Brisbane Motorway Services (BMS) Traffic Incident Management Services staff provide first response to road users involved in road accidents, breakdowns or people at risk of self-harm. After staff raised concerns about heat related risks and the poor functionality of their hi-visibility vests while working in Queensland’s summer heat, BMS designed and manufactured a hi-visibility, warm weather, load bearing vest.
BMS consulted and collaborated with workers and subject matter experts to design, manufacture and test the vest. There were over 25 design changes made to ensure the vest was adjustable, suitable for the Queensland climate and could carry necessary safety equipment without stress on the upper neck and shoulders. The vest had to be made of mesh and non-mesh materials that passed stringent AS/NZS product testing for durability, washability, visibility, reflectivity and fluorescence.
The result is a lightweight vest that reduces heat stress, improves visibility and decreases muscle strain. The design has the capacity to transfer to other industries such as security, railway and vehicle inspection.
To complement the introduction of the vest and several other BMS safety initiatives, they also developed ‘VizChek’, a new smart phone app to measure compliance of personal protective equipment (PPE) shirts and vests while out in the field. VizCheck can measure fluorescence and chronicity compliance through the app without the need to take PPE items to laboratories for testing.