Hi-Visibility Safety Vests
Which vest is right for your job? Cal OSHA uses the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 107-2004 as the standard. The ANSI standard uses three classes of vests depending on the total area of visible background and reflective material.
Class 1 safety vests (see the picture to the right) are for workers where traffic does not exceed 25 mph and there is ample separation from the traffic. Parking service attendants, delivery vehicle drivers, and sidewalk maintenance workers are examples of jobs that would wear a class 1 safety vest. Reflective stripes are to be not less than 25mm wide – about the size of a U.S. quarter.
￼Class 2 safety vests (see the picture to the left) are for workers who are near traffic that exceeds 25 mph and for workers who need greater visibility in inclement weather. Typically this would include airport baggage handlers and ground crew, forestry workers, high-volume parking or tollgate personnel and law enforcement personnel directing traffic. Reflective stripes will be over the shoulders and around the middle in either one or two 360 degree horizontal stripes. The reflective strips are to be not less than 35mm – slightly larger than a U.S. quarter.
Class 3 safety vests (see the picture to the right) are for workers who are near
traffic exceeding 50 mph and in a wide range of weather conditions so it is important for them to be as visible as possible. This will include survey and flagging crews, emergency responders and utility workers. Class 3 vests also provide more coverage to the arms than Class 1 and Class 2. The reflective stripes must be not less than 50mm wide – about the size of two U.S. quarters – and there must be reflective material on the sleeves.
- The cost of a Class 2 vest is roughly the same as a Class 1 vest but the Class 2 vest offers more visibility and versatility
- For more information, see the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 1598.
- Wear your safety vest. Because being visible to motorists can make the difference between an accident free work zone and an accident prone work zone.