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High-visibility clothing: A guide to completing your work outfit

High-visibility clothing: A guide to completing your work outfit

High-visibility clothing, also known as "hi-viz", is any clothing worn that is highly visible in order to increase the wearer's visibility. This type of clothing is often used by people who work in hazardous environments or low-light conditions.

It's most commonly used by workers in hazardous occupations, such as construction, manufacturing, utilities, mining, oil and gas extraction, and more. Additionally, clothing like this is usually brightly colored or fluorescent and may also include reflective strips or tape.

ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 requirements for high-visibility clothing

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) have jointly developed a new standard for high-visibility safety clothing. The standard, ANSI/ISEA 107-2010, establishes minimum design, performance, and labeling requirements for high-visibility and reflective apparel and headwear that will enhance the visibility of the wearer in daytime and nighttime conditions.

ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 is intended to provide greater clarity and consistency in the marketplace and to improve the visibility of workers in hazardous conditions. The standard also sets minimum area requirements for the following:

  • Background material: This material is highly conspicuous and comes in a fluorescent color.
  • Retroreflective material: Typically, this material comes in tapes and stripes that are strategically placed on a garment. It can reflect light back from the source, which helps make the wearer more visible.
  • Combined performance material: While the background material and retroreflective material are distinct from each other in many high-visibility garments, some garments are made instead of combined performance material. This kind of material is qualified to meet the requirements for both the background material and retroreflective material.

In this context, “minimum area requirements” refers to the total visible surface area of each kind of material. This will be discussed further in the Performance Classifications section later on in this article.

Types of high-visibility clothes

There are many types of high-visibility garments available on the market. Some of the most popular items include vests, jackets, shirts, and pants. All of these items are designed to help keep you safe and visible in low-light or poor visibility conditions. When choosing the right type of high-vis clothing for your needs, it is important to consider the type of activity you will be participating in and the level of visibility you need.

Vests and shirts

High-visibility vests and shirts are an essential part of safety measures in many industries, both for workers and visitors. A hi-vis vest or shirt is designed to make the wearer visible, both in daytime and nighttime, in all weather conditions.

The most common use of high-visibility vests and shirts is to make workers visible to equipment operators and other workers in the area. Vests are also used by a variety of workers, from law enforcement officers and emergency responders to truck drivers and warehouse workers.

As a basic requirement, vests must be made of fluorescent material and have reflective tape on the front, back, and sides. The amount of reflective tape and the size of the fluorescent area can vary depending on the class of the vest.

high visibility vests

Jackets

When it comes to being safe on the job, few things are more important than high-visibility jackets. Whether you're working in a construction zone or on a busy highway, these jackets make it easy for others to see you and avoid accidents. In addition to being highly visible, high-visibility jackets are also usually made from durable materials that can stand up to tough work environments.

Additionally, you can wear these jackets to increase the amount of fluorescent background material and reflective material. When the temperatures drop, you can also use these jackets to stay warm while you work outdoors. Some jackets have a lining that can provide an extra layer of warmth so you can work more comfortably during the colder months.

high visibility jacket

Pants

High-visibility pants are an important part of a worker's wardrobe. Hi-vis pants help to keep workers safe by making them more visible to others, especially in low-light conditions. Hi-vis pants are required by law in many industries, such as construction, emergency response, and utilities. When selecting hi-vis pants, it is important to choose a pair that is comfortable to wear and meets the requirements of the job.

Furthermore, these pants can increase the surface area of the background and reflective materials. By adding a pair of hi-vis pants, you can elevate a Class 1 or 2 outfit to a Class 2 or 3 outfit.

By wearing these pants with other hi-vis workwear, you can make yourself even more visible to drivers, which can help you avoid accidents. They've even become popular among people who participate in outdoor activities such as biking, running, or hiking in low-light conditions.

Rain gear

Working in inclement weather can be dangerous, especially if you don't have the proper gear. High-visibility rain gear is a must-have for anyone who spends time working outdoors in the rain. It's designed to keep you dry while also making you more visible to others. This is important for both safety and comfort.

When you can be seen more easily, you're less likely to be involved in an accident. When you're dry, you're more comfortable and can focus on the task at hand, whether it's working or playing. With high-visibility rain gear, you'll be prepared for any rainstorm. You'll also be able to stay dry and be visible to drivers, no matter the conditions.

Performance Classifications

The ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 standard establishes minimum design, performance, and classification requirements for high-visibility and reflective clothing and headwear intended to provide the wearer with conspicuity both during the day and at night. The standard is divided into three classes of garments: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.

high visibility clothing

Performance Class 1

Relatively low-risk work environments can require no higher than Class 1 garments. Workers who wear these garments include truck drivers, warehouse workers, and the like.

These are the minimum requirements for a Class 1 garment:

  • Background material: 217 square inches
  • Retroreflective material: 155 square inches

Class 1 garments are also suited only for job sites wherein workers are working away from traffic. Additionally, the cars in the area should not be moving at a speed faster than 25 mph.

Performance Class 2

The higher the risk, the higher the required class of garment. Thus, Class 2 garments are suited for job sites with elevated risk. Roadside construction workers, emergency responders, utility workers, and the like are typically required to wear Class 2 or Class 3 garments.

These are the minimum requirements for a Class 2 garment:

  • Background material: 775 square inches
  • Retroreflective material: 201 square inches

Workers who have to work near traffic should wear Class 2 garments or higher. This also holds true if they have to work in an area wherein the cars are moving faster than 25 mph.

Performance Class 3

Class 3 garments are designed to meet the highest requirements for high-visibility clothing. With these garments, you’ll be visible even against complex backgrounds. Depending on the situation, construction workers and other workers required to wear Class 2 garments may be required to wear Class 3 garments as well.

These are the minimum requirements for a Class 3 garment:

  • Background material: 1240 square inches
  • Retroreflective material: 310 square inches

If workers have to be right in traffic, Class 3 garments can provide better visibility and protection. These garments are also designed to make the wearer conspicuous at a distance of at least 1,280 feet.

 


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