High-visibility safety clothing serves an important role in protection of personnel in highway construction. A total of 236 fatalities in highway and street construction were reported for 1992-1993 by the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America, which puts the fatality rate of private-industry highway construction at twice that of other private-industry construction. A field study was conducted to determine the most conspicuous color of safety clothing for daytime use in the work zone. The 11 colors studied included 8 fluorescent (Fl) colors (green, yellow-green, yellow, yellow-orange, red-orange, a combination of red-orange with yellow-green, red mesh over white background, and pink), two nonfluorescent colors (yellow and orange), and one semifluorescent color (yellow). Subjects were required to look through a shutter, which opened for 300 msec at 30.5-m intervals, as the researcher drove 32 km/hr toward a work zone. Subjects were instructed to indicate the point at which they first identified safety clothing in the scene. These detection distances were recorded for each color in each of four work zones. Fl red-orange was found to have the highest mean detection distance, and it was significantly different from every color except the Fl red mesh, Fl yellow-green, and Fl red- orange/Fl yellow-green combination. Each of these colors is recommended for use in safety garments with the exception of Fl red mesh, because the mesh may not perform well if worn over darker clothing.
Publisher: Transportation Research Board
Publication Date: 1997
Full Text URL: Link to URL
Publication Types: Books, Reports, Papers, and Research Articles
Topics: Color; High Visibility Clothing; Visibility