Reflective tape – glass beads and prismatic

Reflective clothing is mandatory for workers in specific environments who are prone to risks due to lack of proper visibility. Generally speaking, reflective clothing is worn over regular or working clothing, but they can successfully substitute simple working equipment. Using reflective tape on working clothes is recommended and even required by law. This is the case when the worker needs to be easily spotted to avoid accidents (for examples in factories, airports, traffic, railways, construction sites, etc.).

It is important to know that there are two types of reflective tapes, depending on the manufacturing process. We have glass bead reflective tape and prismatic reflective tape. The first reflective tapes to be used were the glass bead ones. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Reflexite invented the prismatic tape. Did this mean that the prismatic tapes replaced the glass bead tapes? Certainly not. Both types of reflective tapes have passed the test of time and are still used nowadays. One of the reasons why the glass beads tape is just as used as the prismatic tape is the fact that they have different characteristics. These characteristics make them desirable for one use or the other.

The glass beads reflective tape uses microscopic glass beads to bend and reflect the light back to the source. The tapes made with glass beads are actually less reflective compared to the prismatic tapes. The imperfections explain this fact in the glass beads, as well as the curved surfaces. The efficiency of the glass bead reflective tapes is somewhere around 30%. This is not really a lot and certainly a disadvantage of this type of reflective tapes. However, it is also important to mention that the glass beads also present numerous benefits. Hence their intensive use nowadays. One of the multiple reasons why glass beads tapes can be chosen over prismatic tapes is their accessibility. In other words, the glass bead reflective tapes are much more straightforward to produce, hence less costly compared to the prismatic tapes. The reflective tape made out of glass beads can spread the light more compared to the prismatic tape. This explains why this type of reflective tape is not as luminous at greater distances. Most people prefer to use glass bead reflective tape on objects or clothing that are nearby. When it comes to considerable distances, the rule is always to use the prismatic type of reflective tape.

Safety boots – which one is right for you

Several work environments require the use of safety equipment. This type of work equipment is necessary to avoid work accidents. The hard hat, high visibility clothing, safety gloves, and boots are just some of the accessories that can help us do a great job in safe conditions.

Safety boots are essential for working in certain conditions and choosing the right type of safety boot is dependent on the kind of work you do. Safety boots are the most efficient type of shoes. The level of safety is increased when wearing the boots while on the construction site and even for home renovations. To decide what type of safety boot is right for you, you need to consider where you will use it. Here are a few aspects to take into account when looking for the perfect safety boots:

1. Comfort

Just like it is the case with literally any type of shoes, comfort is an essential factor. The lack of comfort can make the work more difficult, not to mention that it could lead to injuries at the level of the feet. Make sure to try on several pairs until you find the most comfortable one for your feet.

2. Durability

When checking how resistant are the safety boots, it is worth to have a look at the warranty of the product. The boots should be more durable if the warranty is extended. Another aspect that is associated with durability is the material used for safety boots. Depending on the type of work environment, the safety boots will be subjected to a certain level of stress.

3. Steel cap

If you work in an environment where there is the risk of dropping objects, the steel cap is necessary to protect the feet. Safety boots with a steel cap can be the norm in specific work fields, so make sure to check this criterion too.

4. Steel midsoles

The safety boots with steel midsoles can be necessary on a construction site and also if your work environment can have sharp debris on the ground you walk on.

5. Waterproof

If you spend more time outside or if there is water in your work environment, the water-resistant safety boots are mandatory.

The safety boots are essential whatever the work environment might be. Either you need to protect your feet from falling objects, cuts or perforations, the safety boots can help you get the work done without incidents. At the same time, the safety boots also help protect against electric shocks and are great on slippery grounds.

Flood and Fast Water Risks in the workplace

Do you have workers clearing drains or maintaining critical infrastructure, or even traveling in remote regions? Each people are hurt or die trying to cross or play in flooded waterways.  If your  workers have reported work sites inundated with water and access to remote locations hampered by flood water have you got safe systems of work in place and have you provided critical information on ?

Flood water

Flood waters hide slippery surfaces, uneven ground, strong current, fences, vehicles, rocks, long grass, tree branches, sewerage, chemicals, sharp objects and electrical current Flood waters may contain animal including snakes, vehicles, tree branches where people can become entangled.

Storm drains

In urban areas large volumes of fast flowing water can come and go in minutes. Entrances to drains, pipe and grills are slippery and difficult to get out of in wet  conditions.

Dams and Weirs

Turbulent water around dams and weirs can knock people off their feet and recovering people from fast flowing water with poor visibility is extremely difficult

Flood water over roads, causeways

Water up to the car doors is enough to float a vehicle or can splash and stall the engine. Even gentle moving flood water can wash away the road from beneath a vehicle


  • Stay 3 meters back from the water’s edge
  • Never drive through flooded road ways wait until the water subsides.
  • When working in stormwater ensure that the spotters continuously monitors weather conditions. If water rises unexpectedly in a pipe evacuate the area.
  • If you become trapped in flood water
  • If you become trapped, stay calm.
  • Phone Triple Zero (000) or ask or signal others to call for your rescue.
  • If you’re in an isolated area, rescuers may take some time to reach you, so be patient. If you are caught in a vehicle, stay there until help arrives, if the water level goes down or a safe escape is possible.
  • Don’t enter the water if it can be avoided and stop others from entering it.
  • Even fully-equipped swiftwater technicians will only enter the water as a last

If you see someone in difficulty

Monitor the person and report the situation to emergency services. Listen to rescue authorities who are trained professionals and follow their instructions. If you have to assist the person, use extreme caution and do not enter the water. If possible use a tree branch, rope (never tie it to the person or yourself) or  other tools to reach the isolated person. Take care as fast flowing water can force the person further under the water.

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

What action can you do to prevent workers being injured in the workplace

  1. Provide a safe work environment by ensuring controls are maintained

Do you have a risk of mosquitos in your workplace?

Mosquitos are the deadliest animal and with Japanese encephalitis now in Australia it is important to reassess the risk in your workplace.


  • Mosquitoes cause at least a million deaths every year.
  • There are about 700 million cases of mosquito-borne diseases occur annually.
  • With over 3,500species of mosquitoes, there is an estimated number in the quadrillions of mosquitos.
  • Only female mosquitoes bite. Both males and females feed mainly on fruit and plant nectar, but females also need the protein in blood to help their eggs develop. 
  • The females “bite” with a long, pointed mouthpart called a proboscis. They use the serrated proboscis to pierce the skin and locate a capillary, then draw blood through one of two tubes. The bumps or “bites” that we see form on our skin are actually an allergic reaction to mosquitoes’ saliva. When the mosquito feeds on human blood, it injects saliva into our skin, and the itchy bump is the result of a mild immune system reaction to it.
  • Mosquitos are usually active from dusk to dawn and tend to like dark, damp areas near stagnant water.
  • A mosquito can drink up to three times its weight in blood, although it’s very difficult for someone to die from blood loss caused by a mosquito.
  • Mosquito-borne diseases and illnesses are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites transmitted by mosquitoes. They can transmit diseases without being affected themselves.
  • The instances of mosquito-borne diseases have skyrocketed in the past years

Mosquitos breed in

  • Tall grass
  • Standing (still) water
  • Pot plant bases
  • Open bins
  • Drains and gutters

Do you have similar safety risks in your workplace?

What action can you do to prevent workers being injured in the workplace

  • Eliminate standing water
  • Schedule work for daylight hours
  • Review vaccines for some viruses
  • Cover up with long sleeves and long pants , socks and shoes
  • Wear gloves
  • Wear repellent
    • Put on sunscreen first.
    • Don’t apply repellents under your clothes.
    • Don’t spray directly onto face; instead, spray your hands and rub repellent on your face.
    • Avoid your eyes and mouth.
    • Don’t apply on injured or irritated skin.
    • Wash your hands after you apply repellent.

High visibility clothing

High visibility clothing is necessary when operating heavy machinery. It is also mandatory when working at night time or in exceptional weather conditions. Groundwork in airports and working in traffic zones also need high visibility clothing. And this is to name just a few work conditions that require wearing this type of clothing. High visibility clothing is mandatory for the safety of the person wearing it, and it has the role of signalling the worker’s presence in the area. While wearing high visibility clothing, workers can be more easily noticed, and accidents can be avoided.

For the human eye, it is the moving forms that are in contrast with the surrounding environment that are easy to see. This is the reason why strong, contrasting colours such as neon yellow, orange, or red are more popular and used for the design and creation of high visibility clothing. Reflective tapes that can be positioned strategically on the body and around the extremities can signal even better the position and the movement of the worker. These tapes have the role of reflecting the light to the source of light, and the contrast with the background fabric can significantly increase visibility. The background material is often fluorescent and a type of pf polyester. In other words, the fabric is meant to absorb ultraviolet light and reflect it in a spectrum visible to the human eye. This is the reason why the fluorescent material gets increased visibility in the presence of natural light. The fluorescent fabric combined with reflective tapes can ensure increased efficiency of the high visibility clothing.

 There are several safety levels of the high visibility clothing, depending on the quantity of reflective and fluorescent material used. The lowest level of visibility (pants with reflective tapes on them, for example) can be used when the risks of injury are minimal or in combination with other reflective safety equipment. A medium level of safety for high visibility clothing is associated with reflective vests. These vests need to have two reflective tapes of 50 mm around the waist or one horizontal tape and two vertical tapes at the level of the shoulders. The highest level of safety for the high visibility clothing is represented by clothes that have reflective tapes on the arms, sleeves, but also at the level of the shoulders.

History of the hard hat

In 2019 we have celebrated a century of using the hard hats for workers in different fields. From working in mines to working at wuthering heights, head protection has become over the years a mandatory accessory for sustaining the safety standards in the workplace. Together with the safety boots, the hard hat has completely changed the way we do industrial work. The hard hat is also the safety equipment that is the most straight forward to recognize. You’ll find the hard hat in all environments that come with the risk of head injury nowadays.

Since their early days and until the modern time, the hard hat has evolved significantly. The materials used for them, the design, and also their versatility has been considerably improved. The safety in the workplace has started to become a priority only around the first decades of the 20th century. In those times, the workers would wear hats that were dipped in tar and left in the sun to dry and harden. A legend says that it all started from the workers in the harbours. They came up with these hard hats to protect from the things the seagulls throw down.

The first hard hats for the mining industry were produced in 1898 by Edward Dickinson Bullard, and they were made out of leather. His son came with the idea was to revolutionize safety equipment by following the model of the military hat used in the First World War. As the metal was too heavy to wear, in 1919, Bullard invented the hard hat made out of a fabric formed in the press with steam and glue. The initial hard hat was easy to produce, resistant, and relatively comfortable to wear. Ten years after they have been introduced to the market, the Bullard hard hats have become mandatory for construction workers.

In the 30s, the hard hats were made out of aluminium, and then in the 40s, the material used was fibreglass. It was only later on that producers started to use resistant plastic materials for the hard hat design.

Nowadays, the hard had is a mandatory part of the safety equipment, and the number of work accidents is continually decreasing. The hard hat has saved many lives in its hundred years history. Its versatility and easy use have guaranteed an irreplaceable status for safety in the workplace for numerous industries.