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ANSI/ISEA 107-2020

HIGH VISIBILITY SAFETY APPAREL

The American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel (ANSI/ISEA 107-2020) is a standard established by American National Standards Institute Inc.

This standard provides guidelines for the selection and use of high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) such as shirts, rainwear, outerwear, and safety vests to help improve worker visibility during the day, in low-light conditions, and at night.

Personnel and many categories of off-road workers are routinely exposed to potential injury hazards from their low visibility.

ANSI 107 keeps off-road (“Type O”), roadway (“Type R”), and public safety (“Type P”) garments separate by application and aligns with the definitions of the U.S. Federal worker high-visibility regulation implemented in the MUTCD.

TYPE O (OFF-ROAD)

Type O features a single Performance Class (Class 1) and is intended for off-road use, often indoors or more controlled environments.

Examples: Among others, workers retrieving shopping carts, working in warehouses and factories or extracting/refining oil & gas.

TYPE R (ROADWAY)

Type R offers a Performance Class 2 and Class 3—garments specifically designed for use on roadways—and is often the choice of other construction and transportation applications due to the high presence of moving vehicles and equipment. Because Type R features more fluorescent background material and additional retroreflective square inches, it is better suited for environments with higher levels of moving vehicle and equipment traffic. For workers in the right of way of a roadway, it’s required by federal law.

Examples: A Type R Class 2 vest, for instance, would serve road construction workers, airport ramp workers or municipality workers.

Class 3, meanwhile, is meant to be used in applications such as flaggers and DOT workers with high-speed traffic hazards who are unable to devote attention to the environment around them.

TYPE P (PUBLIC SAFETY)

Like Type R, Type P has a Performance Class 2 and Class 3 for public safety with Class 3 garments requiring more background and retroreflective material. Public Safety vests and jackets are typically shorter length to enable quick and easy access to equipment carried on the waist (i.e., firearms for police officers).

Examples: First responders/public safety figures such as police, fire, and EMS.

In general, material specifications on hi-vis apparel dictated by Garment Types and Performance Classes are directly proportional to the speed of and proximity to traffic/moving vehicles and equipment around each type of worker. That’s why road construction workers building or repairing highways should wear Type R Class 2 or Class 3 garments while indoor warehouse workers or attendants working parking lots where cars are neither driving fast nor nearby could choose to wear a Type Class 1 O option. 

ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 UPDATES

Formerly ANSI/ISEA 107-2015, ISEA’s High Visibility Products Group recently reviewed and updated the standard to ANSI/ISEA 107-2020.

Notable changes include:

  • Criteria for hi-vis accessories has been removed: The standard no longer includes criteria for the optional accessory category.
  • Additional criteria on 360-degree reflective visibility + revised definition of “torso area”: Each Type and Performance Class now has further clarification on the width requirements for retroreflective and background material around the wearer’s torso. Additionally, torso has been defined as “the trunk of the body extending from the underarm to hip area.”
  • Maximum wash cycles no longer required on care label: The max number of wash cycles was previously based on the life of the reflective—not the entire garment. This was removed to avoid confusion about the depreciation of high visibility apparel in general.
  • Testing requirements for segmented or perforated tape: Given the increased popularity of segmented and perforated retroreflective, the standard now includes additional requirements for the retro reflectivity of background materials used when testing these segmented materials. This is intended to prevent manufacturers from overstating the brightness of the tape.

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