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What is hi-vis clothing?

PPE is one of the essential pieces of equipment needed on all work sites in all industries all over Australia. Things like safety boots, hard hats, and hi-vis clothing keep tradies safe for centuries all over the world. Each PPE has its own standards according to what hazards it protects. Whether you’ve been a tradie your whole life or just starting your first apprenticeship, hi-vis would be a staple item for your wardrobe. 

What is hi-vis?

Hi-vis, or high visibility clothing, as the name suggests, produces high visibility to whoever is wearing it. It ensures people are seen even in low-light situations, and the bright colours with reflective tape help people avoid accidents in, and outside the workplace. Different jobs have different requirements depending on many different variables, such as the location of the workplace, the time of regular working hours (daytime or night-time), and what the actual job is. 

Hi-vis comes in different forms of clothing, from vests and shirts to pants and even work boots. As hi-vis is one of the most common forms of PPE for the typical Aussie tradie, there are a few different options to wear, from taped pants to classic hi-vis polo shirts. Now you can't put on any old orange shirt and call it a day, hi-vis clothing has to meet Australian standards to help keep it safe and visible in the workplace.  

Each country all over the world has different specific safety standards, such as certain brightness of the colours, and the different materials of the clothing. Australian standards expect and require workers to wear high-vis clothing on all worksites to be visible at all times to all types of machinery.

The different standards to become familiar with are the;

  • Australian Standard AS/NZS 1906.4.2010 - relating colours used for visibility
  • This standard explains the use of hi-vis fabrics and retroreflective materials for daytime use. It specifies the quality of colour levels to which the materials need to be dyed. 
  • Australian Standard AS/NZS 4602.1.2011 - relating to the garment requirements
  • There must be 0.2m2 of unbroken fluro fabric on both the front and back of the garment in the upper torso. It also includes the different classes:
  • Class D = Daytime use
  • Class N = Night-time use, using retroreflective material 
  • Class D/N = Day/Night use
  • Australian Standard AS 4399:2020 - relating to the ability to provide UV radiation
  • This standard refers to the capability of fabric to protect skin against solar ultraviolet radiation (known as the UPF = ultraviolet protection factor).  This standard is an added bonus to the garment rather than an essential requirement for hi-visibility standards but is often specified by specific industry users.


Types of Hi-Vis Clothing


Hi-vis apparel comes in many different styles and colours. They’re available in a range of materials, including cotton, polyester and nylon and in different weights, depending on the weather conditions you’re likely to encounter when working outdoors in the workplace. 


Hi-Vis Jackets – These are usually made from heavy-duty materials that can withstand rain and wind. They come in a variety of styles, including short and long-sleeved jackets and waterproof jackets with hoods. Often worn by tradies in outdoor and dark environments.



Hi-Vis Vests – These are lightweight options that provide protection against the sun while staying visible to other workers. These are often worn by people who are visiting worksites, so they can just throw on a vest over whatever they’re wearing. As well as people who don’t need to be wearing hi-vis clothing 100% of the time, so they can just wear the vest when needed.


Hi-Vis Shirts – These are the most common form of hi-vis apparel, as there are a few different types of hi-vis shirts. Some with lightweight and breathable material for tradies out in the sun all day and need that breathability during those scorching days. There are also cotton drill shirts that come with both long and short sleeves. These are made with a bit more of a thicker material, and include buttons and collars, giving the wearer a bit more options when wearing their hi-vis shirts. These shirts are also worn for sun safety as well, protecting tradies from the sun’s UV rays while staying visible to other workers.


Hi-Vis Pants/Trousers - Although not as common as hi-vis shirts, these pants are absolutely essential to certain workers, especially in darker environments. Mostly made from stronger, more durable materials, with either one or two stripes on both legs.



Hi-vis clothing is required in almost all workplaces, but mostly in construction sites, where it’s a national standard to wear hi-vis. Whether it be day or night, there will always be situations where hi-vis clothing is an absolute necessity. Jobs like traffic controllers, council workers, any tradies, and even other jobs that the workers would need to be visible for their own safety. 

Hi-Vis Clothing safety tips

When wearing, and purchasing hi-vis clothes, it’s good to keep in mind some helpful tips:

  1. Knowing your exact size, if the clothing is too small or big it could hinder the effectiveness of the hi-vis.
  2. Keep your hi-vis clothes in good condition. Keep checking for holes or rips, and in case the colour of the hi-vis fades or alters.
  3. Double-check if the shirt is up to Aussie safety standards before purchasing.
  4. Make sure you’re getting the correct apparel according to what your job needs you to wear. Speak with a manager or supervisor to double-check what safety equipment you need for the job.


Top picks

It could be your first job as an apprentice, or you've been in the workforce for most of your life, hi-vis becomes a necessary part of your wardrobe regardless. Within the workwear world, there are many brands that sell amazing workwear for any type of tradie. Brands such as Bisley, FXD, Unit, Jetpilot, DNC and Ritemate create some top-tier workwear for tradies and have been doing it for years. It’s hard to choose which is the best, but here are some of our favourite hi-vis clothing items from some of our best brands!

FXD Taped Stretch Pants


FXD taped stretch pants
  •  Triple needle stitching 
  • DURA500 attachment loop
  • 8.8 OZ / 295 GSM 360 degree garment stretch reversed peach canvas
  • 3M scotchlite reflective 5510 segmented tape

Bisley 3M Taped Cool Lightweight LS Shirt

3M Taped cool lightweight shirt ls

  • Taped around sleeves and body in hoop pattern
  • Underarm natural cotton mesh vents for increased airflow
  • Contrast coloured panel on lower front and back 
  • Reinforced, top-stitched seams


DNC Hi-vis D/N Safety Vest

DNC Hi-vis safety vest

  • Front hook & loop fasteners closure
  • Hoop style & shoulder strips
  • Generic reflective tape
  • Comes in multiple sizes


Jet Pilot Taped Cuff Pant

Jet Pilot taped cuff pant

  • UV Protection and breathability, bullet weave signature back loop, Jetpilot workwear trim
  • 100% stretch fabrication for ease of movement and comfort
  • Engineered pockets to fit iPhone/Android heavy duty phone cases
  • Reinforced knees and front entry pockets


Bisley 5 in 1 Rain Jacket

Bisley 5 in 1 rain jacket

  • Heavy-duty two way zippered front opening
  • 100% PU Coated Polyester 300D
  • Proflec reflective tape - H pattern
  • Detachable, zip-out sleeves



Hi-vis with a meaning

Ritemate is an Aussie brand that has decided to try to make a difference for tradies' health and wellbeing. They have released a few different hi-vis shirts to bring awareness about mental health. Being a “true-blue Aussie” has a few specific traits, one of them being “tough as nails” inside and out. But as the world changes, so does the industry, where it's now okay to talk to someone, and it ain’t weak to speak. Like a few other brands, Ritemate has released a range of hi-vis shirts to spread awareness about mental health. They have set up the ‘R U RITEMATE’ foundation, where $1 from every hi-vis shirt sold will be donated to a few different mental health charities. All it takes is a simple question to help someone who is struggling, ‘R U RITEMATE?’. These shirts are bright and vibrant, even more than the regular hi-vis brightness. These shirts both meet AS/NZS 1906:4:2010 and AS/NZS 460231:2011 standards, and include twin needle stitching and bar-tacks for extra strength. They both include a bright flower pattern on the bottom half of the garments, which would draw people's attention, therefore starting a conversation which can lead to the ‘R U RITEMATE’ foundation.

Lightweight open front LS vented two tone taped shirtLight Weight Open Front LS Vented Two Tone Shirt



Hi-vis clothing is one of the main staples of workwear and will continue to do so for many years to come. Whether it be yellow or orange, a rain jacket, or a pair of cuffed pants, hi-vis will keep tradies safe and visible in almost all lighting situations. Hi-vis clothing is one of our staples at WorkwearHub, and with free returns, and free shipping on orders over $99, there's even more incentive to keep you safe. With our wide range of choices and helpful team, we can take care of all your hi-vis needs, now and in the future. Either online or in-store at our Burleigh Heads store on the Gold Coast, take a look at all our brands, or choose from one of our top picks above.

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