ANSI & What it Means
ANSI (American National Standards Institute) & the ISEA (International Safety Equipment Association) jointly developed a standard for high visibility clothing that adheres to the EN-471 standard used in Europe.
The important standard is the authoritative & sometimes required guide for specification, design, performance & use of high visibility garments. Companies should always refer & adhere to the standard when planning and specifying their line of safety apparel including vests, jackets, pants, coveralls & harnesses.
There are 3 Classes of High-Visibility apparel:
Class 1 garments provide the minimum amount of necessary material to differentiate the wearer from the work environment, & are intended for use in activities that permit the wearer's full & undivided attention to approaching traffic. For workers well separated from traffic - where vehicles & equipment speeds are under 25 mpg.
Examples of workers who use Class 1 apparel: Parking lot attendants, people retrieving shopping carts from parking lots, workers exposed to warehouse equipment, roadside "right of way" or sidewalk maintenance workers.
Class 2 garments are intended for use in activities where greater visibility in necessary during inclement weather conditions, or in work environments with risks that exceed those in Class 1. Garments in this class also cover workers who perform tasks that divert their attention from approaching traffic, or that put in close proximity to passing vehicles traveling 25mph or higher.
Examples of workers who use Class 2 apparel: Forestry operations, ship cargo-loading operations, roadway construction, utility and railway workers, survey crews, school crossing guards, high-volume parking and/or toll gate personnel, airport baggage handlers / ground crew, emergency response & law enforcement personnel, trash collection & recycling operations, accident site investigators, rail-road inspection & maintenance crews.
Class 3 garments are intended to offer greater visibility to the wearer in complex backgrounds & through a full range of body motions. Class 3 visibility is enhanced beyond Class 2 by the addition of background & retro-reflective reflective material to the arms and/or legs - where vehicle & equipment speeds exceed 50mph.
Examples of workers who use Class 3 apparel: Roadway construction personnel & flaggers, utility workers, survey crews, emergency response personnel.