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Safety Vests

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Safety vests fall under new regulations from ANSI discussing clothing visibility. The standard discusses what colors function to provide the highest visibility for garments, and how bright those colors must register against different backgrounds. ANSI rates garment visibility into three classes, appropriately labeled Class 1, 2, and 3.

ANSI Standards for Safety Vest Visibility

Class 1 safety vests are designed primarily for controlled situations and other low-risk environments. Mainly used by warehouse employees and delivery vehicle drivers, they work best for environments with simple backgrounds and slowly moving traffic. They are also used when the wearer can give his or her full attention to approaching traffic.

Class 2 clothing is required when the work environment involves poor weather or visibility, distracting surroundings, or a close proximity to moving traffic. Class 2 safety vests feature full 360-degree reflectivity and special one and a half inch reflective stripes. School crossing guards, tollgate attendants and airport runway crews might use class 2 garments.

Class 3 vests are similar to class 2, but feature wider reflective stripes. Class 3 safety vests are required for high-risk tasks and in environments with a close proximity to traffic moving faster than 50 mph. All vests feature front zippers for secure closure, and convenient inside pockets that don't affect the visibility of the vest.


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