

As an employer, it’s your legal obligation to protect the health, safety, and well-being of your workers. For many working environments, this simply means preventing slip risks by ensuring you have the right mats, and putting appropriate health and safety measures in place for manual handling.

However, for construction companies and other businesses in the industrial industry, it’s also vital that you provide your employees with high visibility workwear, as well as ensuring that this is correctly maintained and disposed of when it’s no longer needed.

The main purpose of high visibility garments is to ensure the wearer is visible in low light environments, though it should also be comfortable enough for workers to move around in and offer some protection against the elements. Because of this reason, any high visibility and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) you provide must be compliant with the relevant safety standards. In fact, high visibility garments currently need to adhere to the EN 20471 Standard, which is split into 3 Classes to assess each garment’s level of suitability and durability. Garments with a Class 3 rating provide the highest level of protection, and these should be layered for optimum visibility and protection.

However, high visibility workwear needs to be replaced when it’s no longer compliant, and this can be due to general wear and tear and the garment being washed too many times. At phs Besafe, our Bright Gear garments withstand between 25 and 50 wash cycles, which is more than double the standard number of washes for the average garments of this type. This is helped by our unique laundering service, which removes stains while still being gentle enough to preserves the high visibility and waterproof properties of our Bright Gear and Glow Gear.

Nonetheless, no garments last forever, and when they do need replacing, it’s vital that you know how to safely dispose of high visibility workwear. If the garments have lost their waterproof or high visibility properties, or they’re damaged beyond repair, they’re no longer compliant. Although you can recycle your garments, we recommend shredding it because this also reduces your carbon footprint, as your unneeded high visibility items won’t be sent to landfill. This also eliminates the risk of contamination if the workwear has come into contact with certain chemicals.

If your high visibility workwear is branded, shredding is also an option to consider as not doing so could present a security risk. If the garments fall into the wrong hands and they feature your company name or logo, it could cause irreparable damage to your business’s reputation.

To make this task easier, we recommend getting a specialist company, such as phs Besafe, to complete this for you. With our secure uniform destruction service, all you need to do is attach a red tag to the contaminated or non-compliant garments and place them in a soiled garment bag. As part of your regular service, we’ll collect this from your site, ensure the items are securely shredded, remove them from our database, and deliver the soiled garment bags back to your premises.

This highly beneficial because it reduces the need to employ additional uniform collectors, which saves your business time and money, while reducing your carbon footprint and ensuring your compliance!

For more information on our workwear ranges, industrial laundry services, and uniform destruction service, contact phs Besafe today.

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