February 2022

Save or Swap: When to Replace Your Hi-Vis Apparel

Ripped, faded jeans may be cool, but when it comes to hi-vis apparel, not so much. Clean hi-vis apparel in good repair is vital to keeping your workers seen and safe around roadways and heavy machinery.

OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standard (29 CFR 1910.132) makes it clear you need to maintain your PPE, but doesn’t say how to do that. Below are some tricks of the trade you can use to keep your apparel in tip-top shape.

Keep It Clean

It’s important to regularly wash your hi-vis apparel to remove dirt and grime, but how many times can you wash it before it should be tossed? General guidance says after 25 wash cycles, but it depends on the quality and manufacturing. A word of caution: your workers’ apparel may fade faster than expected and need replacing sooner.

Cleaning and Maintenance Policy

Establish your company’s expectations for maintaining PPE with our customizable policy. Click here to download.


Inspect to Protect

Workers should look over their hi-vis apparel before each use. Here’s a tip: Have your workers compare their apparel to a piece that’s never been worn. If it looks similar, great! But if it’s dull, washed-out, torn, cracked, or excessively dirty … it’s time for the trash!

Hi-Vis Apparel Inspection Checklist

This handy checklist can help your workers know what to look for.

• Is your high-visibility apparel clean?
• Is your high-visibility apparel in good repair (e.g., no rips, cuts, cracks, burns)?
• Are the seams on your high-visibility apparel intact?
• Is all the hardware on your high-visibility apparel (e.g., hooks, loops, buttons, snaps) present and in good repair?
• Is all reflective trim on your high-visibility apparel present and in good repair?
• Are liners on your high-visibility apparel present and in good repair?
• Are required labels on your high-visibility apparel present and legible?
• Does your high-visibility apparel clothing fit comfortably?
• Are pockets and/or flaps on your high-visibility apparel secured?
• Does your high-visibility apparel provide adequate protection against recognized hazards? Are you visible to others?




Remember bright and shiny … not worn and grimy! Good condition hi-vis apparel keeps your workers visible so they can make it to the weekend — when they can rock that worn-in look.

Keep Your Vest at its Best

Visibility is key when employees are working around moving vehicles or equipment. Watch this short, engaging video for easy, practical tips on how to keep your hi-vis safety vests bright and shiny —and doing their job of protecting your employees from struck-by hazards.


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