Choosing the Right Hi-Vis Vests for Workplace Safety: Understanding the Different Colours and Standards

Choosing the Right Hi-Vis Vests for Workplace Safety: Understanding the Different Colours and Standards


Are you in need of ordering hi-vis vests for your workplace? Hi-vis vests play a crucial role in enhancing safety and visibility in various work environments. Whether you want to distinguish between contractors, visitors, and staff or ensure the visibility of workers during the day or night, choosing the right vest is essential.

In this blog post, we will address some common questions and considerations raised by our client, M. B., regarding hi-vis vests. Let’s dive in!


  • M.B.:

“I’m needing to order some different colour hi-vis vests for my workplace to indicate the difference between contractors, visitors, and staff. It says in the blog that the hi-vis standards for the main colours are red, orange, and yellow (lime green). Red isn’t that common, or is the blog referring to pink?”

  • Cassie, from Red Roo Australia:

“That’s correct if you need to meet industry standards. Red is not as common as it used to be, with most hi-vis workwear shifting to either yellow or orange. Pink shirts will only meet standards for night-time use (so long as it has a reflective stripe). Do you require hi-vis to be worn day to day generally? Or are you only wanting vests to identify visitors compared to staff?” 

  •  M.B.:

“Definitely day to day. A lot of our visitors and contractors go into our manufacturing plant and warehouse. The staff also go into these places as well day to day.”

  • Cassie, from Red Roo Australia:

“To ensure compliance with Australian Standards, it is preferable to stick with the base colours such as yellow, orange, and red when selecting hi-vis vests. These colours provide the necessary visibility and meet the requirements for daytime use.”

  •  M.B.:

“Is the visibility tape on the vest only necessary for night-time work?”

  • Cassie, from Red Roo Australia:

“Yes, the reflective tape on the vest is primarily intended for night-time work when visibility is reduced. If you are just wearing the vests during the day, then reflective tape is not necessary. However, if you have forklifts or other machinery moving around a darker warehouse, having the reflective tape wouldn’t go astray.”


In summary, when choosing hi-vis vests for your workplace, it’s crucial to consider the industry standards, the purpose of the vest (e.g., identifying visitors, contractors, or staff), and the lighting conditions in your work environment. While yellow and orange are the most common colours, red is less frequently used in modern hi-vis workwear.

If you have any further questions or require additional assistance, feel free to reach out to us!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is based on a chat conversation with a client and is intended for informational purposes only. It is always recommended to consult relevant safety standards and regulations before making any decisions regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) for your workplace.

Do your hi-vis shirts meet industry regulations?

Do your hi-vis shirts meet industry regulations?

As with most things in life, not all hi-vis workwear is created equal, and what might seem like a cheap option, can leave you lacking in safety and compliance.

There are a few standards that legislate the workwear industry.  They are the following:

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.

All hi-visibility garments sold through Red Roo Australia meet these high standards and we only stock quality produced garments.

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.

New Lightweight Shirt – The lightest available!

New Lightweight Shirt – The lightest available!

Red Roo Australia's Lightweight RMX Flex Fit, Hi Vis Work Shirt

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.

For more information you can email [email protected]

6 Steps to Marketing On A Budget

6 Steps to Marketing On A Budget

There will always be ups and downs in a business, whether it be due to an economic downturn, industry shifts or simply the rate at which technology is changing.   You can still afford to keep up with marketing your business, and promoting your brand, without blowing out the expense line of your P&L.

Here are 5 ways to market and brand on a budget.

Reduce, Don’t Remove. 

Tough times are the worst times to cut your marketing altogether. You still need to raise awareness of your brand and continue to stand out in your marketplace. But you can work with a reduced budget, rather than cutting your marketing budget entirely.

In many marketing tactics, whether it be advertising, branding or promotions, there are cost savings available if you pre-order and buy bigger quantities. However when cashflow is tight, it’s worth pulling back and ordering enough to get you through the immediate future. You can always ramp up again when things start improving.

To use an example in our industry:

You used to buy 12 months worth of caps because you got a great rate per unit, the more you ordered. Forgo the unit rate price and look at the total value. Cash is king in tough times so reduce the quantity that you buy with the outlook that in six months time you would have recovered.

  2019 2020  
PRODUCT – caps Qty: 500 Unit Rate:  $9.00 Qty:  250 Unit Rate:  $10.50  
TOTAL VALUE $4,500.00 $2,625 $1,875 benefit

Get creative with your branding on printed items

Your logo might be two colours but you can achieve a great looking product with a variation to your branding.  Cost is often worked out by number of colours and number of locations.  Reduce either one and you will receive a better price. Reduce both and you get money back to your bottom line.

  2019 2020 2020 reduced qty  
PRODUCT – water bottles Qty: 500 Unit Rate:  $6.30 Setups x 2 colours x 2 locations $140.00 Qty:  500 Unit Rate:  $5.65 Setup x 1 colour x 1 location $70.00 Qty:  250 Unit Rate:  $6.10 Setup x 1 colour x 1 location $70.00  
TOTAL VALUE $3,290.00 $2,895.00 $1,595.00 $1,695 benefit

Different Sales Funnels – Research new advertising methods. Investigate partnerships that you could form that would be of mutual benefit – without money exchanging hands.  Maybe you share a target market with a contact that you could run co-branded advertising, or you sponsor their event for them to sponsor yours. Perhaps you could work to build each other’s audiences via social media and collaborations. Get creative.

Co-Brand Uniforms

Are your uniforms looking a little tacky?

Don’t let your business suffer with a bad reputation or a perception of being unprofessional. Ask a supplier to co-brand your uniforms and pay for 30% – 50% of your uniform cost to have their logo on the shirts as well.  An example of this would be an electrician partnering with Haymans, an air-conditioning company asking Daikin to co-brand or a plumber asking Reece. 

Seek out Graduates

Graduates need the experience and you need the more cost-efficient labour.  Win Win!  Source a 3rd year marketing student or graphic design graduate to help you keep up to date with your social media posts, websites, advertising layouts.  These times are tough, but the work and experience graduates can get by working part-time or as sub-contractors as they study will set them up well for the long-term. Just remember that working with interns does take some of your time, to support them and teach them. But it can be well worth it in the end.

Look at different sales funnels

Research new advertising methods. Investigate partnerships that you could form that would be of mutual benefit – without money exchanging hands. Maybe you share a target market with a contact that you could run co-branded advertising, or you sponsor their event for them to sponsor yours. Perhaps you could work to build each other’s audiences via social media and collaborations. Get creative.

Look at your overall marketing strategy

Now more than ever, it’s time to look at your marketing activities, analyse your metrics and analytics, and focus on the activities that are bringing the greatest results. Your branding needs to be strong, consistent and professional, so that your customers are exposed to your brand and your messaging consistently.

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