Hi-Vis Workwear: What You Need To Know About ANSI Garment Labels
When looking for high visibility workwear, you'll hear a lot about the ANSI 107 standard. A fascinating Hi-Vis fact is that any piece of clothing made to fulfill the ANSI 107 standard must also have an ANSI garment label.
This label contains a wealth of information that might be quite beneficial to anyone who wears high visibility apparel in the workplace. Let's look at the fundamentals of ANSI compliant high-vis workwear and what the ANSI garment label on your hi-vis clothing may tell you.
What Exactly Is ANSI?
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a non-profit organization that assists in developing and maintaining standards for a variety of businesses. Personal protective equipment (PPE) standards, which describe the levels of protection workers require from their protective gear, are among the most important types of ANSI standards.
ANSI 107-2020 is a critical ANSI PPE standard that governs high visibility clothing and is utilized in various industries. To protect themselves and be visible on the job, everyone from road construction teams to warehouse employees to first responders wears ANSI 107-rated high visibility apparel.
Why Is the ANSI Garment Label Important?
When it comes to high-vis workwear, having a solid understanding of ANSI labels will assist you in making smarter decisions. The ANSI garment label provides comprehensive information about every ANSI 107 approved piece of workwear. Examining the ANSI label will immediately notify you of the level of protection provided by this clothing. ANSI garment labels also provide care instructions to teach you how to properly care for your garment.
Examining Your High Visibility Garments for a Label
Whether you are purchasing a reflective harness, vest, or overall, finding the ANSI garment label is one of the first things you should do. Look for it in the usual locations where a clothing label would be found, such as the waistband or near the neck. If you come across an item of clothing with high-visibility characteristics but it lacks an ANSI label, it is most likely non-compliant with ANSI standards for visibility.
This workwear does not adhere to a specific ANSI standard, but it does have high-visibility features such as reflective material and/or bright colors. If your employment site demands ANSI 107 compliance clothing, non-ANSI enhanced visibility clothes are not the best option.
How to Read an ANSI Garment Label
Reading the ANSI garment label is simple once you know where to look for information and which areas are relevant to your profession. Here is some important information that you will find on the ANSI garment label.
Manufacturer: The first line of an ANSI garment label indicates the name of the apparel maker. This is useful information to have on hand in case you need to contact the manufacturer with a query or concern.
Declaration of ANSI Standards: The maker will disclose which ANSI standard the garment has been created to comply with on the label's second line. The current ANSI high visibility standard is ANSI/ISEA 107-2020, so look for that version of the standard to be mentioned on the label.
Size: The ANSI tag on the garment should indicate its size, such as Medium or Large. Always check the sizing guide for a garment before purchase to ensure that your workwear fits properly.
Pictogram: A simple pictogram should also be included on the tag.
Model Name: The model number identifies the exact model of the garment. Keep this information handy in case you need to contact the manufacturer or seller regarding the outfit.
Types of ANSI High Visibility Workwear
ANSI 107 compliant high-vis workwear may be categorized based on the type of work that they are meant for. They differ from the performance classifications of ANSI clothing. The following are examples of ANSI high visibility garments:
- Type O: Type O clothes are commonly used for warehouse jobs and mining. They are suitable for off-road applications. A Reflective Harness is an excellent example of Type O ANSI workwear.
- Type R: These hi-vis garments are for general applications with high traffic exposure, such as roadwork.
- Type P: Type P high vis workwear is suitable for public safety employees such as EMTs and law enforcement officers who require increased visibility in both daylight and nighttime settings
High Visibility Performance Classes ANSI
The ANSI garment types we just reviewed have several subcategories known as performance classes. Each of these classifications indicates that the garment meets certain standards for keeping employees visible.
Class 1: Class 1 apparel is usually classified as Type O, indicating that it is exclusively appropriate for off-road workers.
Class 2: The highest level of ANSI 107 protection, as well as the lowest level that can be labeled as Type R or Type P.
Class 3: The most stringent level of ANSI 107 protection, which might be Type R or Type P. Typically used for jobs where there is a high risk of being hit by a vehicle.
Class E: Visibility accessories such as high visibility leggings.
Certain varieties of high visibility workwear must additionally include flame-resistant elements to prevent the cloth from catching fire. If the garment meets any FR or HRC criteria, it will be stated in this area. The letters FR will be followed by the relevant flame resistance standard that it satisfies, such as ASTM F1891. If the clothing does not have any FR properties, the phrase "Non-FR" will be placed in this spot.
Instructions for Use
The final section of the label contains directions for washing, drying, and caring for the clothing. Like most garments, hi-vis workwear has care instructions on the label to help you avoid inadvertent damage to your clothes.
The first thing you'll notice is a series of pictograms. These make use of international laundry care symbols to provide quick and simple care recommendations. If you've never seen the symbols before, look them up beforehand, so you don't misinterpret them.
Following that are a series of short care instructions that provide the same information. Most high visibility clothes have unique care requirements, such as the inability to be dry cleaned, so read these carefully.