I see in publications a requirement to wear high visibility apparel meeting
a specific standard titled ANSI/ISEA 107. What is " ANSI and ISEA" ?
stands for American Standards Institute and "ISEA" for International
Safety Equipment Association. ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 is a voluntary industry standard
that specifies requirements for high-visibility safety apparel.
2. Does ANSI or ISEA make and enforce laws?
is not a government agency. ANSI helps coordinate, accredits and publishes
voluntary standards such as ISEA-107. ISEA brings together manufactures and
other share holders to draft a voluntary standard through a consensus process.
This process assures a method where all opinions and voices are heard, and
then they publish these standards based on industry specific needs. The standard
sets forth specific performance criteria for safety garments labeled as class
I, Class II, class III for safety vests and other high visibility clothing.
An agency such as Federal Highway, local department of transportation agencies,
or OSHA may adopt the standards as regulation. Go to this link for more information:
3. Why do we have these new standards?
year there are numerous workers struck by vehicles in work zones. These include
flaggers, ground crews, landscape and utility workers, and even incident response
persons such as fire fighters. With the large number of vehicles on the road,
increased distractions such as cell phones, and a large number of inexperienced
drivers, workers need to be increasingly visible to oncoming motorists. Workers
need to be not only more visible but also more quickly recognizable as a human
torso. Before the 107 standard there was no nationally recognized standard
in the design, performance, or function of high visibility clothing.
4. Where can I order current ANSI/ISEA documents
for high â€“visibility apparel?
What is the difference between a class II and Class III garment?
the standard there are multiple possible garments including headwear, safety
vests, and pants. Classes of high visibility garments have varying amounts
of back ground ( the cloth base fabric of the garment) and retro-reflective
material. The higher class numbers have higher amounts of each. For example
a class III safety vest must have at least 1240 square inches of background
material and 310 square inches of retro-reflective material compared to a
class IIâ€™s requirements of 775 and 201. See item 7 below as well.
I was told if you work on a road that is 55 MPH you have to use a class III
vest, is this true?
there was a reference to posted speeds at the back of the original 1999 standard,
it was to be used for a reference only. In the updated 2004 standard it was
removed. A person selecting high-visibility garments should evaluate all the
conditions of the work space. This includes things such as time of day, weather,
traffic patterns, traffic volumes, road conditions, as well as speed. For
example a person working in the proximity of large and noisy heavy equipment
may have an increased risk since equipment operators may not see them, even
though the work site might have very low traffic speeds?
7. I have heard a class III vest must have sleeves.
Is this true?
Though not specifically stated in the original ISEA107-1999 standard, it was
never the intent of the document to have a class III garment stand alone as
a safety vest. A class III would be met by adding sleeves with retro-reflective
tape. A class III ensemble can be met by a class II safety vest worn with
class "E" pants. This was clarified in the ANSI-ISEA107-2004 document.
Does it matter which color of fabric I use?
There is some science, opinion, and trends on each.
Some studies indicate the florescent yellow green is more conspicuous during
hours of low light, such as dusk and dawn. Yellow green is also known as a
"pedestrian" color as indicated by school approach signs etc. This
color is also a high contrast against traditional orange work zone devices
such as traffic cones and construction signs. Conversely, orange may appear
to show less dirt, and some reports indicate it fades a little less quickly.
Orange is also traditionally known as "the" safety color in work
zones. It has a high contrast to background foliage and trees where workers
may be present. Local jurisdictions and corporate policies may require a particular
color even though neither the Federal ruling nor ANSI/ISEA do not. Whichever
color you choose, evaluate your workspaces and make a decision that best provides
for the safety of the worker.
understand November 2008 workers must be in ANSI certified garments. Is this
true, and where can I find a copy of this ruling.
November 24, 2008. Posted as final rule to the Federal Register 23 CFR 634
(FHWA Docket No. 2005-23200): Workers who are working within the rights-of-way
of Federal -aid highways must use high visibility safety apparel.
find this document here:
Does the MUTCD (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices) refer to the ANSI/ISEA
at least 2 places in the 2003 edition. Section 6D for worker safety and
also 6E for flagger safety. The worker safety section requires a minimum
ANSI-ISEA107 garment, chosen by a safety professional or competent person
who would evaluate risks and hazards and then pick a garment that would
best serve the safety of the workers. On the flagger standard the minimum
is a Class II garment with flaggers working at night to consider a class
III. Remember this is a minimum standard and other states and jurisdictions
may require something additional. See this document for details: http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2003/Ch6A-E.pdf
11. What is combined performance retro-reflective
fabric must meet a specific level of florescent color. Also it must have a
specific amount of surface area. For example a class II vest has to have 775
sq inches. If you cover up the fabric with silver or white tape, or colors
that donâ€™t meet the same criteria as the fabric, you would have do deduct
it from your totals, such as the 775 sq inches. Combined performance tape
meets both the requirements for the retro-reflective tape as well as the background
material, maximizing the amount of florescence visible on the garment and
reducing the possibility of having too few square inches of fabric.
12. What is the difference between silver glass bead
and vinyl or prismatic tape?
glass bead tape generally costs less than the vinyl tapes. It is lighter weight,
and appears to perform well in extreme temperature conditions. The vinyl prismatic
tapes reflect light by thousands of little embedded prisms. This tape retains
a greater percentage of its light returned to the viewer when it is wet. Some
vinyl tapes may have a color that can be considered "combined performance",
This not only adds to the daytime visibility of the worker, but reduces the
likelihood of having to little background material since you have to deduct
reflective tape that is not "combined performance" from fabric totals
13. What is the difference between level 1 and level
2 reflective tapes?
2 tape is higher performing and must have at least 330 candle power measured
at specific angles.
14. Can I cut off my label in the garment?
NOT recommended. Labeling is part of the standard and would indicate specific
information such as who the manufacture is and care instructions. Be cautious
choosing a safety vest and supplier. Unfortunately there are high visibility
garments with labels that are deceptive making the garment appear to be "compliant"
when it is not. For example a garment labeled as ANSI-107 class II "Design"
or "style" may not be compliant. A reputable manufacture will always
have available third party testing of the background fabric and the retro-reflective
tape readily available to anyone who requests it. If you are unsure ask for
Isnâ€™t ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 the newest standard and not 107-2004?
207-2006 specifically addresses high visibility vests for public safety
workers. This standard should not be confused with ANSI/ISEA 107-2004.
While a garment meeting the 107 standard may meet the total square inch
requirements of the 207 standard, there are other considerations specifically
added to the 207 standard, such as identification and ergonomics, that
were designed with the specific needs of public safety personnel in mind.
With the new November '08 requirement for incident responders to wear
high visibility clothing (see item 9 above) there was an immediate need
to recognize the limitations of the 107 standard when applied to public
safety personnel. The 207 standard allows items such as breakaway features,
shorter fronts, and tapered backs, to allow users better access to tool
belts, weapons, or other gear, and identifying components such as colored
tape and patches. (These design options are not a mandate, just options).
For example, a police department may have blue checkered tape, fire red,
and EMS green, helping identify them at a large incident scene. The 207
PSV standard does not replace the ANSI-ISEA 107-2004 standard, It is in
addition to it.
more information on ANSI 107 and 207 - click HERE.