There are several safety regulatory organizations whose purpose is to provide guidelines designed to provide individuals, usually employees or workers, with protection from identified potential hazards associated with the work they perform.
The American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear (ANSI 107-2010) provides guidelines for the selection and use of high-visibility safety apparel ultimately directed toward keeping personnel/workers safe while on the job where worker visibility is reduced and the risk for collision between worker and vehicle or equipment is high. This is accomplished by making the worker more visible through outerwear designed to include fluorescent and reflective materials strategically placed on the apparel that cause the worker to significantly “standout” in a variety of environmental or trafficked conditions.
Specific to ANSI 107-2010 guidelines:
- What are the applicable apparel items: Jackets – including rainwear, trousers, vests, shirts, coveralls, gloves, and headwear.
- What are the typical settings where ANSI 107-2010 apparel is required: Workers in construction, maintenance, warehouse, emergency and incident responders – police, firefighters, EMS, utility services, airport ground crew, volunteers working public access roadways, etc.
- In addition to the high-visibility reflective material requirements, what are other unique characteristics of ANSI 107-2010 apparel: The outerwear items must be engineered to be able to be worn comfortably for long periods of time (a full workday), uniquely designed or customized for different types of wearer activities, and also the varying degree of risk associated with the unique work environment and job performance requirements.
Have there been any revisions to ANSI 107-2010?
The ANSI/ISEA 107 – 2015 revision designates for a specific “type” of high visibility safety apparel based on the unique work environment of the wearer.
- Type “O” (Off-road): Apparel designated for workers in an environment that involves moving vehicles or equipment, but that are not required by *MUTCD to wear high visibility safety apparel. This includes settings where there may be collision or struck-by hazards from moving vehicles, equipment or machinery not operating on public access rights of way or temporary control zones.
*Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) of the Federal Highway Administration.
- Type “R” (Roadway): Apparel designated for workers in an environment with moving equipment or vehicles and are directly exposed to roadway traffic. These apparel items have additional amounts and location placement of high-visibility materials that allow for better outlining of the human form.
- Type “P” (Public Safety – Police, Fire, EMS): Apparel designated to provide for additional options for emergency personnel such as police, firefighters, and Emergency Medical Services personnel. This requirement enhances the rapid differentiation between these different emergency and incident responders, as well as offers unique features that allow the individuals to carry and have convenient access to different equipment.
Because these different “types” of apparel allow for diversity based on a specific work environment and the associated risks, there are different classes based on the amount of background and reflective material to be used and specific placement requirements of reflective material, In addition, there may be unique technical or functional requirements for the specific job that affects the apparel design.
These types of apparel design requirements are thus designated into classes 1, 2, or 3.
- Class 1: Intended for use by workers in jobs with the lowest risk. Specifics include jobs where traffic is slow, less than 25 mph, and work is taking place at a relatively safe distance from the traffic. These vests must have a minimum of 155 square inches of reflective tape and the strip must go around the middle of the vest as well as over the shoulder. Sleeves are not required with this class of vest. These apparel items usually come in yellow, orange, and lime colors.
- Class 2: Intended for use by workers in work environments that pose a greater risk than that of the Class 1. For example, these requirements include traffic moving less than 50 mph but greater than 25 mph. These vests must be larger in size as they require that more high visibility and reflective areas be visible. They must provide at least 775 inches of safety yellow or orange background material and 201 square inches of reflective stripping. These apparel items usually come in yellow, orange, and lime colors.
- Class 3: Intended for workers in the most dangerous or highest risk environments. These vests require more surface area of high-visibility material and are typically worn by workers where nearby traffic is traveling in excess of 50 mph. It also is for use by emergency personnel or tow truck operators working in hazardous conditions such as during a hurricane or blizzard or other conditions where visibility is at a minimum.
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