New EU standard for PPE Forestry: from high visibility orange to bright pink

The personal protective equipment for the forestry industry, aka PPE Forestry, is now becoming even safer. Drawing on the results of a major study, a new standard governing work clothing will come into force on 1 May 2016; high visibility orange will be changing to bright pink. Millions of foresters and forestry workers are now facing a race against time to equip themselves for the new standard.


High-visibility safety clothing is a must

Special protective equipment is mandatory for everyone engaged in forestry work. A safety helmet with protection for the ears and face, work gloves, cut-protection trousers and cut-protection gloves all play a key role in ensuring personal safety. A work jacket with segments in a high visibility colour is important for ensuring the wearer can still be seen even over larger distances. But a note of caution: this protective equipment is still mandatory even for people who just cut their own firewood.

In order to guarantee uniform product quality, all protective clothing manufacturers have to comply with the relevant EU standards. EN 381, for example, lays out the protective clothing requirements for people working with chainsaws, while EN 471 defines how high visibility clothing is to be designed.

Study: pink is the most effective high visibility colour

Over the years, the effectiveness of high visibility orange, the colour used until now, has been questioned time and again by industry experts. Professionals from northern Europe have complained that clothing with segments of high visibility orange, sometimes also in combination with green, is not sufficiently conspicuous in autumnal forests. For this reason the EU Commission for Forestry and Forest Work has spent the last three years conducting a major study throughout the European Union. As part of the study, both cognition tests and adrenaline measurements were performed on over 10,000 professional forestry workers.

The neuropsychologists behind the tests discovered that the conspicuousness of the high visibility colour used to date truly is unsatisfactory in the forest. “The most important thing about a high visibility colour is the contrast,” explained the commission’s chair Mr. Jack Lumber. “Especially in northern Europe, where the leaves turn orange in autumn, the colour tone currently used is just not effective enough.” To find a solution to this problem, a number of alternative high visibility colours were trialled with test subjects. The key aspect for the researchers was how easily the colour could be seen, even over larger distances. Only one colour caused adrenaline levels to rise significantly in the test subjects, indicating a strong sense of awareness. The assessments of the subjects themselves backed up these findings and led to the only possible conclusion: bright pink is the most easily seen and elicits the required level of caution.

Bright pink is to become mandatory from May 2016

The finding of the study has now been codified for industry application in a new EU standard. To improve safety in the forest immediately, forestry workers must wear protective clothing with segments in bright pink (RGB 255,3,206) from May 2016. From this date high visibility orange will no longer be permitted. Furthermore, the impact will be accentuated through the use of neon or fluorescent dyes.

New clothing that meets this regulation will be delivered to our STIHL dealers over the next two weeks.


We will also be providing a kit for upgrading clothing that has already been procured. A special textile pigment and bright pink patches to attach to your jackets and trousers can also be purchased from your STIHL dealer.


Read comments and comment:

4 thoughts on “New EU standard for PPE Forestry: from high visibility orange to bright pink

    1. Hello Caroline Gold,
      Thank you for your comment.
      This blog post was just an April Fool’s joke.
      The picture is a photomontage and doesn’t show any existing products.
      Best regards,
      your STIHL team

  1. Recently this two year old blog’s posted worded content was used by our 12 and 9 year old daughters, during testimonials for the legislative process regarding Maryland joining six other states who have already recognized bright fluorescent pink as an additional safety color choice for hunting outerwear.

    A college student who serves as a Multimedia Journalist at the University of Maryland, Philip Merrill College of Journalism / Capital News Service published a “REAL” news article based on their own interviewing and reporting style.

    I was contacted via email by this college student, who was seeking a comment on how this blog made it into testimony used by our young daughters.

    Please review the below actual comment, in its entirety, that I respectfully submitted on March 31st, 2018 and now dedicate to our young daughters hard-work and feelings.

    “On behalf of our family, young Paige and Brooke are naturally unapologetically innocent for believing in the journalistic methods used in realistically creating a fake news blog. Thinking it was true, Paige and Brooke chose some of the fake content, thinking it was good solid research in their written entered testimony.

    Joke or not, as long as it remains accessible on the internet, it will continue to April Fool’s those with open, thus vulnerable perceptive minds. Many who have read it, including us as their parents, thought the blog’s content was true.

    We commend the skillful eyes of the Multimedia Journalist who exposed its misleading value.

    It is so important to share, that Paige and Brooke used multiple sources in their research and it is unfortunate that this one used, was not legitimate. I can only guess once our daughters are made aware of this very recent sad discovery, they will want to continue researching everything, even more thoroughly, particularly on the other six states even more, who have already approved Daylight Fluorescent Pink as an additional safety color choice.

    This is yet another experience learned for our entire family, while our daughters continue to participate in our states amazing legislative process. It is a spec of dust, on the volunteer work that Paige and Brooke have exhibited and will continue to be positively recognized for.

    Their mother and I are proud witnesses, first hand in seeing the self-empowerment they have unknowingly each gained during this experience, while working directly with our states diligent law makers.

    Paige and Brooke’s caring desire, to officially make Daylight Fluorescent Pink another safety color choice for outerwear, will ultimately benefit Marylander’s and our states visitors, who choose to enjoy our state’s natural resources during certain hunting seasons.

    It is no longer a rarity for young citizens abroad to be heard or recognized in their desires to increase the safety and quality of life throughout our country. It is just another priceless virtue, of what America is all about and Paige, plus Brooke are living it!”
    NOTE: Both the Maryland Senate and House Bill’s passed favorably and It is now known, that the fake news blog’s worded content, had no strength in the Daylight Fluorescent Pink’s legislative integrity or popularity.

  2. As of recent, the “Important Note” message has been conveniently repositioned to the top of the blog, as it use to be positioned at the bottom. Thank you Stilh!
    We love your power equipment!!!

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