Australian Workwear Standards | Hi Vis Clothing Regulations

While many Australian workplaces feature  uniforms, as many companies in Perth do, there are some occupations and workplaces where high visibility uniforms are required. These uniforms are high visibility workwear. In Australia, AS/NZS 4602.1-2011 provides the regulations for Australian workwear garments. It’s important for both employees and employers to have an understanding of these requirements in order to ensure compliance when wearing their work uniform.

AS/NZS 4602.1-2011 High Visibility Safety Garments

On 31st July 1999, the Joint Technical Committee SF/4,  Occupational Standard Clothing, prepared document AS/NZS 4602:1999. The document is called the Joint Australian/New Zealand Standard. The Council of Standards Australia approved the series of regulations the same day, while Council of Standards New Zealand approved it three days later.

The document established the legal standard for high visibility clothing. The standard does not specify particular types or styles of garments, because those who created it wanted to provide employers with as many different options as they could, to help make it as easy as possible to keep employees safe.

The Council originally intended to require high visibility garments in many more situations and workplaces, but decided to limit the requirements to avoid confusion and ensure consistent compliance. As a result, the regulations are confined to situations involving exposure to dangerous equipment and machinery, or moving traffic. The Council gave industries the option of adopting their standard or creating a more stringent one if the situation needed a stricter standard.

Safety Garment Classifications

Safety garments can be classified into Class D, for outdoor daytime use only, Class N, for night time wear only, or Class D/N, for use in both daytime and night time conditions.

What this means to us is that any employee in a parking lot, on a road crew, or in a situation where industrial machinery such as tractors, bulldozers, or forklifts are driven to are required to wear safety garments. This will include pretty much everybody in the mining industry, but also people such as parking lot attendants, warehouse workers, and construction workers.

Class D - Class D garments are suitable for daytime use only as they generally only provide high visibility properties under daylight conditions.

Class N - Class N garments are suitable for night use. Unlike class D garments, these garments are designed to be visible at night or in areas of low visibility. Reflective tape is also required.

Class D/N - Class D/N garments are suitable for both day and night use. They contain the requirements of both.

We haven’t seen industry figures for the reduction of accidents, but the important thing to remember is that high visibility uniforms are required in situations where employees are at risk of being run over by traffic or heavy machinery.

Hi Vis Clothing Colours

When it comes to hi vis workwear regulations, generally only the following colours are permitted.

  • Yellow
  • Orange

Maintaining Australian Workwear Standards

In order to ensure workwear garments continue to meet safety requirements and protect workers, here are some tips for maintaining workwear:

Monitor for colour fading

Ensure that all garments are routinely inspected for colour fading. This is a sign that the garment has been exposed to sunlight and heat over a long period of time.

Inspect stitching

Regularly inspect stitching on the outer seams of the garment as well as the pockets and cuff. Any stitching that looks like it has become undone is a danger sign; this may lead to the item falling apart (i.e., seams will split) or leaving sharp edges exposed.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions

When it comes to cleaning, make sure you adhere to any labels or specific requirements. This is to ensure that the item does not shrink or warp

Ensure tags are attached

Ensure all workwear garments have their original tags attached before use, checking that they are not abraded, torn or missing.

Store garments correctly

Ensure that garments are rustled correctly and safely in a dry, well-ventilated area.

Workwear from JP Promotions

In a nutshell, we offer high visibility workwear in many forms. These include:  drill shirtsjacketsfleece jumpers, overalls, polossingletsvests, and trousers. Most of our tops are available in sizes from S-5XL, and can be embroidered on the back, or on either side of the chest. Most can be either screen printed or embroidered, and come in fluorescent yellow and fluorescent orange, both colours are paired with navy blue.

The trousers are available in sizes from 72R to 132R. The reflecting material is 3M reflective tape, and the available colours are various shades of blue and black. Most can be embroidered on the reverse trouser above the right pocket.

Our high visibility uniform clothing serves two purposes. Not only does it provide high visibility, but it is also designed with workplace safety in mind. They are designed and fitted to provide maximum flexibility, but they fit well enough that they are not likely to cause an accident by being caught in heavy machinery.

Like our other uniforms, our high visibility clothing lends an air of professionalism to any workplace. If your workers are going to be highly visible, it is crucial that they look good. Remember that your professional workers are representing your company, not only while at work, but if they continue to wear their work uniforms to and from work.

Our high visibility workwear provides a perfect combination of safety, ease of movement, visibility, and a professional appearance. With high visibility workwear, it is not only a matter of how well your employees’ uniforms reflect light, but also how they “reflect” on your company.

Ensure your workwear meets the Australian Standards

To ensure your workwear and hi vis clothing is compliant with the Australian Standards, make sure you choose a trusted uniform supplier that specialises in Australian workwear! At JP Promotions, we’re the number one uniform supplier for a variety of industries including mining, construction, first responders and more. Get in  contact with our team to place your workwear order online today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who's responsible for maintaining Australian Workwear Standards?

Employers are responsible for the safety of their workers, therefore it’s important for employers to ensure workers understand the importance of maintaining workwear standards, how workwear is worn correctly and should be used appropriately.

When are high visibility uniforms required?

Workwear is covered by various Australian Standards. Therefore the requirements for workwear can vary. Some of the occupations that more commonly require workwear include:

  • Construction workers
  • Mining workers
  • Traffic controllers
  • Machinery operators 
  • Emergency responders
  • How often do workwear garments need to be replaced?

    Whilst workwear doesn’t ‘expire’, it does need to be regularly inspected to ensure the garments maintain compliance with the Australian Workwear standards. For industries in which workers undertake physically demanding work each day, workwear may need to be replaced up to every 6 months. However, it is up to you to inspect and ensure your workwear is still compliant.