High Visibility Work Clothing Standards, What You Need to Know

ANSI compliant, ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 -

High Visibility Work Clothing Standards, What You Need to Know

High visibility work clothing is created to make workers more visible when they are on a job site, out on a walk where automobiles are present, or any other time they want to be noticed. However, not all hi-vis clothing is created equal. There are various grades, levels, and types to choose from. This article will assist you in navigating these variations so that you have the most protection while also remaining compliant.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) created the ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 standard to determine which hi-vis clothing item should be worn in which situation to ensure employees are visible enough to maintain a safe working environment.

Performance Classes for High Visibility Work Clothing 

Performance classes for high visibility work clothing are defined in terms of the minimum area of high visibility materials to be integrated. Performance Classes offer a variety of design options that correlate to the user's needs in the projected risk environment.

Class 1 (Type O): Performance Class 1 provides the bare minimum of high visibility materials to distinguish the worker in basic work environments. It is used in scenarios where identification distances and detection in the work environment can be shorter without compromising safety.

Class 2 (Type R or P): Performance Class 2 allows for the use of more high visibility materials, which may allow for more effective design opportunities to define the human shape. Compared to Performance Class 1 HVSA, Performance Class 2 HVSA can deliver detection in a longer range and identification distances. 

Class 3 (Type R or P): By mandating the placement of background, retro-reflective, and combined-performance materials on sleeves and pant legs, Class 3 hi-vis clothing can provide increased visibility for the wearer in complicated backgrounds and through a range of movements.  

Supplemental Class E: Gaiters, pants, shorts, and overalls are classified as Class E. Class E products shall not be worn alone to meet HVSA PPE regulations. When a Class E item is worn with a Class 2/3 item, the overall categorization is Performance Class 3.

Color Requirements

The color criterion is only met by three colors: Fluorescent red/yellow-green/ orange-red/. Keep this in mind because many other colors are available for high visibility work clothing. However, only these three fit the requirement.

Design Requirements

Ergonomic HVSA should be developed and built with some basic principles in mind. The materials and components of the clothing should not be known to have a negative impact on the wearer, like limiting their range of motion.

The garment should be developed for proper fit and positioning on the user to guarantee that it remains in place for the projected time of usage. Plus, all parts of the garment that come into contact with the end-user must be devoid of roughness, sharp edges, and projections that could cause irritation or injury.

Type Classification

There is a "type" classification for high visibility work clothing that is intended to reflect the context in which it is utilized, as described below.

  • The letter "O" stands for "Off-road."
  • The letter "R" stands for "Roadway."
  • The letter "P" stands for "Public Safety."
  • The letters "FR" stands for "Flame-Resistant."

Beware of Fakes and Counterfeits!

Several high visibility clothing options on the market are made with inferior materials and do not fulfill the standard. This clothing may or may not have fraudulent labels claiming to be ANSI approved while, in fact, they are not. 

Therefore, it is important to purchase high visibility work clothing only from reputable brands, such as 360 USA. 360 USA high-visibility clothing is made from premium grade high visibility fabrics that have been tried and proven on the job site.