Stand out from the crowd with reflective safety vests
Many workers - such as a road construction flagger or a loader at a container terminal - need to wear highly visible, reflective vests in order to ensure workplace safety.
The fluorescent background material of safety vests creates high visibility during daytime work, and the retro-reflective material assists in nighttime visibility.
According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), workers who wear ANSI 107-compliant, high-visibility reflective vests "are less likely to be injured or killed by moving vehicles or equipment than those who are wearing non-compliant apparel."
ANSI defines three classifications of high-visibility vests:
- Class 3 vests: provide the best visibility for workers in higher risk jobs
- Class 2 vests: better visibility if working where traffic exceeds 25 mph
- Class 1 vests: for lower-risk workplaces where traffic does not exceed 25 mph.
Some features you can choose from when selecting high-visibility reflective vests include
- polyester cool mesh fabric or knit cloth
- zippered front closure or Velcro closure
- fully dielectric, non-conductive zipper
- flame-resistant material
- variety of inside and outside pockets
- sleeveless or with sleeves
- Velcro expandable side panels for added comfort
- elastic or Velcro side straps
- multiple sizes.
No garment can be ANSI-107-2004 certified without passing base fabric testing for luminescence, chromaticity, fade, etc. If you'd like to confirm that your reflective safety vests are made to the ANSI 107 standard, there is list of U.S. testing laboratories that can certify background material and construction of such safety equipment.
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently began requiring ANSI 107-2004 high visibility vests on all workers on any federally funded roadway.
A new ANSI standard for safety vests
In December 2006, ANSI and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) released a new standard that applies to high visibility public safety vests for emergency responders such as police, fire and rescue workers.
The new standard, called ANSI/ISEA 207-2006, includes
- vest dimensions
- color and materials performance
- criteria for special features needed in fire, EMS and law enforcement
- specific color markings to identify each of the public safety agencies
- breakaway vests.
"Vests that meet these standards give users enhanced visibility in all lighting conditions, through the combined use of fluorescent and retro-reflective materials," says ISEA's technical director Janice Comer Bradley.
Stand out from the crowd; put on a vest and stay safe.