There have been many social campaigns which promoted wearing reflective elements by children, or vests by adults, and all of them had one goal in mind - to increase visibility on the road. Raben Group, as a logistics operator, is focused on promoting the use of reflective clothing by professionals: truck drivers and warehouse workers.
“The feeling of safety is one of the basic human needs and it is often associated with the warmth of the family home. That is why I really want every Raben Group employee or subcontractor to feel safe in their workplace. And since in our sector we are usually on the way, it is crucial to manage behaviours on the road on a manner which would allow us to reach the destination safely, regardless of the fact if that is a delivery to the most distant corner of the Earth or the way home.” – this is the opinion on safety expressed by Ewald Raben, CEO Raben Group.
One of the goals of the responsible business in Raben Group is caring for health and safety of employees. The is why we pay special attention to the SHE philosophy SHE (Safety, Health, Environment), which builds robust safety culture among employees and subcontractors. For many years now the company has taken a number of educational, informational and training initiatives promoting health and safety both at work and at home. One of these actions is education about the necessity to wear warning clothing by professionals.
“We often say to ourselves, especially when we are experienced employees, that nothing bad can happen to us. After all we know the profession inside out, we have witnessed many, often very dangerous incidents, so we know how to behave so as not be be a victim or a perpetrator of an accident. However, the problem is that as much as we trust our concentration and competencies, we are not able to vouch for others.” – says Grażyna Łukasik, SHE Manager in Raben Group
Work in industrial facilities is always connected with increased risk. So we must do everything to minimise the risk of an accident. One of the basic elements which ensures work comfort is the reflective clothing.
Reflective clothing as a standard in the vehicle, warehouse and the terminal
Each driver should have quick and easy access to reflective clothing. This means that keeping a vest in the trunk or in the ADR kit is not the best idea. - explains Grażyna Łukasik - “Having a vest within reach turns out to be particularly important in the event of a vehicle defect or an accident on the road.”
Remember that in those situations we are often forced to leave the vehicle quickly and to perform certain actions in the vicinity of increased vehicular traffic. That's why it is a good idea to have vests for all passengers in the car.
“Nevertheless, expressways and motorways are not the only places which can pose danger. Transport depots and logistics centres also deal with high volume of traffic of various vehicles. That is why they are considered the areas with an increased accident risk. Using reflective clothing in those places should be a standard.” – stresses Grażyna Łukasik
Wearing reflective clothing (category 2) is mandatory in all Raben Group warehouses and truck yards. This obligation is the consequence of extremely high internal traffic and frequent transloading operations. One should be aware that a collision with a fork-lift truck, for instance, can be as serious as a road accident.
Categories (classes) of reflective clothings vs. the risk level
Reflective clothing is designed and made in three categories - 3, 2 and 1. Category 3 is the highest. Clothes with the highest visibility (category 3) are best for works connected with the high risk of being run over on the road (e.g. works on motorways). Category 3 reflective clothing guarantees being spotted by a driver from the distance of even 300 metres. This is a sufficient distance for the driver to react in an appropriate moment and thus avoid a collision. Category 2 reflective vests ensure visibility from up to 150 metres. Class 1 offers the lowest level of protection.
“The pictogram of the vest with the number refers to the clothing category (1, 2, 3). The maintenance pictogram specifies the number of permissible washing cycles after which the item loses its reflective qualities. Reflective clothing can be arranged in many configurations. For instance, a class II vest connected with trousers of the same class form a full class III set. It is similar when we match, for instance, a class II vest with class I trousers. In turn a class II reflective jacket and class II reflective jacket will form a class II set.” – explains Grażyna Łukasik
European standards guarantee safety
Certainty that the accident risk has been minimised ensures safe work conditions and thus increases its efficiency. In order to be sure that the reflective clothing we use is visible at a distance, check if it has made in accordance with the European standard EN 20471:2013. Certified clothes for professionals can use only three colours of fluorescent background: yellow, red and orange-red, and the standard defines their luminance (brightness) factor. The minimum width of the reflective material is 50 mm whereas how much reflective tape is used depends on the clothes category. When buying reflective clothing, pay attention if the product has been made in compliance with the said standard or if it is compliant with the ISO standard 13688: 2013.