Safety vests keep drivers visible

Image from WorkSafeBC

Image from WorkSafeBC

Wear a high-visibility vest that meets strict safety standards. That’s the message to everyone who drives trucks for a living. Wearing a high-visibility (or hi-vis) vest is a good way to be seen and reduce the risk of being seriously injured by a passing vehicle.

That’s what happened to 40 truck drivers between 2004 and 2013, reports WorkSafeBC. They were struck by passing vehicles on public roads while putting on tire chains or performing other vehicle tasks at the side of the road.

A blog post from the Trucking Safety Council of BC – Wear a safety vest and be seen… and stay alive – advises drivers to use their hi-vis vests while getting out of their trucks and crossing streets. This comes after a number of pedestrians were hit by vehicles. I called Jimmy Sandhu, safety advisor at TSCBC, to ask more about the message in his post.

He said drivers already have hi-vis vests at hand: “They have the safety vest close by because they’re required to wear them at most sites they go to,” Jimmy said.

So why not use the vests when they get out of their trucks and cross the street? Sounds like a good idea – especially if it’s right there.

“When you’re out on the road, you need to look out for your own safety,” Jimmy said. “It’s important to take a few seconds to put on your hi-vis vest and take your own safety into account – and not do it simply because somebody else is telling you to do it.”

BC’s Cone Zone campaign continues its work to make drivers aware of the people at work on their roads. Since 2004, 239 roadside vehicle incidents involving workers have been reported to WorkSafeBC — 15 of these were fatalities.

More work needs to be done – and I thank those who continue their efforts. For more information on hi-vis vest requirements, refer to the WCB Standard: PPE 2 High Visibility Garment — Personal Protective Equipment Standard 2 or the back of this poster.


1 thought on “Safety vests keep drivers visible

  1. Justacso

    the problem, from a seasoned TCP is that they are not being trained to STEP AWAY from the traffic control devices and like colored vehicles. A TCP in high vis will simply blend in. Another problem is TCP’s that stand motionless. You have to move – you have to ASSUME that the driver is NOT paying attention to nor looking for you – they are caught up in the activity and figuring out what is going on.

    In the safety industry we seem to see this false sense of security that wearing high-vis gives the worker. High-vis is not a safety device – it will NOT protect you and it drives me NUTS when people are trained that it is.

    You put a soft human body up against a steel contraption – REALLY who did you THINK was going to win?

    Hi-Vis is just a drop in the bucket of what one needs to do to stay safe – THIS is what workers need to learn.


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