Every day in the United States, construction workers risk their lives to build things, repair other things, and generally make everyone’s life a little better and a little easier. No matter what the job, they do it for the greater good of all of us.
While doing these jobs–especially the ones involving roadwork–many construction workers put themselves in harm’s way, never knowing if they will be seen by oncoming drivers, other construction workers using heavy equipment, or by other objects headed in their direction. In 2015, there were 4,836 construction workers killed while on the job. That comes out to 13 deaths every day.
These accidental deaths might not have all been able to be prevented, but one thing is for sure: if you can’t see someone, you have a much greater chance of colliding with them than if they were wearing some high visibility clothing like a high visibility sweatshirt, for example.
There are many safety clothing options out there for workers of all stripes. When being seen is of great importance, having the right clothing on can literally save your life. Reflective pants for night time wear or reflective button up shirts to be worn day or night can be the difference between doing your job effectively and being gravely injured on the job.
For many people who work construction, it is the first few months to a year that present the most danger. An employee has three times the risk of having an injury that will result in lost time from work, according to the Institute for Work and Health in Canada. When you are new to a job, it takes time to learn the ropes, to learn your way around.
Consider what it must be like for those who work construction on the major highways of our country. They must walk up and down the construction area, usually more than 30,000 steps every day compared to the average 10,000 steps for most people. All the while, they are being passed on both sides by speeding cars who might not be able to see them until it is too late. A new employee who is not familiar with the ins and outs of the job site will be in even more danger.
A high visibility sweatshirt in the colder months or a reflective vest on warmer days could alert a driver of the impending disaster before it is too late. Without a high visibility sweatshirt or other reflective gear, construction workers could be injured or killed, simply by being in the path of an oncoming vehicle without even knowing it.
Construction workers are not the only ones who could benefit from a reflective safety vest or a high visibility sweatshirt. If you are a runner who enjoys running at night, reflective clothing could save your life, as well. Many runners assume that drivers will be looking out for them. The truth is, drivers are more distracted now than they have ever been before. Not taking the opportunity to prepare yourself by wearing appropriate clothing could put you in a very dangerous position.
This country has more people than ever before. It is crowded in many of the cities out there. It does not matter if you are a construction worker on the highway, a police officer directing traffic, or a runner on a late night run, if you don’t dress to be seen, you won’t be. Don’t leave it to others to look out for you. You need to be proactive with what you are wearing. Be smart. Stay alive.