It’s important to understand all three, and how they impact your choices and decisions in buying workwear for yourself or for your team.
AUSTRALIAN STANDARD AS/NZS 1906.4.2010 (specifies the colours to use to meet the standard for hi-visibility)
This standard explains the use of hi-visibility fabrics and retroreflective materials for daytime use. It specifies the quality of colour levels (known as chromaticity) to which fabrics need to be dyed, in terms of performance and atmospheric pressures, in order to comply with daytime safety standards.
Natural fibre garments (cotton) have a lower chromaticity level due to the nature of the fabric. However, when a polyester garment is deemed a risk to the wearer in certain applications, (eg risk of ignition – electrical, gas, welding), cotton or wool should be worn in its place.
Orange, Red and Yellow (or lime as it is sometimes referred to) are the only three colours that meet this standard for daytime hi-visibility. While we have cotton shirts available in bright pink, bright blue and emerald green, these garments will not meet this standard.
AUSTRALIAN STANDARD AS/NZS 4602.1.2011 (specifies the garment requirements to meet the standard for hi-visibility)
This standard refers to how a garment is made using fabrics compliant to 1906.4 above.
There must be over 0.2m2 of unbroken flouro fabric on both the front and back of a garment in the upper torso (this does not include the sleeves). The flouro must not be broken with non-flouro fabric within the 0.2m2 area on both the front and back from the top of the shoulders to the waist and MUST encircle the body up to that measurement. This means no full side panels up to the armpit level are permitted. This standard also explains the position of the retroreflective tapes on the garment and the width and quantity used. These tapes should not be less than the 0.2m2 measurement required.
You may see suppliers referring to a garment “meeting particular classes”, they are as follows:
Class D = Daytime use
Class N = Nighttime use, using retroreflective material
Class D/N = Day/Night use
For example, if they have listed a yellow polo with no tape, they may say in the description Class D. This means it meets daytime use only.
AUSTRALIAN STANDARD AS 4399:2020 (specifies the garments ability to protect from the ultraviolet radiation)
This standard refers to the capability of a fabric to protect skin against solar ultraviolet radiation (known as the UPF = ultraviolet protection factor). This standard is an additional bonus to the garment rather than an essential requirement for hi-visibility standards but is often specified from specific industry users.
This standard would be particularly important for industries that work outside – for example landscapers, roofers, concreters and the mining sector.
Something worth noting when you are decorating hi visibility clothing is how big the logo or decoration is. If you screen print the back you may be making the garment void of meeting these standards, as it would contravene the standard requiring the fluoro fabric to be unbroken to a certain amount. We are careful to select and offer only compliant products for our customers.
If you would like advice on the branding of your hi-vis workwear, or on selecting the best options for your team, give our team a call on 07 3255 8755 or visit our shop to see just some of the products on offer.
Introducing a new Hi Vis shirt from Ritemate. There is nothing else like this shirt on the market being 100% cotton and 135gsm. It’s so lightweight and designed for breathability that it’s selling fast and there is only a limited first drop so if you want to place an order we encourage you to email through your order ASAP to avoid missing out on certain sizes of Ritemate’s Lightweight Shirt.
RMX New Generation, RMX Flexible Fit Utility Shirt, Two Tone with Perforated Reflective Tape
Size XS – 5XL
Colour – Orange-Navy, Yellow-Navy
Weight – Ultra Light weight – 135gsm
New Generation, Flexible Fit Styling
100% Cotton Ripstop Fabric and Mesh for Comfort and Durable Performance
Triple Vented, Unique Gusseted Air Flow Vents Located at Chest, Shoulders/Back and Underarms.
Air Flow Perforated Reflective Tape
Superior Garment Assembly, Bar-Tacks and Twin Needle Stitching for Extra Strength
UPF50+ Meets AS/NZS 4399:1996
AS/NZS 1906:4:2010 and AS/NZS 4602.1:2011 for High Visibility Day/Night Wear
You can email us to check availability or for any further questions. As during the summer months it can be difficult wearing longs so this Lightweight Shirt is a fantastic alternative offering more comfortability but still meeting the government restrictions on hi vis and long arms.
Now that it’s July a “new” year has begun! What a strange space we were in during the last quarter of the financial year with COVID-19. But, hopefully the EOFY celebrations were still had (with appropriate distancing). If you have a good relationship with your accountant you will know that you can claim deductions for buying and cleaning new uniforms. Especially those with logos, protective clothing and unique or distinctive uniforms specific to industries.
Uniform Budget Formula
If you haven’t forecasted your uniform budget don’t panic, luckily, for you we have created an easy to understand formula that will help for the 2021 financial year. Firstly you take the number of staff you have and times this by your uniform allowance per person. You can use the numbers from last year if you have them. Then times this number by the uniform turnover rate. Depending on what industry and jobs your employees perform this will be different for each business as the longevity of the uniform will range depending on its use. Voila! You will now have your uniform budget for the 2021 financial year. If the above explanation wasn’t clear enough then check out the graphic below!
Budgeting for your uniform allowance and making allocations for merchandise is an important part of your marketing strategy. It also heavily impacts the way that your brand is viewed. It’s said that customers will form an opinion of your business within 30 seconds of meeting your team member. Therefore wearing a branded, clean and industry related professional uniform will reflect well on your business as a whole. It will also, specifically in the mind your customers, show you operate a professional, expert and quality business.
Employee Uniform Checklist
The below checklist will help you ensure your employees are representing your business well. Ask yourself do our employees:
-Look professional when out in the field
-Have the logo easily visible, recognisable and reflecting your brand image
-Display clean uniforms free of stains, rips or fading
-Wear clean shoes (or as clean as possible) that are appropriate for their work environment
-Have appropriate belts, accessories and look put together in a way that customers will find respectful
If you said no to any of the above then it might be time to look at your uniform or the turnover rate. We offer a personalised service that can help you put together a look for your employees that will represent your brand well. You don’t even need to know the specifics of what you want, that’s what we are here for, to help!
Polyester can get a bad wrap for being low quality and becoming smelly after a period of time – and yes if you skimp on quality and don’t follow wash instructions it can definitely be the case.
However, polyester does offer some great benefits, especially when it comes to uniforms.
Polyester clothes tend to way outlast a cotton-based item, making it more suitable to uniforms that are on high rotation.
Polyester will keep its shape, colour and fabric consistency long after you would need to replace a cotton garment.
It also tends to be lightweight which is great for the Australian climate. Its fast drying properties mean that those that do physical labour or spend majority of time outside in the sun, will reap the rewards of being dry in minutes, rather than hours.
Some tips when buying polyester garments:
Don’t skimp on quality
The better the quality of the garment the more likely it has been made it such a way that it will repel body odour rather than soaking it up.
Follow wash instructions
Following the recommended cold machine wash and no tumble drying will mean body odour does not get set into the fabric and the fibres won’t be compromised either, so they’ll look better for longer.
Look for mesh in the description which will mean that it is breathable. A smooth finished fabric will act like a plastic bag over a leaf on a hot day. Pique knits tend to be heavier in weight with a rough finish.
Natural fabrics have many benefits and have their place, but for long-lasting, durable uniforms, you shouldn’t rule out polyster.