American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel
Last updated in 2015, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for High Visibility Safety apparel standard provides consistent, authoritative guidelines for the selection and use of high-visibility apparel in the United States. The standard is intended as a guide to aid manufacturers, consumers and the general public in the use of high visibility safety apparel.
ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 offers performance specifications and outlines minimum amounts of background material and retro reflective material (high visibility tape), tape placement on garment, test methods, garment labeling, and luminance factor, among other factors.
The 2015 update consolidates the requirements of ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 and ANSI/ISEA 207 (American National Standard for Public Safety Vests) to establish a single, comprehensive document that considers all occupational tasks. While the standard continues to present three performance classes of garments (see below) based on the amount of visible materials and design attributes incorporated into the final configuration, it also identifies garment types based on expected use settings and work activities being performed. These are designated as off-road (type O), roadway and temporary traffic control (type R), or public safety activities (type P).
In response to concerns expressed by smaller-sized wearers about the risk of having to wear oversized garments that present a catch hazard, the committee included provisions for Type R Performance Class 2 and Performance Class 3 garments in the smallest size offered to utilize a reduced amount of background material to allow for sizing more appropriate for smaller workers. It is stressed that these reduced amounts are intended to address the smaller sized workers’ needs specifically, that only the smallest size offered for any one garment be allowed to deviate from the stated minimum and that the resulting configuration using these amounts be consistent with the other sizes for that particular garment.
Manufacturers may now also opt to have high-visibility garments labeled as flame resistant. To be marked as flame resistance, high-visibility garments must fully comply with the requirements of one of the following methods:
- ASTM F1506-10a, Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Arc Rated Textile Materials for Wearing Apparel for use by Electrical Workers exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards
- ASTM F1891-12, Standard Specification for Arc and Flame Resistant Rainwear
- ASTM F2302-08, Standard Performance Specification for Labeling Protective Clothing as Heat and Flame Resistant
- ASTM F 2733-09, Standard Specification for Flame Resistant Rainwear for Protection Against Flame Hazards
- NFPA 1977, Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Firefighting, 2011
- NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire, 2012
Finally, in recognition of the growing use of high-visibility accessory items such as arm bands or headwear, the standard now defines minimum material requirements for these accessories. New labeling requirements will identify the garment by performance class, type and by its flame resistance characteristics as defined in the standard. ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 also expands the examples of garment configurations to illustrate compliant and non-compliant designs.
These garments are intended for workers who have ample separation from vehicular traffic that does not exceed 25 mph.
- Class I garments are often safety vests; they are recommended for parking service attendants, workers in warehouses with equipment traffic, shopping cart retrievers, sidewalk maintenance workers, and delivery vehicle drivers.
Class II garments are for users who need greater visibility in poor weather conditions and whose activities occur near roadways where traffic speeds exceed 25 mph.
- This class of garment is suitable for railway workers, school crossing guards, parking and toll gate personnel, airport ground crews, and law enforcement personnel directing traffic.
Class III garments provide the highest level of visibility to workers in high-risk environments that involve high task loads, a wide range of weather conditions and traffic exceeding 50 mph. Class III garments provide coverage to the arms and/or legs as well as the torso, and can include pants, jackets, coveralls, or rain wear.
- The standard recommends all roadway construction personnel and vehicle operators, utility workers, survey crews, emergency responders, railway workers, and accident site investigators wear these garments.
A Final Rule enacted by the Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration took effect on November 24, 2008. Final Rule 23 CFR Part 634 requires that workers on a Federal-aid highway exposed to vehicular traffic or construction equipment within the work area wear high-visibility safety apparel. This rule specifies classes of workers commonly impacted. They include:
- Highway construction and maintenance crews
- Survey crews
- Utility workers
- Road crews and volunteer clean-up groups
- Responders to incidents and law enforcement personnel
The ANSI 107-2015 standard is available to purchase online. http://webstore.ansi.org/RecordDetail.aspx?sku=ANSI%2fISEA+107-2015