The construction industry in Australia employs more than 1 million people, making it the fifth-largest export sector in the country. The industry is responsible for many essential infrastructure projects, such as roads, railways, hospitals and universities.
Australia has a well-developed infrastructure, making building new projects easy. The country has a skilled workforce and can quickly respond to opportunities for new construction. This is why there is always a demand for labourers. This subsequently results in the rising demand for high vis workwear, especially among women.
The origins of high-visibility workwear
Construction workers are often in high-risk environments and require effective and safe clothing. In the early days of construction, men wore overalls and plaid shirts. Women wore dresses and skirts. While overalls remain a common sight among construction workers today, workwear for women have evolved to be much more specialised.
When it comes to safety, high-visibility clothing is essential. It’s easy to see from a distance whether someone is wearing protective gear, which reduces the risk of accidents. High-visibility clothing is also likely to attract attention in an emergency, helping first responders locate quickly.
How have safety measures changed over time?
The first safety laws in construction were passed in response to a series of accidents that killed many workers. These laws require employers to provide their workers with basic safety equipment such as high vis workwear and gloves. With time, more comprehensive protections have been implemented for construction workers, including mandatory health and safety training, exposure controls, and safe work practices.
Today, many construction sites have safety measures that are much more advanced than those used in the past. For example, many sites now use fall protection devices like ladders that automatically lower when an employee steps off them. Additionally, there are now special uniforms available for female construction workers that offer better protection from the weather and chemicals. In some cases, these uniforms even include air-purifying respirators.
What trends are emerging in high-visibility workwear for women?
As the construction industry continues to grow, there is a growing demand for workers who can safely and efficiently complete their tasks. One of the most critical factors in ensuring safety on the job is having appropriate workwear. This includes clothing that is both visible and sturdy enough to protect against accidents and injuries.
While high-visibility workwear has traditionally been designed for men, several women-specific products are now on the market. Some popular trends include flame retardant clothing, reflective materials, and protective armour.
Why is high-visibility workwear essential for women?
One of the most commonly known significant advantages of wearing high-visibility workwear is that it can help improve safety on the job. This significantly includes reducing the risk of being injured by debris or other objects and the chances of getting lost or trapped in dangerous conditions. Additionally, workers wearing high-visibility clothing are more likely to be noticed by other workers and management. This can definitely lead to increased efficiency and productivity and less time wasted on Safety Tasking Orders (STOs).
What types of safety features are available with high-visibility workwear?
High-visibility workwear typically comes equipped with several safety features, including reflective materials that are often in the form of a running stripe, reflective tape on the back pockets, reflective strips around the cuffs and waistband and safety zippers. Reflective materials are typically applied to all essential areas of the garment, such as the legs, cuffs and waistband, while reflective tape is usually only used on the back pockets.
Women in the construction industry face unique challenges that can be difficult to navigate without suitable workwear. When working in a high-visibility environment, it’s important to have clothing that looks professional, is comfortable, and protects from the elements. Wearing suitable clothing will help you feel confident and capable while on the job and help avoid potential injuries.