Any roadway worker with half a brain knows to don high-visibility safety clothing before setting foot onto the jobsite. Now, with a new federal rule in place, use of neon-bright vests and the like will increase.

The federal rule's text states that “All workers within the right of way of a federal-aid highway who are exposed to traffic...or to construction equipment within the work area shall wear high-visibility safety apparel.” It defines workers as “people on foot whose duties place them within the right of way of a federal-aid highway, such as highway construction and maintenance forces, survey crews, utility crews, responders to incidents within the highway right of way, and law enforcement personnel when directing traffic, investigating crashes, and handling lane closures, obstructed roadways, and disasters within the right of way of a federal-aid highway.” In other words, just about any employee walking around a highway jobsite.

No matter what your staffers are doing on the road, safety gear is a must. In addition to the usual suspects (road construction crews, law enforcement personnel, utility workers, and the like), the rule also applies to volunteers in roadside trash pickup events like those in Adopt-A-Highway programs.

The bottom line: consider investing in more high-visibility vests, so that whoever's working on your federally funded roads, you're covered.

Safety vests

Keeta Class 2 safety vests, designed for temporary workers and high-dirt environments, are made of polyester, non-woven fabric. Each comes with large armholes and adjustable sides to accommodate the wearer's size and allow for outerwear, and each can be washed up to five times. Choose from lime and orange colors. Lakeland Industries Inc.

High-visibility rain suit

This polyurethane rain suit—compliant with Class III and ANSI 1007-2004 standards—consists of a jacket and pants in high-visibility yellow, with navy and 3M silver reflective tape trim. The waterproof, windproof outfit is thermally insulated, lightweight, and has a removable hood. OccuNomix International.