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Right High-Visibility Color for the Right Job: How to Choose the Right Colors for Your Working Environment

If you work in a field where safety is vital, such as construction or transportation, then you know that wearing high-visibility clothes can mean the difference between life and death. It's there to help keep you safe from harm by warning others of your presence so they can avoid hitting you with heavy machinery or vehicles. However, if you don't choose the right colored clothing for your environment and working conditions, this safety measure won't be effective! Let's take a look at how one should select their high-visibility gear based on their job role:

Site supervisor wearing yellow hi-viz vest

Consult the ANSI/ISEA 107 standards for your high-visibility clothing.

  • ANSI/ISEA-107 outlines the minimum reflective qualities and colors allowed for high-visibility apparel, ensuring your safety in the work environment.
  • This standard is necessary because they outline what fabrics make the best high-visibility clothes and how they should be combined with other features, such as reflective strips, to create an overall practical garment.
  • It's important to remember that these standards apply only to garments worn by workers who are required to wear high-visibility apparel in their workplace, such as construction workers or roadside flaggers. If you fall into this category, you can use these guidelines when choosing which garments will work best for your needs.


Fluorescent yellow-green is the most common color for high-visibility clothing in the manufacturing industry. Fluorescent yellow is often paired with other bright colors like orange or red to stand out from the rest of the environment while still being visible enough to avoid accidents or injuries.

Construction Sites

The most common color for construction sites is fluorescent yellow-green. However, it is common to see orange as well. These colors best suit urban environments where you will work around many dark colors such as blacks, grays, and browns.

While fluorescent yellow-green is an excellent choice in a dark urban environment, it's not ideal if you work outdoors on grassy or green surfaces such as parks or fields where the green can blend in. It would not be wise to wear fluorescent red while working around a brick building. When choosing high-visibility apparel, you always want to keep your background in mind.

Railroads and Trucking

If you work in the railroad or trucking industries, fluorescent yellow-green is the most common color to wear. It is also the safest option because it contrasts with dark objects such as road signs, trucks, and rail cars.

Fluorescent red or orange is not recommended for this work because those colors are associated with warning signs, cones, and other cautionary devices.

Road Construction

Road construction is a vital industry, so it's essential to make sure you wear the proper high-visibility clothing. Fluorescent yellow-green is an excellent choice because it stands out well against the roadway. It will be evident from far away that you are working in an active construction zone.

There may be better choices than orange and red, as drivers may associate the colors with signs and barriers.

Snow and Ice, Night Work

When it comes to snow and ice, fluorescent red is one of the best colors for being seen in low-visibility situations. It is so effective that Europe has already been using fluorescent red for years. Fluorescent colors are designed to draw our attention very quickly, which is precisely what you need when working in a snowstorm or at night.

However, you should pair another high-vis color with your fluorescent red—the more visible you are, the better!


As a firefighter, you need to be seen to save lives. While it's evident that firefighters need to wear yellow-green gear while working in high-traffic areas, black can sometimes be used if you're working at a low-traffic scene.

If you work at an acceptable workplace where such attire is permitted, black hi-viz may even be considered the best option because it does not stand out and provides adequate safety when needed most!


We've discussed the different types of high-visibility work clothing and what to look for when choosing your own. Now, you should be ready to go out into the world and find your perfect gear! Once again, remember that safety is essential no matter what kind of work you do or how much time you spend in your work environment. We hope this guide keeps you safe while doing what you love: working hard and looking good doing it!

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