HSE: See and be seen
We are entering the time of the year when the days are shorter and evenings darker for Omega’s many employees in the far north. We therefore recommend that all of our employees use reflective vests when they are out in the dark.
October 15 is Norway's national reflective-vest day. The use of a reflective vest reduces the risk of being hit by a vehicle in the dark by 85 percent. Even if you see the vehicle, it is difficult for the motorist to see you if you are walking in the dark without a reflective vest.
Most of us make sure that our children and grandchildren are equipped with reflective vests and reflectors when they go outside. However, it is often adults that go outside in the dark without equipping themselves.
Remember that we as adults must aim to be positive role models for children, Aslaug Nesheim from Omega's Business Support team reminds us.
"If you use a reflective vest, a motorist will see you much earlier than if you go without in dark areas, but it is also very important to use a reflective vest on road sections with street lighting. In fact, most accidents happen when people cross the street. The accident statistics show that pedestrians are at least twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured in the dark as in daylight."
If you walk along the road in the dark without a reflective vest, you are not visible to a motorist before they are just over 25 meters from you. With a reflective vest you will be seen from140 meters away. A motorist driving at 50 km/h therefore has ten seconds instead of two seconds to react; this can be the difference between life and death. Thus, we hope that as many as possible will spend 15 seconds putting on a reflective vest before going out in the dark.
"If you need one or several reflective vests, we would appreciate it if you contact firstname.lastname@example.org," Nesheim says.
Tips for using reflectors
- Make sure you have reflectors available in outer pockets, in cars, on bikes, and in bags at all times
- Remember that scratches and tears will weaken reflective abilities, so make sure you use new reflective vests if older vests look worn out
- Note that reflective vests also become weaker when washed
- The reflective object should hang at knee height to receive as much light as possible from the headlights
- Reflective vests that are in use are most visible
- If you use two reflective objects, you will be seen from both sides when you cross the road
- In Norway, all approved reflective vests must be marked with CE EN 13356
Did you know?
- Around 40 percent of all pedestrian accidents happen when it is dark?
- Only two out of 10 adults use reflectors when they are out in the dark?
- Approximately 1000 pedestrians are injured every year and only 5 percent of them have used reflectors?
- You are required to use reflectors on your bike?
- Without reflectors you will not be visible to a motorist until he/she is approximately 25-30 meters away?
- Using reflectors, you will be visible to a motorist at a distance of 140 meters, if they are using low-beam lights?
- ...and 400 meters if they are using high-beam lights?
- Converted to seconds, the driver has 10 seconds instead of 2 seconds to react?
(Source: The Norwegian Council for Road Safety)