The Opticolor Project

RISE in its continued effort to support the local industries, has joined forces with S-Innovations Ltd, a Cyprus-based innovation company, to determine the optimal color for High-Visibility Safety Apparel (HVSA). This 6-month “Proof of Concept” project was proposed by S-Innovations Ltd and was co-funded by Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation under the Restart 2016-2020 framework. On behalf of RISE the BIO-SCENT (Biometrics for Smart Human-centred Emerging Technologies) Multidisciplinary research group was involved in the collaboration.  

The project addressed the problem of enhancing employee’s safety through the selection of optimum HVSA colors for a given work environment. The use of an appropriate HVSA at a worksite makes personnel more conspicuous and reduces accident rates. The standard colors for HVSA as per the relevant ISO and ANSI standards are red, orange and yellow. These colors offer high color contrast in many cases; however, the lack of a methodology for selecting the most suitable HVSA color for a specific work-area, results in situations where HVSA fail to provide increased conspicuity.  

Main project achievements 

  • The development of a generally applicable methodology for assessing the predominant worksite colors and determining the most suitable color for HVSA.  
  • The methodology was experimentally validated with the help of 50 volunteers and the use of a custom-made validation software (Django application).  
  • Results have showed a 35% reduction in the time required to detect workers when the color of their HVSA was changed to match the optimum color determined using the color selector methodology developed as part of the project.  
  • The development of a simplified method. Color combination matrix to assist Safety Officers and other practitioners in selecting the optimal safety color.  
  • Highlighted the need for updating the relevant standards EN ISO 20471:2013 or ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 

The work carried out as part of the project is being disseminated through paper submissions in high caliber journal and conferences, and local presentations (Department of labor inspection, University of Nicosia).  

More information is available at