Workman Gets First-Degree Burns From Reflective Strip On His High-Vis Jacket
An Australian doctor has issued a stark warning to anyone working outside after a patient came into his surgery having suffered first-degree burns from the reflective bit of a high-visibility work jacket.
The 40-year-old environmental engineer turned up at the accident and emergency department of the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital after getting a painful red rash right across his back.
Basically, he'd spent the day working in the sun and then when getting undressed noticed the large red mark. He was examined by Dr Iona Vlad at the hospital, who realised that the painful rash was in fact first degree burns.
Dr Vlad wrote about the case in the Australian Medical Journal. She said: "The patient... was required to wear (the shirts) throughout his working day (and) also reported that the high visibility tape on his shirt often becomes extremely hot when he works out in the sun.
"He occasionally has to change position so the shirt does not touch his skin in that area."
So far as anyone is aware, this is the first time that a patient has claimed to have been burned by a high-vis jacket. Admittedly, it is unlikely in the UK any time soon, but those in Oz should keep an eye on it, for sure.
While this case didn't turn out to be life-threatening, it was - by all accounts - bloody painful.
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The burn was treated with aloe vera cream and a simple analgesic painkiller.
Dr Vlad continued: "Retro-reflective tape is used on work clothing to increase the wearer's visibility to others, especially in the dark.
"It usually consists of minute glass beads or prismatic elements encapsulated in a transparent film, which reflect light back towards its source."
So, while it is good to wear the high-vis jacket to increase visibility, there are at least two reasons why it isn't necessarily the best thing to wear in broad daylight, particularly if it is really hot and sunny.
Dr Vlad suggested that high-vis jacket manufacturers should redesign them to protect from the reflective strip if folks are going to be wearing them in the hot sunshine.
She added: "Manufacturers should consider designing shirts that decrease direct contact between retro-reflective tape and skin, potentially by increasing the number or thickness of cloth layers under it."
Yeah, also - as previously mentioned - if you can't see the wearer of a jacket in broad daylight, it is unlikely that a reflective strip is going to help you.
You should probably get your eyes tested.
Featured Image Credit: Australian Medical Journal