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Hide from the rain but not from sight

Jul 13, 2021 / Michal Jirák

Rain, cold, getting dark early. Most of us don't look forward to autumn, but the work won't do itself. What is important is not the weather, but how you prepare yourself for it. Get Hi-Vis waterproof clothing so that autumn doesn't catch you off guard.

Intro

Not all water-resistant jackets are the same. Waterproof work clothes should not only protect you from getting soaked, but also from strong water pressure - for example during a heavy rain when it is windy. Protection against water vapour is also important at the workplace.

Water resistance and resistance to water vapour is tested in an artificial environment, which results in 3 grades in both categories according to norm EN343.

Water resistance:

  1. Grade 1: fabric (before modification - e.g. sewing) can withstand water pressure (Wp) of min. 8,000 Pa.
  2. Grade 2: fabric after modification (with seams) can withstand water pressure (Wp) of min. 8,000 Pa.
  3. Grade 3: fabric after modification can withstand water pressure (Wp) of min. 13,000 Pa.

Water vapour resistance (Ret):

  1. Grade 1: permeability (Ret) over 40
  2. Grade 2: permeability (Ret) between 20 and 40
  3. Grade 3: permeability (Ret) under 20

The ideal clothing for working in the rain the whole day belongs to grade 3 in both cases. For example, the Hobson Hi-Vis winter jacket meets these requirements. To the right side of the umbrella picture, there are two numbers that will help you find out the grades. The upper one represents the water resistance grade, the one below resistance to water vapour.

For example, clothing with water vapour resistance grade 1 can only be worn for a limited time.

Water resistance is not enough

If you want the perfect autumn equipment, you need to combine water resistance with visibility. In Hi-Vis clothing, you won't get wet and at the same time no one will fail to notice you, for example while working on a roadway.

Standard EN 20471 states the minimum requirements on the number and placement of high-visibility elements. To be seen in various positions - e.g. while bending forward - your clothing must also have vertical retroreflective stripes.

Material/Class Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
Background material 0,14m² 0,5m² 0,8m²
Retroreflective material

0,1m²

(5 cm wide bands with a minimum length of 2 m)
or
(7 cm wide bands with a minimum length of 1.4 m)

0,13m²

(5 cm wide bands with a minimum length of 2.6 m)
or
(7 cm wide bands with a minimum length of 1.9 m)

0,2m²

(5 cm wide bands with a minimum length of 4 m)
or
(7 cm wide bands with a minimum length of 2.9 m)

Combined performance material 0,2m²    

While working on roadways and rails with no traffic, your clothing must be at least grade 2.

If traffic is possible, the minimum grade of the clothing is 3. Suitable clothing is:

  • grade 3 overall
  • 3 grade trousers with bib and braces
  • or trousers with a belt (min. grade 1) with a grade 3 coat or vest

The grade according to standard EN 20471 can be found on the right side of the picture on the high-visibility vest.

Prepare yourself properly for autumn. Or contact us - and we will recommend you the right kind of clothing for your job.

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