A guide to explain the main differences between the EN 471 and the new ISO EN 20471.
The norm for High Visibility, EN 471, is one of the most widely known and used norms under the PPE directive. In June 2013, The Official Journal of the European Union published the new standard EN ISO 20471:2013. This harmonized standard has replaced the former standard EN 471:2004+A1:2007. Starting October 2013 all High Visibility products had to be CE marked and certified to ISO EN 20471. In practical terms, materials manufacturers and Notified Bodies need time to update the required documentation to CE mark to the new norm. It is expected that this process will take some time. Products that are CE marked to EN 471 or ISO EN 20471 will therefore now co-exist on the market during the years ahead and will only change as manufacturers update their products and documentation to the new norm. The new norm EN ISO 20471 essentially provides the same level of safety as EN 471, but there are a few important changes which are summarized below:
The standard specifies the requirements for high visibility clothing “which is capable of visually signalling the user’s presence”. The new standard has broadened the usage base and a distinction between different types of risk situations has been made. The defined risk situations will be the basis for which norm is applicable to the user.
ISO EN 20471 is applicable to high-risk situations.
Basics such as the area requirements for background materials, retroreflective materials and combined performance materials with three classes of garments remain unchanged. The main difference is in the specific design requirements. The requirements are now depending on which part of the body the garment is covering, such as torso - for example, vests and tabards; torso and arms - jackets and coats; legs, for instance, waistband and bib and brace trousers, and shorts; torso and legs - including coveralls with sleeves; and torso, arms and legs - for example, coveralls with sleeves, whereas in the previous version, the type of garment was the basis for the design (jackets, waistcoats etc). In the new norm, all class 3 garments must cover the torso and have as a minimum either sleeves with retro-reflective bands or full-length trouser legs with retro-reflective bands. This ends the possibility to CE mark sleeveless class 3 garments. If a short sleeve is covering a torso band, the retro-reflective tape must be fitted on the sleeve. It is now also possible to CE mark separate garments together (instead of a single garment) to fulfil a requirement for a certain performance class. This is achieved by a so-called clothing ensemble: e.g. by certifying jackets and trousers together.
BACKGROUND MATERIAL, NON-FLUORESCENT MATERIAL
The high visibility colours (fluorescent yellow & orange-red ) with respective colour coordinates and luminance factors remain unchanged, but the background materials must now undergo colour testing also after washing. The testing must be performed after the maximum number of washing cycles according to the care recommendations indicated by the manufacturer, alternatively 5 cycles if such indication is missing. Colourfastness requirements to washing/drying of non-fluorescent background material have been reduced. Adjustments have also been made to the dimensional change requirements of both knitted and woven materials. Mechanical properties are also changed: tensile/bursting strength requirements are reduced as well as tear strength requirements for on laminates/coated materials. Physiological performance requirements, i.e. water vapour and thermal resistance are now specified in more detail. Tabards and waistcoats are exempt from physiological performance requirements
REQUIREMENTS FOR RETRO REFLECTIVE MATERIALS
For separate performance material, the weaker performing material corresponding to EN 471 level 1 is now deleted, leaving the former EN 471 level 2 materials as the only option. Test methods for performance after washing now requires each cycle to be a wash and dry cycle. The requirements for combined performance material remain unchanged and can be used to meet the requirements of the retro-reflective materials on class 1 garments. MARKING, CARE LABELLING Previously, the pictogram and care labelling created a great deal of uncertainty. This is now better defined. The new graphical symbol for High Visibility Clothing has been simplified. After removing the type 1 reflective material from the norm, the figure indicated in the symbol (X) is now indicating the garment class only. If the maximum number of cleaning cycles is stated in the manufacturer’s instructions it shall be related to the component of the high visibility material with the lowest number of washes. The maximum number of washes shall be marked on the garment’s permanent label near the graphical symbol below. If such an indication is not given, certification has been granted on testing after 5 washes only. Drying must occur after each washing cycle.
It is the manufacturer who is responsible for informing the expected life time and limitations of the product. All garments must be marked according to the manufacturers’ instructions. A defined explanation to the meaning of the maximum number of cleaning cycles provided with the garment (essentially stating that cleaning is not the only factor related to the life time of the product) must now be included in the information supplied by the manufacturer.
Your logo is a visual expression of everything your business stands for.
Think about some popular companies and about how their logo embodies them.
In many instances, the first impression of your business is formed when a customer sees your logo.
A popular logo can help to build loyalty and trust between your customer and your business and can help to strengthen you brand identity.
Having a company logo gives you a professional image.
A great logo will have a simple message which is clear and relevant to the brand it represents.
It reflects the personality of your company, is memorable and versatile and It communicates what you want to say in the best possible way.
There are several types of logo design to choose from depending upon your budget and marketing strategy.
Font-based logos consist of written text usually with a unique font that helps them to stand out against the competition and is hard to copy, typical examples of companies using this method are Cadburys, IBM, Coca-Cola and Sony.
Illustrative logos consist of imagery to help illustrate what the business does such as a hammer and nail for builders.
Abstract logos these are logos that don’t represent any kind of service such as the Nike swoosh, this type of logo relies heavily on marketing and takes a long time in order for it to become indicative of a brand.
As a startup or growing business it is recommended that you use elements of font based and illustrative designs together as opposed to abstract logos, this is because it takes far more time and money to create a brand identity that connects to its customers using an abstract image.
Some top marketing experts believe people should be able to tell what your business does by looking at your logo.
Before we create our logo, we should start by deciding what message we want our logo to convey. Write your message down and stay true to it, whilst creating the logo.
Research other companies for inspiration, think about how you want to be viewed in relation to your competitors. What makes you unique? Are you a light hearted company or serious? What does your target market want to see when they approach a company of your type?
Make your logo simple and functional, easy to scale and easy to reproduce in different colours, such as black and white for fax messages. Avoid using photographs over simple vector-based art as they don’t scale very well, and don’t use clip art as it’s too easy to copy.
Your business name will affect the font used in the text, if it’s a jewellery business you might want to use a classy looking slim clean font, whereas for a utility company selling electricity you may wish to convey this using a less standard font with elements of and lightning bolt incorporated into the text.
Think about the different formats available for displaying your logo when marketing your company, such as tshirts, business cards, stationery, letterheads, brochures, adverts, flyers, your Web site and any other places where you mention your company name. This will help to build your image across many formats giving you more options when it comes to raising your company profile.
While coming up with logo ideas by yourself is an important step in creating your business identity, trying to create a logo completely alone could be a mistake. You should search for a professional designer, and try to ensure that they have experience in your field.
PPE is equipment that will protect the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets and hard hats, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses.
What do the Regulations require?
PPE should be used as a last resort. Wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 require PPE to be supplied. The Regulations also require that PPE is:
properly assessed before use to make sure it is fit for purpose;
maintained and stored properly;
provided with instructions on how to use it safely;
used correctly by employees.
Assessing suitable PPE
To make sure the right type of PPE is chosen, consider the different hazards in the workplace and identify the PPE that will provide adequate protection against them; this may be different for each job.
Ask your supplier for advice on the types of PPE available and their suitability for different tasks. In some cases, you may need to get advice from specialists or from the PPE manufacturer. Another useful source of information is the British Safety Industry Federation (www. bsif.co.uk).
Consider the following when assessing suitability:
Does the PPE protect the wearer from the risks and take account of the environmental conditions where the task is taking place? For example eye protection designed to protect against agricultural pesticides may not offer adequate protection when using an angle grinder to cut steel or stone.
Does using PPE increase the overall level of risk or add new risks, eg by making communication more difficult?
Can it be adjusted to fit the wearer correctly?
What are the needs of the job and the demands it places on the wearer? For
example, the length of time the PPE needs to be worn, the physical effort required to do the job or the requirements for visibility and communication. If someone wears more than one item of PPE, are they compatible? For example does using a respirator make it difficult to fit eye protection properly?
Selection and use
When selecting PPE:
choose good quality products which are CE marked in accordance with thePersonal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002 – suppliers can advise you;
choose equipment that suits the wearer – consider the size, fit and weight; you may need to consider the health of the wearer, eg if equipment is very heavy, or wearers have pre-existing health issues, standard PPE may not be suitable;
let users help choose it, they will be more likely to use it.
Using and distributing PPE to your employers:
instruct and train people how to use it;
tell them why it is needed, when to use it and what its limitations are;
never allow exemptions for those jobs that ‘only take a few minutes’;
if something changes on the job, check the PPE is still appropriate – speak withyour supplier, explaining the job to them
if in doubt, seek further advice from a specialist adviser.
For Further information please read the following HSE Guide on PPE...
Choosing the correct company uniform can have a positive effect on your company and your whole team, it can cause employees to focus on the task at hand, act in a professional manner, and feel like part of your team, which in turn can lead to increased productivity.
It can also be one on the most effective and inexpensive ways to advertise your company to the outside world.
When we dress casually at work it’s hard for us to differentiate between our home selves and our work selves.
Providing uniforms creates a line in the sand between our home life and our work life, this allows us to focus on work when we are dressed for work, and switch off in our home lives when we replace work-wear with casual wear.
For example, when we dress in sportswear for the gym, we adopt a different behavior or train of thought, we are mentally preparing ourselves for the task at hand. Clothing is a part of that preparation.
Clothing causes us to act in a different way, and expect to act in a different way.
Creating a focused team has an impact on how they perform and how they expect to work.
Creating focus in the workplace can benefit everyone in various ways, from productivity to health and safety.
A huge factor when selecting a company uniform, will normally be the company’s desired image, and although a uniform can draw such a strong line, its doesn’t have to feel rigid and regimented.
Employees can be given a choice between several styles that all fit in with the company's image, but still allows them a range of expression and comfort.
At Gotoworkwear ltd, we are passionate about creating the perfect package of corporate wear, work wear or team wear for your company.